The Ultimate Guide to Improving Employee Productivity

Employees are literally the lifeblood of your organization. After all, there is no business without your workers. 

A new survey reports a 47% increase in productivity for employees who work remotely. More organizations than ever realize that employee productivity is the key to maximizing the profit potential of your teams. 

Before we delve into the different ways of improving employee productivity, let’s first understand what employee productivity is and how it impacts organizations.

What is Employee Productivity?

Employee productivity is the quality and quantity of tasks accomplished while considering the cost of resources used. Basically, it is used to gauge the efficiency of workers in an organization.

An organization with productive employees has a competitive advantage as it has to spend less on producing goods and services. Higher productivity does not always translate into providing more products or services, but it indicates that they achieve the same results with fewer people, time, or money.

The three significant factors that affect employee productivity are:

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the extent to which workers feel dedicated to their jobs. It is a crucial factor in achieving productivity at work. Highly engaged teams show 21% higher profitability. Regular check-ins and peer feedback, and games help keep workers connected. 

Workplace Environment 

Study indicates that positive work cultures are more productive. To thrive in the workplace, people need an environment to feel cared for and supported. Inspiring your colleagues at work and treating each other with respect and empathy are critical drivers for productivity.

Technology

Having the right software that minimizes repetitive tasks frees up the employees' time so that they can work on more productive tasks.

 It gives you more time to focus on the session and concentrate on other productive tasks such as brainstorming. Moreover, the team can collaborate to add notes and action items.

The Importance of Employee Productivity

A successful organization is one where employees use their hours effectively. After all, lazy employees who are unwilling to work can demotivate others. Similarly, people who work with dedication and are rewarded for it inspire others to do the same.

Productive employees are willing to undertake tasks that drive revenue and help the organization achieve short-term and long-term goals.

Also, having productive employees means that your organization utilizes its human resources effectively. So, employee productivity is essential because every employee should contribute more than what they earn from the company.

It is no secret that productive employees provide better customer service, resulting in loyal customers and increased revenue generation.

How to Measure Employee Productivity

Measuring employee productivity is crucial in making informed decisions to ensure that people are working in alignment with the organization's goals.

A common practice is to use quantitative methods to measure productivity. But to use these methods, you must know the output of a worker on average.

One way of calculating productivity is to determine the output for each worker per hour. It is done by calculating the ratio between an employee's number of hours worked and the total production.

Another method is determining the time an average employee takes to complete a set of tasks. You can also observe the time taken by the team to complete certain activities. 

However, if your company offers services rather than products, you can use their service speed as a measure of productivity. For instance, for a customer service executive, the number of customers they interact with daily can be considered a measure of productivity.

Many organizations use the objectives method to calculate productivity, where they define a clear set of goals for the employee. Regular check-ins between the employee and the manager ensure that these goals are met on time.

Tips to Improve Employee Productivity

As organizations are looking forward to ways to improve productivity, it is good to create a culture that focuses on motivating and inspiring your workers to give their best.

You need to be proactive and create the right environment and relevant opportunities to showcase employee talent. The team should be aware of the benefits of performing well and given the necessary guidance on how to do so. Here are a few pointers that will help you boost employee productivity.

Energize your Office Environment

An employee working in the office

A good environment in the workplace helps in boosting productivity and engagement. Ensure that there is adequate lighting and ventilation. Minimize noise pollution and make your office more appealing by having plants, beautiful art on the walls, and comfortable furniture.

Research indicates that the color of the walls has a significant impact on employees' emotions, well-being, and productivity. Rather than having neutral colors such as white and grey, the walls should have red, green, and blue colors that are more dynamic and help employees stay focused.

Encourage Social Interaction

Two employees interacting with each other

Having good work relationships is the key to employee well-being.  If you have a supportive team and co-workers you can trust, it becomes easy to get the work done. As people spend much of their waking hours in the office, it is imperative to have positive social interactions that make you feel connected and supported.

Moreover, when people interact with experienced individuals, they improve their knowledge, leading to an increase in productivity. 

Appreciate your Employees

Your hard-working employees deserve much more than a thank you for their efforts. You can show your appreciation by organizing events, annual retreats, and happy hours. 

Other ways of recognizing them for their hard work are giving awards, and gift cards, expressing your gratitude on social media, providing fitness opportunities, and giving them time off.

Praise and recognition are essential factors in motivating your employees to perform well. Many organizations have employee recognition programs to acknowledge their unique skills, insights, and efforts. 

Optimize Meetings

According to the Harvard Business Review, the majority of senior managers are of the view that meetings are inefficient and unproductive. But, whether you like them or not, they are here to stay. Optimizing meetings can help boost productivity and counter inefficiency.

Reducing the number of participants in your meeting and restricting them to only the important ones is a great idea, as other people can save time and focus on crucial tasks. Also, fewer meetings and having only the crucial ones gives everyone free time for other activities. Updates and other important communication can take place over emails. 

Allow Flexible Schedules

An increased number of organizations offer flexibility to employees in terms of where they want to work and the time they prefer to work.

Providing flexible schedules to your employees improves retention and boosts productivity. A survey of employees revealed that, on average, remote workers spend 1.4 more days at work than their in-office colleagues. It indicates that a flexible work environment is conducive for employees to perform well.

Moreover, it ensures that their work is not impacted by crazy commute times.

Train Your Workers

Employees get stressed when they don’t know how to do a task. Routine training is essential in giving them the necessary confidence to do their job and makes them aware of the expectations.

“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” –Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO.

Providing timely training fosters a learning environment conducive to employee growth and development. As employees learn new skills and enhance their knowledge, they are motivated to work, which increases their productivity. 

What are Employee Productivity Trackers?

Today, teams are distributed across multiple geographic locations, making it difficult to track employee productivity. So, you need creative measurement tools that track the completion of tasks and the quality of work.

Here are some of the best software you can use to measure employee productivity:

ActivTrak

This software provides you with critical insights into employee productivity and helps you analyze their activity. You can view how the tasks are completed and identify the processes that need improvement. 

ActivTrak also helps you assess the problems in the workflow and areas where employees need guidance to improve productivity.

DeskTime

DeskTime helps you with workplace management and time tracking. You can use the URL and document title tracking features to assess the progress of your team and get an insight into their habits at work.

TimeDoctor

It is a time tracking and productivity software that analyzes how your team spends their time. Real-time productivity analytics are crucial in improving the performance of employees, whether they are working from home or the office.

Airtable

Airtable is an intuitive project management tool that content creators use frequently. It has a spreadsheet where you can input and organize data. You can also assign tasks to team members and track their completion. 

It can also be integrated with Google Drive, MS Excel, Slack, Trello, Gmail, DropBox, and other useful applications.

Teramind

This behavioral analytics software provides comprehensive monitoring and gives insight into employees' behavior on apps and web pages. Their employee productivity tracker helps you track time reports and analyze the team's daily activity.

InterGuard

It is another valuable software for tracking the productivity of remote employees. The software is instrumental in monitoring start and stop timings of shifts, lunch breaks, and idle time vs. productive time.

The dashboard provides six different views that make it easy to find the critical employee metrics that you want to monitor. The user view is beneficial in tracking the productivity of remote teams.

iDoneThis

It is a popular team monitoring software and also helps in project management. One of the best feature is daily-check in, wherein employees can report the tasks that they are going to accomplish for the day.

With this software, you can quickly know what the team is up to and their problem areas to devise effective solutions.

The Key Takeaways

In the modern workplace, telling your team members to be more productive doesn’t accomplish much. So, you need to be proactive and guide your employees to improve productivity. Providing employee engagement opportunities, incentivizing them to achieve more, conducting regular training, and inspiring them are some of the drivers for boosting employee productivity.

It is also essential to keep the communication channels open so that employees can tell you what motivates them and what the hurdles are at work. Regular feedback also helps in making changes that make your employees happy. Remember that people are more productive when they are joyful.