Increasing workplace productivity

2012-11-04T00:00:00Z Increasing workplace productivityBy Bob Moulesong Times Correspondent
November 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Finding ways to increase workplace productivity is a task that can be both frustrating and time consuming. Someone who is in a leadership position needs to know that the ability to motivate and get employees to work efficiently is critical. It is extremely important to increase employee output as a component of the company's success. This is especially true during times of economic downturn.

The benefits of increasing productivity in the workplace are more than enough to make it part of the company's objective on a day-to-day basis. According to recent productivity surveys, as many as half of the companies out there are producing half of what they are capable of.

This is mainly due to lack of organization, inefficient procedures, and lack of employee motivation. There are other factors that are involved but these are the three that warrant significant attention and action. When action is taken to improve these areas, the increased productivity will have a huge effect on the bottom line.

In many situations, workplace productivity can be improved with just a few minor changes. Many owners and managers think that a whole company restructuring would need to take place in order to bring productivity to a high level. Although this may be true in some cases, most often a few simple changes is all that is needed to make this happen.

Another misconception many managers have is they have to make their employees work harder. They believe if they can use tactics such as micromanaging their people, they will get them to work harder.

But workplace productivity is not about working harder. Someone trying to cut down a tree with a hammer will never get the kind of productivity that can be achieved by someone cutting a tree with an axe while only working half as hard.

Things have to work more efficiently in order to increase workplace productivity. It's all about working smarter, not harder. A manager can have people work extra hard in the short-term, but in the long run, this may cause them to wear down and stress out.

So what works to increase workplace productivity?

· Get people to use an inbox. Instead of being interrupted with questions, create an inbox where people can just submit their questions or suggestions. Email can be the best option, or an actual old-fashioned suggestion box can do the trick. Create an environment of openness almost like a helpful forum.

· Eliminate unnecessary meetings. If the point of having a meeting is because it's something done every week or month, eliminate it. Meetings need to have a strong enough purpose to pull people away from their work. An effective meeting is one where everyone knows the objective and the agenda beforehand.

· Praise immediately, specifically, and publicly. One great way to increase employee productivity is by praising an employee of a job well done. Most supervisors know this but to do it effectively; it must also be done specifically. Tell them exactly what they did that was good. Make praise public.

· Create a fun environment. People work more efficiently when they enjoy their work. When people dislike, or are bored with, their work, they won't put much into it. Some employers think that creating a fun environment will slow efficiency but quite the opposite is true. This is especially true among high skilled professionals.

· Hire the right people. Take the time to examine potential employees. Learn how to pick and choose the best ones for the job. Remember to look beyond a college degree -- it will come down to experience and level of passion for the job.

· Organize the workspace. At a personal level, a cluttered desk or office will make productivity suffer. The same is true for a much larger workplace shared by employees. Supplies should be readily available and easy to get. Printers and computers should be strategically placed where they are accessible.

· Get workplace productivity ideas from workers. Ownership makes it work.

· In order to increase productivity in the workplace, find out what motivates employees. Working for a paycheck can only get someone to do so much. Working for something deeper, such as a personal goal or dream is much more powerful.

Work on getting key employees to increase their productivity. The more key people working at a productive level, the more buy-in from other employees. Having efficient workplace productivity is definitely important in increasing the bottom line.

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