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The 5 Best Ways to Maximize Productivity

Tuesday July 19th, 2016

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

For employers, time is money. As a result, organizations need their employees to be as efficient and productive as possible. In their quest to increase productivity, many employers fall into the trap of pressuring their employees to work harder and faster.

However, adding pressure to a workforce does not yield the maximum productivity that many leaders mistakenly believe it will. Rather, pressure can do more harm for a company than good. Here’s why.

When pressure is added to a workplace, this brings stress. Many employers and leaders are now aware of how harmful stress can be, both to the employees and the company as a whole. Results tend to be rushed and haphazard, requiring additional time and work to correct mistakes.

There are much better ways to increase efficiency and productivity in a workplace.

1.   Improve Communication

Remember the game “Telephone”? Just like that game, when communication isn’t clear, messages tend to get mixed up and often turn into something completely different by the time they reach the end of the line. Unlike that game, it isn’t nearly as funny in the workplace when you have to track down where the message started getting scrambled and fix it.

A lot of time and money is often wasted in the workplace as a result of unclear communication. Find a method that works for your company that provides a clear channel for communication from top to bottom. Once a message is communicated, everyone who receives it ought to be able to fully understand and be on the same page.

Once communication channels are strong, productivity will quickly improve and the amount of time wasted trying to clear up miscommunication will decrease.

2.   Meet More Than Just Your Employees’ Needs

There are times as an employer that it may be easier for you to simply tell employees to make do with what they already have. However, taking the time to listen to your employees’ requests and needs can lead to increased productivity.

Take some time to review your employees’ requests. You can easily weed out the needs from the wants and meet those that are necessary for your employees to complete their work.

However, going beyond simply meeting your employees’ needs can also result in increased productivity. Some wants may seem unimportant and like a waste of company funds, yet when your employees are comfortable and happy, you will find that the relaxed environment leads to a workforce that is efficient and productive. It can also promote employee satisfaction and decrease turnover.

3.   Stop Scheduling Meetings

Meetings are not fun. They may seem necessary, yet everyone involved often walks away feeling like little was accomplished and a lot of time was wasted.

Before scheduling a meeting, decide if the subject could be addressed or resolved via phone, email, or web-based meetings.

If you must meet in person, try holding a standing meeting since they tend to be shorter and more productive than meetings where everyone sits down.

4.   Set Goals

Having goals to work towards can be a great way to improve productivity. Having a never-ending amount of work to complete can be very discouraging and lead to lack of motivation and increased stress.

By setting short and long-term goals, employees can track milestones and feel a sense of accomplishment once they reach their goals.

5.   Recognize Work and Achievements

Feeling unappreciated can also lead to decreased motivation and poor productivity in the workplace. Eliminate those negative feelings by creating a an employee recognition system for hard work and achievements. Even something as simple as saying, “thank you” and “good job” to a specific employee can greatly improve his or her sense of worth.

You might also consider recognizing an employee of the month, giving small tokens of appreciation, and/or occasionally bringing in treats or throwing parties for your employees. All of these gestures show your employees that you appreciate them and all of their hard work. Knowing that their work is recognized is a great motivator for productivity.

Productivity and efficiency are important to a business. When productivity is low, it takes more time and, therefore, more money to accomplish tasks.

Instead of adding pressure to employees, using these methods will be a much more effective in increasing workplace productivity. When stress levels are low, you and your employees will be able to think more clearly, work more efficiently, and yield better results.