Every year, the United States loses 550 million working days due to absenteeism. More than half of those absences are due to stress.
Workers don’t have to be absent to cause productivity losses though. Many employees commit “presenteeism”, which means they go to work even if they shouldn’t. They’re too unwell or downright ill, and their “presence” is costing U.S. employers $150 billion a year.
But these aren’t the only bane of productivity in the workplace. Distractions, lack of recognition, and work overload all contribute to employees being unproductive.
As a manager, you’re also responsible for keeping workplace productivity in check. In fact, this applies to all supervisors and even business owners.
So, how do you make your people perform well, produce great results, and still have fun? We’ll show you how to achieve these goals, so be sure to keep reading!
1. Get Those Recognitions Out
Employees who feel their hard work isn’t recognized are two times more likely to quit within a year. Considering that as much as 82% of employees feel this way, that’ll be a lot of resignation letters.
Employee recognition is a low-cost (sometimes, even free) strategy to boost workplace morale. A simple “Great job on that sales pitch!” or “Awesome work on that copy!” can already make any worker feel elated. If employees do deserve recognition, don’t be afraid to praise them.
Recognizing your people’s hard work will make them even more motivated to perform. Plus, compliments are scientifically-proven to promote better performance in us humans. So long as you give them to those who deserve them, then don’t skimp on those recognitions.
2. Give Employees a Physical Reward
As great as it feels to hear we did well, receiving something tangible for our hard work is even better. Even something as small as a certificate of appreciation or a “bragging rights” award. If your company’s budget can afford it, you may want to throw in gift certificates too.
Doing these further boosts employee morale, which is key to higher workplace productivity. So, give your employees something fun to look forward to at work so they actually go to work and do good work.
3. Let Them Try the Digital Nomad Style
Almost 4 million Americans now work from home for at least half of their work week. And those who spend between three and four days outside of the office are the most engaged employees.
That should tell you how remote work can lead to improved productivity of your team members. By letting them take their work home (or anywhere else aside from the office), they may do their work better. Sometimes, all a person needs is a change of environment to get those creative juices flowing.
4. Supply them with Productivity Tools, Apps, And Equipment
The average worker spends as much as 13 hours dealing with emails alone. That’s already more than a quarter of the work week!
On a global scale, admin tasks take up a third of employees’ work time. Although important, these repetitive activities aren’t core businesses tasks.
The good news is, there are tools that can automate many of these administrative tasks. For instance, using Microsoft Outlook can make email management easier. Other email clients, like Apple’s Mail and Thunderbird, are also great email apps.
Make sure you also add time trackers and monitoring programs to your toolkit. This is especially helpful as only 17% of people have accurate time perceptions. Time apps can lead to increased productivity as your team can use them to know how they’re using their time.
For instance, they can track how many hours they’re spending on a certain project or task. These programs also have alarms that tell a user the number of hours left on allocated project time. They can even send notifications about idle time.
These tools are a must-have for remote or freelance employees and digital teams. But they’re great for anyone who wants to better manage their time. You can learn more about time tracking and monitoring here.
5. Encourage Health and Well-Being In and Out of the Office
Workplace stress costs the U.S. up to $190 billion in healthcare expenditures every year. So, not only does it pull down productivity levels, but it also endangers people’s health!
To counter this, offer health and wellness programs in the employee benefits package. If your company doesn’t yet, now is the best time to consider offering health and life insurance. Gym or yoga studio memberships and healthier pantry options are also ideal.
6. Let Them Take Stress Breaks
Apart from the usual “paid” breaks, encourage your staff to take stress breaks too. This can be as simple as a 5-minute muscle stretching break after 30 minutes of hard work.
Regular breaks can rejuvenate their senses and help boost their productivity. Plus, this will also make them feel that you care about their well-being.
7. Look at Your Own Leadership Skills
For every one engaged employee, there are two disengaged workers. And most employees say their boss’ leadership skills, or lack thereof, are to blame.
That means efficiency in the workplace has a lot to do with your management skills too! You need to always be honing your skills and traits as a boss, otherwise, you may be the reason your people quit.
A good way to assess how effective you are as a manager is to ask your own team. You may get better results if you take your people out of the office for some team building activities. They may feel more at ease to tell you what they think of you in more relaxed settings.
Use your team members’ opinions and perceptions of you to improve. They’ll stay with you longer if they see that you do listen to what they have to say. At the same time, seeing you improve may also motivate them to perform better and be more productive as well.
Amp Up Productivity in the Workplace Now
Remember: The cost of hiring new employees is higher than their actual salaries. If you let your people remain disengaged at work, your company will suffer major losses.
So, follow these tips ASAP, and you’ll soon see improved productivity in the workplace. You’ll also see reduced absenteeism and presenteeism rates. Best of all, you can keep your employees happy, which in turn lowers risks of them quitting their jobs.
Need more help on becoming a better boss? Then be sure to check out our other guides on becoming a great leader!
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