If you’re an entrepreneur or small-business owner who thinks productivity is lacking in the workplace, it’s not just your imagination. A 2016 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates employee productivity is declining. The reasons range from lack of engagement to an increase in sick days, but it’s not all bad news.
While employee productivity may seesaw from time to time, there are a number of tools and resources available to owners and managers in order to improve morale, fulfillment and engagement, all of which can lead to increased productivity. Here are four ways to boost employee productivity in your office.
1. Give them a Purpose and a ‘Why’
The concept seems abstract, but providing your employees with a sense of purpose and a why statement about how their role plays a key part in your company’s success can be instrumental in achieving top-level results. First, don’t let them work in the dark and share the goals and progress of the company as it comes in.
Employees of major corporations often feel like they work in silos, but you can make it a point to provide the same luxury of transparency found in a small business. Make sure everyone knows they’re on one team, why they were hired and the specific goals they’re working toward.
2. Give them Access to a Healthy Lifestyle
Employees who take advantage of sick days can reduce workplace productivity, but the solution to this is not to demand employees tough it out when they’re feeling ill or blue. While health and wellness is an employee’s personal responsibility, there are benefits and perks you can offer to encourage better physical and mental health to boost productivity and increase your bottom line.
The American Institute for Stress found that workplace stress is one of the nation’s leading causes of health problems. Here are a few easy ways to keep employees healthy, happy and at work:
- Institute a flexible work-from-home policy so employees who feel under the weather (but still well enough to work) can do so from home. This is also great for mental breaks.
- Offer health and wellness reimbursements that reward employees for exercising and attending health classes.
- Provide access to good mental healthcare; a visit to a therapist should be as accessible as a visit to a general physician.
3. Give them Resources (All of them)
There’s nothing worse than trying to do your job without all the resources you need to do it right. For some reason, management seems to stop short or give the bare minimum effort when investing time and resources into their employees. Not only does giving every resource offer a return on investment, but it’s also detrimental if you fail to give workers everything they need.
Resource needs vary. For some employees, it could mean not skimping on software licenses, making sure no one misses out on attending conferences, or giving your customer service department access to every directory needed to ensure they have up-to-date information.
4. Give them a Sense of Ownership
Are your employees renters or owners? An owner will always treat their home better than a renter. Even if your employees don’t literally own stock in the company, that doesn’t mean they can’t feel a sense of ownership. The first step is to avoid micromanaging and give employees immediate trust in their roles; after all, you hired them for a reason, right?
Putting employees on a leash through a three-month probationary period is not only insulting but also completely counterproductive. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how he trusts employees from Day 1 and lets them sink or swim on their own. You’ll be amazed to see what employees can and are willing to do when they’re empowered from the beginning.
Employee Engagement Equals Big ROI
While employee productivity may be waning, you can see how implementing small steps in fulfillment, engagement, health, resources and ownership can provide a big ROI. Put these tips into action, and you may soon see significant changes in your office.