All businesses want a productive workforce but many don’t know how to get there. Most bosses think that being productive means you need to set lofty goals and bark as loud as you can until those goals are met.
In the real world, this doesn’t work and often leads to an unhappy and ever-changing workforce. In this blog post, we will look at some of the best ways to create a productive work environment.
1) Hire the right people
Hiring the right people for your company is the best way to create a productive team. As a manager or business owner, you are responsible for the people you hire and while you won’t get your hiring process right every time you should take your time when hiring.
Scott Evans from Pink Storage in the UK says that “Without our team, our business wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it has. Hiring the right people has made my job as a business owner so much easier.”
We’ve spoken to many business owners who feel the same way too. Many of them highlight the importance of getting hiring right. One business owner told us that they spend the majority of their time looking at candidates to make sure they would fit their team.
When hiring we also echo that statement of hiring slow. Getting your hiring wrong could lead to someone upsetting your current team and it could also be costly financially.
2) Let your employees work to their strengths
How often do you see employees hired to do a job they are good at but then are asked to do something else as well. I’ve seen this many times over my career and it never ends up well.
Most of the time it means that productivity stalls. Where worst-case scenarios mean that the employee leaves for another company where they can concentrate on what they are good at.
Don’t hire an employee and ask them to do jobs that aren’t what you hired them for. It simply doesn’t work.
3) Provide adequate training
To create a productive workforce you have to identify bottlenecks. When you identify the bottlenecks you have to fix them. One bottleneck you may come across in business is that your employees are falling behind with new technology. To get around this you will need to provide training as much as possible to your employees.
Many employers don’t provide training as they think their staff will leave for another company. The truth is if you don’t provide the training your staff will leave anyway.
4) Be realistic with goal setting
Nothing burns your staff out like setting unrealistic goals and then not reaching them. At an old company I used to work for, this would always happen and it would mean that staff would work overtime without being paid to reach these deadlines. The goals and deadlines would never get reached and the staff would feel overworked and morale would be low.
This led to a high turnover of staff at the company and the workforce always seemed so unhappy.
Goals should be set to motivate your team. If you are setting unrealistic goals the opposite will happen.
5) Compensate fairly
This goes without saying, pay your staff what they are worth or someone else will. As a business owner, we all want to be as profitable as we can be so paying staff above the market rate doesn’t seem logical. But if you have good employees that work well for you and you pay them well they will stay around for a long time.
Keeping good staff and rewarding them with good wages not only keeps your company profitable, but it also motivates other members of the team to work harder. On the flip side, if you try to save money by not paying your staff their worth I can guarantee they will leave for another company.
6) Give praise where due
Sometimes I think bosses forget that staff are human and when they work their socks off for you, a little praise goes a long way. You can compensate your staff with bonuses, days off and sometimes even a thank you goes a long way.
If you don’t praise your staff, you can be sure that their morale towards you will be low and they will eventually leave.
7) Have a productive environment
No one wants to work in a small or cramped environment. A cluttered office will lead to low productivity. If you feel your office is too small then you can either hire a new office or hire a storage unit to put some of the clutter in.
Moving offices can be a big task in itself so if you can cut down on the clutter that is going to help with the mood in the office.
8) Say no to micromanagement
Micromanagement is somethign we can all agree annoys us. So don’t do it to your staff. As a business owner, you are in charge of hiring and if you trust yourself to hire correctly you should then trust that the staff you have hired can do the job you have hired them to do.
If you don’t trust your staff and micromanage them you will annoy them, make them unproductive and they will want to leave.
9) Don’t burn your staff out
We have previously touched on setting unrealistic goals but what we haven’t talked about is burning your staff out. If you set constant goals in a high-pressure situation you will burn your staff out and productivity will suffer.
If you do have to set goals and need your staff motivated be sure to give them time off when they need it and not the mandatory days you are legally required to give them either.
10) Treat your employees like humans
Finally, treat your employees like humans because after all we all get sick and we all need time off now and again. If you pressure your staff when they need time off or if they’re running late because they have a family emergency then they won’t be your employee for long.
You may pay your staff a wage but you don’t own them, remember that.
Creating a productive workplace is difficult. There are many challenges along the way but using the tips above you will be able to improve the productivity of your workplace and your staff will have better overall morale too.