When the world embraced the nine-to-five concept, no one knew it would become an unspoken competition of who would stay longer after hours to earn more respect from the bosses. However, this practice is now outdated and companies are looking for ways to cut the hours shorter and make that time more efficient for the entire business.
In fact, if an employee stays consistently after work hours, it is considered a sign of underperformance, as they are not capable of finishing their workload in a given timeframe. As their manager and employer, you can start helping your team make better decisions and introduce new strategies to improve your company’s productivity.
Think healthy thoughts
We know by now that health is the basis of any successful role in our lives, so assuming that it could be any different for one’s career would be harmful for your entire organization. Investing in your employees’ health is a long-term approach with immediate results. Perks such as free gym memberships give them the right tools to stay healthy, which means fewer sick days, they boost their health, and ultimately, their productivity.
Offer them healthy lunch choices and take their dietary restrictions into consideration. Finally, how about an in-house massage therapist once a month to treat them for work well done, or simply let them unwind and restore their energy?
Embrace two-way transparency
Communication can be a complex beast between a boss and their employees, since the problem of authority, fear of losing one’s job, and different work philosophies can lead to misunderstandings and poor performance. No one wants a disgruntled, or a scared employee in charge of a major project.
Offer regular feedback via one-on-one conversations, encourage them to give you feedback for your own leadership choices, changes in the company, and ideas and suggestions to make your daily operations more efficient. You’d be surprised how many incredible ideas can come from your team if you remember to ask.
Monitor to learn and support
Micro-management in any way, shape, or form can lead to numerous issues that can affect your overall success, let alone your employees’ productivity. However, if you take a subtler road and use an employee monitoring software to keep an eye on their work, you can find the source of the major productivity leaks and decide on the best solution.
Perhaps there’s an employee struggling with a task but is too scared to ask for assistance, or a client keeps bullying your junior team members into dealing with minor tasks instead of focusing on the more important aspects of work. Maybe certain employees don’t respect certain break-restrictions, and you’re a single conversation away from changing that behavior.
Thanks to our almost omnipresent connectivity, it’s now perfectly plausible for your employees to do their jobs from home every once in a while. This is particularly handy for those with families who would not only appreciate the extra time spent around the kids, but they’d love not to waste time on commuting.
Flexible work hours can also help certain new parents adjust to their new role, get more sleep, and ultimately maintain their productivity levels optimal, as opposed to forcing themselves out of bed at six in the morning to get to the office.
Provide growth opportunities
If your employees feel as if they are stuck in their current position and that there is no way forward, they will either consider leaving, or stop working as hard as they should, simply because they feel as if they have nothing to strive for.
Organize seminars and lectures on a regular basis, preferably with experts in the field that they admire and respect. Let them teach each other and share their experiences, as most companies already possess a vast pool of knowledge that they aren’t even aware of having.
Don’t skimp on appreciation
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of hard-working employees, but each and every one of them has given their contribution that lead to the current state of your business success. No matter how seemingly small someone’s contribution may be, they will be eager to put more passion and will into their work when they feel noticed and appreciated.
Sometimes all it takes is a handshake and a sincere “thank you”, but a gift basket or an extra week off wouldn’t go amiss. Don’t shy away from creativity in expressing your gratitude, since your employees will only be eager to do more good work once they know their effort is noted and appreciated.
Put the right people on the right tasks
One of the most commonly neglected aspects of leadership for the purpose of productivity is a painfully simple one: mismatching tasks and people. If you keep forcing too much work on a single employee, they are bound to experience burnout, but if you give a task to someone who is neither equipped nor trained to finish it, you cannot expect from them to put their best foot forward.
Delegate and make sure everyone is in the right position, with the right tasks under their wing. As little as that one weekly face-to-face conversation can help you discern if every employee is where they should be, so put these strategies to work together in order to reap the rewards.