How to increase employee productivity? Guidelines based on Pakistan workforce scenario

Smartchoice Editorial
February 13, 2020

There’s nothing more important and imperative than output, productivity and happy employees to small and big businesses both alike. But this relationship is somewhat directly proportional to each other which means that happy employees would lead more productivity and that will enhancement is the thing you need for your baby (business) to grow by leaps and bounds.

A simple question but an important one that may arise is the parameter which should employ to measure employee productivity which can be measured in any business or project. Their multiple means and ways to measure the required.

One is the qualitative method that can help you analyses the quality of the work that is being produced by the said employee and the second is quantitative methods by tracking costs and time to compare that against the results produced, amongst the two easier the quantitative method as the end result is in hard numbers and helps business determines its way forward based on performance that can be judged through numbers.

Employee and office/factory efficiency are a little like the oxygen we breathe for sustenance. It plays an important role in keeping your company prospering and thriving. So when you have a workforce that produces results and is usually self-starter nothing should worry you.

But

If there is a pregnant pause in productivity and things become laboured, it can affect the run of the mill operations and even the most standard procedures may come to halt.
The costs and overhead of ignoring lagging employee productivity and the basic unhealthy company culture are steep and one of the main reasons where the employee does not find a carrot as a reward to work for, as the newest study suggests. Disengaged employees have higher rates of absenteeism and turnover, which can drag down profits and even limits the company’s prospects of growth and progression.

A simple yet at the same time complex and intricate questions that may bother/make every employer curious are:

But how do you get to that point?
What turns a poor performer into a productivity powerhouse?
How do you make your employees more productive?

The answer to these questions is very simple and can yield great results, making both the employers and employees go an extra mile…..

The vital thing here is also to understand the importance of employee productivity
The resolution or a primary goal for any company is to be successful and fruitful in its endeavours, we all are aware the effectiveness and productivity of an employee can make or break the success of a company. There are two main elements which conclude whether employees are successful at their work:

Productivity – the amount of work completed
Effectiveness is the amount of effort put into that work

Some people may spend a lot of time finishing a small amount of work, these individuals are more effective than productive, as they are meticulous about the task they perform and are more focused on the quality of the work.

Some individuals may get a lot of work done in a small amount of time these people are more productive than effective, as they are able to produce more work in the given time than the aforementioned.

As an employee, you should focus on both your productivity and your effectiveness, and should aim to put maximum effort into your given task or work, and accomplish as much work as you can as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

You can achieve and reap a lot of benefits and success in a given company if you are able to produce the desired results because if the employee generates good results, the business:
Becomes More Profitable
Grows
Meets Consumer Demand
Remains Competitive

In essence, any company to be relevant in the market and to survive the employees need to be motivated enough to yield positive, not only positive but profitable results.
Below are some points, which are important and need to be kept in mind while dealing/running day-to-day operations that shall increase employee productivity at work.

Delegate= Divide Responsibilities

Delegation is a very important and vital for employees and employer as it develops confidence in the workforce that the management considers them responsible/ trust them enough to delegate the with certain task or jobs.

The sense of delegations also carries some amount of risk; as if under-performed it may cause reputation to the company. But according to multiple studies, when qualified employees are given responsibilities and trusted with their jobs they achieve great results and perform the task with utmost commitment and passion.

The delegation also enhances the ownership towards the given task and at a certain level towards the overall organization as well. So if given chance to the employees to mature their skills and get leadership experience, it will in the larger picture benefit the employer only and for the individual, it would fulfil them with a sense of achievement that would help them later in the career as well.

Reduce Distractions

At workplace “The more, The Merrier” proverb doesn’t apply, you should try and ensure certain policies that curb distractions, for instance, excessive usage of phone and social media. You should not be imposing “A NO-PHONE Policy” but at the same time keep them engaged and focused in a way that they can have that breathing room while performing their tasks.

For example: encourage employees not to use their phones while working, but allow them to take short breaks at regular intervals to check their phones/social media, one thing that will be a guarantee to the employers would be the time spent at the desk, while working would be surely more productive, with better output.

Improve workplace environment

One thing that must be kept in mind is to keep your “employee comfortable” provide him/her with an environment that the focus and energies remain on the task at hand rather than constantly turning the conditioner up or down, keep the environment cosy and calm according to the relevant season, remember to set thermostats accordingly in summers and winters for that set an ideal temperature that seems like a perfect atmosphere to be working in.

Practice Positive Reinforcement

It is a proven fact that when the employees are motivated and encouraged they perform better, employees do not only feel motivated through financial rewards or incentives, although these rewards go long way if on performance an employee can earn a commission or a holiday package or a voucher to its favourite restaurant.

But providing constructive criticism, helping the employ by working through his grey areas, celebrating his success although with one small “Samosa” can cultivate a sense of fulfilment and a sense contentedness that would motivate them more and they’re more likely to put increased productivity high up on their to-do list.

Stress- A no Starter for Productivity

A stressful and tense workplace will not yield any kind of results and would definitely hamper the productivity of an Employee. Workers that constantly function under highly stressful conditions are found to be less productive and have higher levels of disconnection and absenteeism from their workplace and their assigned roles as well.

One thing that needs to be repeated as a “MANTRA” is that they need to be happy and relaxed! That doesn’t mean that they should have no deadlines or no tasks that shall be linked to their performance evaluation. But it means that they shouldn’t be pressed enough or panicked to make it sound like do-or-die situation for them.

A qualified and self-starter employee would value the employer’s given space and trust and would definitely perform to his utmost potential and produce quantifiable results.
If you want your staff to work to perform best of their ability, try out things like open communication, focus on confidence-building measures and self-care, it is eminent that company culture has trust and belief amongst the co-workers and should function as a team.

The sense of belonging can yield great results as people who hate their jobs and feel subjugated and disqualified or underappreciated may go through the motions, but burnout is all but inevitable.

So the ingredients mentioned above are vital to the company’s culture and overall productivity. While creating a company culture that fosters positive morale isn’t always easy, the important thing is to just start and show that you care.

Encourage independence/self-sufficiency by not micromanaging

According to the experts, one of the main ingredients to increase the productivity of an employee is to ask the superiors to back-off. The best way forward is to encourage and motivate individuals to take ownership and be in charge of their assigned task and effectively manage their own time and resources in a way that saves time and money of an organization.

“This is a wonderfully self-correcting process: we want people who are self-starters and are able to operate independently. Granting workers freedom over when, how, and where they work creates proof of their work ethic in a way that trying to control them cannot.” (Source: Slaughter)

According to the scientific study, it has been proven that when employs are given autonomy and freedom of decision making they are motivated and feel more empowered, it also works more effectively than even financial rewards.

Usually, micromanagement is like a second skin to the managers as they cannot keep their hands-off their organizational affairs and are in habit of it. The managers and the superiors need to work over more strategic level than constantly working on day to day operations and managing these tasks that need to delegate.

Trust me….being out of the mix is actually pretty hard as the managers are in habit of being part of the mix at every level. The managers need to coach their sub-ordinates to manage their affairs rather than constantly doing it for them.

When manager continuously hovers over the employees the employee gets confused and tend to perform slower or poor and is a continuous, unproductive loop.so they need to give the space and level playing field to their employees to help them grow and become a self-starter and self-sufficient.

“At higher levels managers usually need to dial down their operational focus and learn how to be more strategic,” (Source: Harvard Business Review)
Managers hover. Employees get nervous and perform poorly. So managers continue to hover.

It’s true in romance, and it’s true in business
“Communication is the key to success”

One thing that needs to be ensured and remembered is that without effective, two-way communication, affiliations end and businesses fail. Bosses who efficiently communicate clear expectations and duties to their employees will be satisfied with an engaged, dynamic workforce.

Create a culture of positive communication, at your workplace and reap the benefits of effective communication. A CRM Learning article posits that 80% of a work-related conversation is spent on the problems of the past. That includes assigning blame, which is counter-productive in an organization and yields no results.
15% of the time is spent on what’s happening now and what should be done presently. And the amount of time spent discussing solutions and future possibilities? A tiny 5% of the time is spent on discussing the future and strategizing it as the importance of team communication is supreme. Focusing on the future instead of rehashing past issues demonstrates your commitment to moving forward. And that helps you find positive solutions. (Source: CRM Learning)

This is no way a novel idea to ignore past experiences and not learn from experiences, but you should have a positive approach to any situation in a productive way.

“For example, if a meeting is held to address something like decreased productivity, the meeting itself will be more productive if it begins by pointing out positives that have also occurred recently,” according to CRM. (Source: CRM Learning)

Increase employee satisfaction with great perks

One of the great perks that can be offered to the employees is health insurance, with increasing health and medical expenses, it has been a big burden on an employee salary to manage the expenses in the salary earned. So, one of the benefit to retain employees is to provide them health insurance benefits, that covers hospitalization, pre-and-post medical expenses and add-on covers can also be bought depending on the employee’s needs and organizational structure.

Smart and customized plans as per your organization’s requirements can be availed through Smartchoice.pk, by just logging on the website and providing few details, that would enable the smartchoice team to contact you and to take the process further to facilitate to your chosen plan…
So just get insured right away!

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