Employee Productivity: Everything You Need to Know

When employee productivity is not where it should be, an employer can lose a lot of money in wasted time. Often employers are finding that the amount of time they are paying an employee for work and the actual work produced don’t match up.

Employee Productivity

Employers understand there will be some leaked employee productivity; however, there are things they can do to help improve the amount of wasted time and encourage employees to be more productive. Getting employees more in tune with performing up to certain goals, an employer can help ensure the employees’ productivity aligns with the company’s goals.

There are not many things more important to keeping your company alive than improving employee productivity. When there aren’t employee productivity issues, employers don’t think too much about it. However, when there is a problem, it can bring operations to a halt.

The cost of ignoring low employee productivity can be high for an employer. Not only is there a cost to the bottom line, there is also a cost to employee engagement. The key to improving productivity is to engage your employees so they will want to be more productive and goal oriented.

Typically, engaged employees stay with an employer longer and are more productive. Though, only approximately 33 percent of the workforce in the U.S. feels engaged. Disengaged employees:

  • Can drag others around them down.
  • Typically have higher rates of absenteeism and turnover.
  • Bring profits down.

Research shows that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies approximately $483 to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.

Employers need to understand what is important to their employees; otherwise, they may spend time and money on efforts that don’t even matter to the employee. Employers should ask employees what motivates them, what is important to them, and what they need to do to improve the work culture. Finding out what matters to the employees will help dictate how the company should move forward to improve engagement and employee productivity.

The more employees perceive they are involved in the decision-making process of a company, the more engaged they typically are. Valuing the opinions of employees will show them that they are part of the team and will make them feel more connected to the company; therefore, they will want to contribute at a higher level.

Account for Brain Breaks

Time away from work is just as important as time at work. Vacations and short breaks away from work have been proven to help the brain function better. Ensuring employees have a chance to rest and recuperate is essential to keeping a productive workforce. Make sure your company has the right balance of time away from work to ensure you don’t burn out your workforce.

Improve Employee Skills With Training

Having a skilled and trained workforce is important to employee productivity. If you invest in training your employees, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and dedicated to you as an employer. In turn, they will be more productive. A robust training and development focus for your workforce will pay you back in productivity because employees will feel that you are willing to invest in them, and they’ll want to put forth more effort.

Encourage Autonomy by Not Micromanaging

Employee productivity is typically not improved by micromanaging. One of the best ways to encourage productivity is to encourage employees to take ownership in their work and how they manage their time and resources. Giving employees freedom over when, how, and where they work creates more work ethic than trying to control them.

It may seem counterintuitive to say the less you manage, the better results you will get. However, the manager who learns to let go and allow the employees to take control will find they can focus more on managing the day-to-day operations and coaching their team, rather than trying to be involved in every move of the department.

Focus on the Future With Clear Communication

Communication is always the key to success in any business. Managers need to set clear expectations and lay out definitive responsibilities for their employees in order to have an engaged and productive workforce. Positive, open communication sets a precedent for the team. When holding meetings to discuss productivity, focus on the positives and look toward improvements.

Pay Employees Well

Although pay isn’t always the largest employee motivator, it’s a big factor in employee productivity. Employees must feel they are being paid equitably for their contributions to the company. If they don’t feel they are being paid well, they may feel justified in not putting forward as much effort as they would if they were being paid according to their perceived worth to the company.

Utilizing market compensation data, you can ensure that you are paying your employees appropriately according to your individual market. Additionally, make sure you are rewarding your top performers. If mediocre or lower performing employees see that they will be rewarded by performing at a higher level, you will begin to see your productivity increase.

Employees Are People, Too

Providing an environment that is flexible and understanding of employees’ lives outside of work often helps increase their productivity while they are at work. Understanding how to balance schedules and workflow based on that flexibility will be key to truly engaging your employees. If you have employees who need to balance their family needs and you allow them the flexibility to do so, it will only help to increase their productivity while they are at work. Be respectful and understanding when life happens, and your employees will appreciate you for it.

More and more employers have begun to support employees working remotely. Remote workers tend to be more productive, work more hours, take less sick time, and are typically more engaged.

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