Employee productivity is HUGE in any workplace.
After all, it has a direct effect on your profitability.
Today, you learn exactly how to measure and increase employee productivity.
These tips are a must if you want to ensure your employees are as productive (and happy) as possible.
Ready to dive right in? Let’s go.
How to measure employee productivity
Want to find out how to increase employee productivity in the workplace?
First, you need to understand what employee productivity is and how to measure it.
Employee productivity can be defined as how effective employees are.
But as Harvard Business Report writes, you shouldn’t focus on “dollars per hour but on labor dollars per product.”
So, to measure employee productivity, you need to focus on what employees produce… Not their cost.
You could have an extremely expensive and a less expensive employee.
Here, your focus should be on what they produce and not their hourly wages.
So that’s how you measure productivity.
But that begs the question… Ẃhy does employee productivity decrease?
What affects employee productivity?
There are a bunch of reasons employees aren’t productive at work.
Here below, we look at two examples.
First, employees aren’t engaged at work… and that’s why productivity takes a toll.
And second, we look at why all those distractions at the office add up.
Employees aren’t engaged at work.
Here’s the thing:
Engaged employees feel positive about their employer. They’re enthusiastic about working for their employers’ interests.
And this, naturally, increases productivity.
Those are some crazy numbers.
And as you can see, engagement is a huge problem.
But it’s not the only reason employees don’t keep productive…
All those distractions add up.
You know it’s true:
Work culture offers a ton of distractions every day.
First, you have technology.
It’s not just that people get caught up in social media or reading the news…
…All those pinging notifications are a great distraction, too.
For example, it’s estimated that people touch their smartphones twice a minute or once every seven minutes.
But that’s not all.
Noisy workspaces, co-workers, calls, and emails are some of the worst offenders.
Studies show that it takes us around 30 minutes to refocus every time we get distracted.
So yeah, these distractions take a toll.
Fortunately, there are ways to fix this.
Here are three simple ways to increase productivity in the workplace.
3 ways to increase employee productivity
Here’s the deal:
There ARE ways to increase employee productivity at work.
It all starts with the management.
YOU have to make the decision and then execute on a plan.
- Create a strategy
- Set up an action plan
- Get people on board
- Set up coherent structures
Now, what are the specific steps you need to take?
Let’s find out… These are all factors that increase productivity.
1. Want to increase employee engagement? These are the two things you need to do
You know by now that employee engagement is key to a productive workplace.
So how do you increase engagement?
Make your workplace a happier place.
In fact, study after study shows that happy workplaces are productive.
So how do you increase happiness levels at work?
#1: Motivate your co-workers by showing your appreciation.
Create a work environment where people enjoy their work.
Help them by motivating them… in the right way.
Recognize their efforts and achievements.
You see, people are driven by intrinsic motivation more than anything else.
In other words:
People work best when they work for their own personal or professional development.
But that’s not all.
There’s something else you need for a happy workplace…
#2: People NEED connection. Building a strong team is key.
The key to happiness?
The best way to foster social connection is to build a strong team.
An empathetic team.
What does this mean?
That there is room for people to voice their concerns and share ideas. Those concerns and ideas are then taken seriously.
People feel seen and heard. Their contribution is appreciated. And, they can authentically connect with their co-workers.
In other words, an ultra-competitive, stressful and “tough” workplace is not something that builds a strong team… Quite the contrary.
Now, let’s move on to step #2.
2. A secret productivity booster
Have you ever noticed something?
Most workplaces have clear instructions for what the organization does, who it works with and how things are done.
But more often than not, WHEN things are done isn’t thought through.
What does this mean?
In his book “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”, author Daniel Pink explains that humans go through an emotional pattern… every day.
This looks a bit different depending on your sleep rhythm.
The most common is: people wake up positive, this positivity drops off in the afternoon, but climbs up again in the evening.
The important thing here is to figure out what your rhythm looks like.
That way, you can optimize your work day and work on the right things- at the right time.
Curious to figure it out? Here you go:
What does your daily rhythm look like?
Here are all the different daily rhythms… Which one are you?
#1: Morning larks (people who get up early in the morning). Morning larks should take care of administrative tasks early in the morning. Late in the evening, they’re more creative. That’s when the brainstorming should happen. In the afternoon, they should rest their brains by taking a walk or exercising.
#2: Night owls (people who stay up late). Night owls peak at 9PM. This is when they should work on tasks that require focus and attention. They have their creative period in the morning.
#3: Everyone else (people who get up at around 7.30-8AM). These people are similar to morning larks, but they’re a few hours after in their daily rhythm.
But… that’s not all. There’s one more thing that ensures your day is productive:
Taking breaks to stay productive
Breaks are a must for your productivity.
They’re even more important than scheduling your work right.
You see, breaks improve your cognitive ability AND your mood.
According to Daniel Pink, you ideally take a 17-minute break every 52 minutes.
But if this isn’t possible, even a 5-minute break every hour will help.
What are you supposed to do during your breaks?
Get out of your cubicle and meet people.
Avoid text, emails, and mindless browsing online.
Take time outdoors.
This improves your mental AND emotional state.
What more, 10-20-minute naps are extremely helpful for boosting your productivity.
Now that you know how to optimize your productivity, let’s move on…
To tip #3.
3. Do this when you have a productivity strategy in place
Have a productivity strategy in place?
Great- the fundamentals are essential.
Now it’s time to optimize it a bit further…
Yup, this is where technology is so helpful.
Choose a few programs or apps you find useful. Then, make sure everyone in your organization is using them consistently.
Here are our favorites.
Unproductive meetings take up hours of effective work time.
Our meeting tool, Minute, is developed based on customer feedback.
That’s why we know it’s one of the best meetings tools out there.
Ultimately, it helps you cut the time you use on planning, executing, and following up on your meeting.
There are a lot of distractions online.
So what’s better than a productivity tool that helps you avoid those distractions?
Whatever it is- an article, a YouTube video…
Save it to your Pocket account.
Then, carve out a specific time when you allow yourself to check out all those wonderful distractions.
We love productive meetings…
And one rule of thumb is that meetings are only held when they are absolutely necessary.
So, all other communication should happen outside of meetings.
And how do you communicate best?
Well, Slack offers one solution.
It’s a simple – but powerful – chat tool where you can talk about all those necessary, daily things… Without having to schedule a meeting every time.
OK, that’s it. Now:
What can YOU do to increase productivity in the workplace?
So now you know how to measure and increase employee productivity.
Just one more thing left to do:
Use this to increase productivity.
These things take time, so start with setting up an action plan.
What’s the FIRST thing you’re going to improve?
Then move on to the next action item…
…Until you see results.
Over to you:
What’s your #1 tip for increasing productivity? Let us know in the comments below.