Seven Tips to Increase Employee Productivity
Workplace productivity obviously affects your bottom line. If it’s down, you’re revenue is most likely down. If it’s up, your company should feel the difference in its cash flow, morale and impact. Every leader looks for ways to increase employee productivity. Here are seven simple tips for where to start.
#1 Prioritizing Priorities
This is also known as “The ABC’s of Productivity.” The ABC approach to increase employee productivity involves having your team make a list of what they do every day. You then have them appoint certain letters to the tasks they consider most important, somewhat important, and not important at all. For example, all critical daily tasks receive an A; somewhat important tasks receive a B and unimportant tasks receive a C. There is typically a surprising outcome to this exercise, as many managers discover that what they think is critical receives a C from their employees, and tasks that can go undone with little or no repercussion will often receive an A from their employees. This exercise will increase employee productivity as both employee and manager are on the same page regarding prioritizing tasks.
#2 One-Point E-mails
Make your emails short and to the point. One-point emails help increase employee productivity by keeping responses quick, and therefore easier to compose. Nido Qubein teaches the importance of one-point emails: “I instruct my staff to send me one-point emails that I can respond to with a word, a sentence. I don’t care if you send me fifteen but make it one [point]; I don’t have time to dig down in your email.”
#3 Standing Meetings
A simple lack of chairs can turn a 45-minute meeting into a 15-minute marathon of productivity. The lack of comfort in a meeting environment tends to increase productivity through forcing people to work more quickly through the agenda. Give standing meetings a try particularly if you have employees who have the innate ability to make meetings stretch so they don’t have to get back to work.
#4 Clarifying Standards
Clarifying standards gives employees a benchmark of acceptable work to accomplish. Having your employees set the standard themselves is an added way to increase employee productivity. You may be pleasantly surprised that your employees set a higher standard for their production than you.
#5 Daily Huddles
Daily huddles is a method used by the payroll staff here at Payday. A daily huddle is a short meeting (preferably standing up!) where all employees on the team talk about what they’ve accomplished that day and what their short-term goals are going forward. This helps keep everyone on the same page as well as keeping other team members apprised of what projects everyone is working on.
#6 Employee Accomplishments
This tip came from a client in California. Every week this client would hold a meeting with all 35 of their employees and he would ask each employee, one at a time, going around the circle, what two things you’re going to accomplish this week; you’ve got two minutes. Go. This not only keeps everyone abreast of what each team member is doing, it also keeps employees accountable for actually accomplishing the tasks they stated.
#7 Start, Stop and Continue Lists
The final tip to increase employee productivity is compiling start, stop and continue lists. These lists are great to use during strategic planning sessions. In a nutshell, the lists are things to start doing as a company, things to stop doing as a company and things to continue doing as a company. Utilizing this method helps keep team members on point and also gives you a quantifiable tool to use in determining both short and long-term goals.
Finding easy and creative ways to increase employee productivity can be a challenging aspect of being a business owner. Using one, two or all seven of these simple techniques will help your team get the focus and drive needed to get the job done in a timely fashion. And that is always good for your bottom line.