Improving productivity is a common concern for most businesses – in particular, finding ways to help employees make the best use of their time in the office.
Making it both easier and more rewarding for staff to do their job well is much more time- and cost-effective than outlaying vast sums on additional employees or new systems.
Five tips for improving staff productivity include:
1 Motivate staff
While remuneration is an important factor in job satisfaction and staff retention, there are a lot of other contributors to job satisfaction. Research has suggested employees increasingly value factors such as a flexible workplace, additional time off or recognition and praise.
Ensuring workplace complaints are heard and seriously considered is another significant factor in staff motivation. Additionally, increasing individual accountability for tasks will improve the work ethic and increase people’s sense of achievement.
2 Expand skill sets
Rotate employee tasks wherever possible. Staff will develop a more diverse skill set, people will feel they are making career progression and it will increase employee engagement.
Assigning one staff member as a trainer or mentor to others who will learn skills from them is a great way to demonstrate confidence in someone, while simultaneously giving you an opportunity to evaluate their leadership skills before a promotion.
3 Time management
A common complaint from employees is wasting time in meetings that they don’t feel they need to be at. Encourage staff to keep meetings to a minimum and to question whether or not they need to attend.
Similarly, returning phone calls and responding to emails is not just time-consuming, but can also be extremely bad for employee productivity. Constant interruptions break people’s concentration and can be very distracting. Encourage staff to set specific times each day that they return phone calls and emails.
4 Digital organisation
It’s easy to equate a ‘paperless office’ with an ‘organised office’, but it isn’t always the case. If staff have trouble finding computer documents or programs, it can be a significant barrier to productivity.
Additionally, it creates a sense of disorder that can impact their perception of management. Organising the company’s digital workplace, and encouraging individual staff members to be similarly organised, can go a long way towards improving productivity.
5 Productivity software
There are a lot of new productivity software products and apps designed specifically for the workplace. Some are created for specific industries or roles. Examples of helpful software products or apps include digital time trackers, to-do lists, productivity monitors and project management software.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Raffaele is a partner with accountants and advisers HLB Mann Judd Sydney. He has over 15 years’ experience working predominantly with privately owned businesses and investment firms, advising and consulting across a wide range of business issues. John is a member of CPA Australia, an affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a member of Family Business Australia.