Being productive on your job seems like a given, but when you ask people from all around the world if they’re being as productive as they can be in their workplace, the answers would surprise you.
The truth is that with long working hours (even 8-hour workday is still long), employees get worn out fast and they incorporate more and more wiggle room into their working routine.
This can mean anything from making social media breaks to staying in the bathroom for much longer than necessary. Bottom line is that these procrastinating habits are not good for business.
We’re not saying that everyone’s supposed to be completely focused on what they’re doing from the minute they step in their office because that’s just not realistic, but there are conditions that shape how we perceive our workload and our commitment to it.
If you’re running a business and you’ve got people working for you, then it’s important to ask yourself just how productive they really are. If they’re not working on their full potential, think about why it is so and what you can do to inspire them to be better.
The first and most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t just dump all the responsibility on your employees and blame them, but take a closer look at what you can do to help them be more productive. Here are some hints to help you along the way.
Your Employees Should Be in the Know
If your business is constantly growing and there are always some new developments happening, it is important to convey them to your employees. Nobody wants to feel like just another bolt in a mechanism that is much bigger and much more important and by letting your staff know what is going on within the company will contribute to their feeling of importance.
Every successful business owner knows that it’s not the point to just have people who do their job for the paycheck, you want to surround yourself with enthusiasts, people who share your vision and are eager to enhance it in any way possible.
Of course, this depends on how much of an inspiring leader you are as well, and your leadership style, but keeping your employees informed of comings and goings in the business, even sharing some deeper inside knowledge that won’t compromise the company is beneficial because some employees might approach you with ideas and solutions that you wouldn’t be able to come up on your own. Sharing is caring and if your staff appreciates being in the know, then you should definitely display your trust in them frequently.
Be Closer with Your Associates
Knowing more about people who work for you and who you’re sharing your air with for eight hours a day is the only way to create a positive work-inspiring atmosphere.
Your interests of every individual member of your staff should go much deeper than how well they’re doing on their current work project.
Productiveness is closely related to the motivation and if you give no feedback and show no interest in the personality behind the work, you won’t get too far.
When you engage with the people you work with and become genuinely interested in what they’re doing with their lives, as well as what are their goals are and things that need to be improved upon, your employees will react much better to everything coming from you.
You don’t have to be their BFF but try to help them understand that you’re not seeing them as machines for making money.
Being productive at work is a result of many factors, but knowing your boss is appreciative of your efforts and can acknowledge your contribution is great motivation to be the best that you can be.
The Environment Is Important
Being stuck in a cubicle for eight hours will do everything but positively affect the productiveness of your employees.
Make your office space as open as possible, make it alive with plants or vivid colors on the walls and interesting pieces of furniture.
Coming to a beautiful workspace where you can see and reach anyone just by looking over at their table will improve the overall relationship between colleagues, plus, people tend to work more when they see all around them working too.
There are companies that have offices with glass walls so that everything that is happening is completely transparent, and while that’s an interesting strategy, it might be too much for more self-conscious people.
Second order of business is dealing with the fact that your employees are checking their social networks so frequently it directly affects their performance.
While you can’t really forbid people to bring their phones to work, you should establish a certain set of rules to both keep their productivity in check and your internet security under control.
We always suggest having a separate network for all “guest devices” because it diminishes the possibility of getting the whole company network infected with a nasty virus or malware.
Aside from strong security software, which is a must, it would be wise to invest in a virtual private network that grants your employees safe access to confidential files, while making it more difficult to log into their social media accounts every other minute.
It’s paramount for the business to protect online privacy and when it helps with your staff becoming more productive in the process, well it’s a win-win situation.
Empowering Instead of Threatening
While the pressure of deadlines and getting projects done in time is inevitable in most businesses, how you handle that pressure is a game changer.
It is never wise to control your staff by making them believe their job is on the line every time they’re working on something important. Negative reinforcement brings results but it also brings people to a breaking point, some sooner than others.
That is why instead of using verbal force to get what you want out of your employees you should empower them so that their betterment can happen naturally.
You’re the business owner and the boss, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer encouragement and always praise those who deserve it.
When you see someone trying really hard, let them know their effort is noted and appreciated. Offering empowerment instead of threatening will definitely do wonders for the productiveness of your employees – they won’t be working twice as hard just because they have to but because they truly want to.
Running a business and managing people is anything but easy, which is why you need to know when, how and why something should be done.
If the productiveness of your employee’s decreases, take a good look at the whole situation. Sometimes it will be you who will have to make adjustments to make it all better, so don’t run from this possibility, but rather embrace it and help yourself and your employees be the best that you can be.