There are plenty of things that you can do as a manager to get more out of your employees, but many of those options can end up being demotivating and ultimately counterproductive. For example, being more available to your team could help foster productivity, but if “leadership” crosses over to “micromanagement,” that’s going to destroy morale. Likewise, friendly competitions can help improve productivity, but if used to pit employees against one another, such competitions can quickly backfire.
As we all know by now, the most productive employees are the most engaged employees. The trick when trying to boost productivity in the office isn’t actually about getting more out of your employees, it’s about investing more in them so that they are enabled to do their best work.
Here are a few simple ways to help boost employee productivity:
1. Make sure your employees aren’t bored
Not having enough to do each day can be hugely demotivating and lead to even small workloads not getting finished on time. When employees feel underutilized or stifled in their jobs, they have no reason to step up. As a leader, it’s your job to ensure that your employees’ talents are being used effectively. That means delegating, providing training for new tasks or skills, and encouraging employees to pursue their own ideas and ambitions within the workplace.
2. Equip your employees with the tools they need
For every employee who is bored, there’s another employee who is overwhelmed with far too much to do. When the work feels endless it can be difficult to be truly productive. To address this problem, first, make sure that your employees have the tools they need to do their jobs well. That can mean better computers, faster internet, a well-stocked kitchen, or even a daycare option in the building.
If your employees have all the resources they need but are still overwhelmed, you may need to find a way to redistribute the workload or to move the overwhelmed employee into a different position where they’ll be happier and better able to thrive.
3. Don’t shy away from flexible hours and remote work
There’s not a specific set of office hours that’s going to be ideal for every employee in your office. Many younger employees prefer coming in later and staying later while older employees may prefer coming in early and leaving early. Many parents like the flexibility of working shorter hours in the office followed by a few hours at home in the evening. The trick is finding a balance that brings everyone together when you need them together and lets them have more freedom at other times.
For your office, that might mean strict hours one day a week and more flexible hours the rest of the week. Or it might mean allowing employees to work from home a few days per week. Not everyone likes working from home, but for those who do, the studies show that people are actually more productive when they work from home. Overall, find what works for your office and take time to try and accommodate your employees when needed.