How To Increase Productivity In The Workplace | A Guide For Employers

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Uncategorised

Your employees are the foundation of your company. They are the ones who keep things running and ultimately drive success. As an employer, it is part of your daily responsibilities to keep your employees motivated and productive.

But it is easier said than done.

Productivity varies between individuals, and different work environments have varying levels of productivity. Some employees even face personal problems that affect their work performance. 

As a result, it can be challenging to find the perfect balance.

So, how can you increase productivity in the workplace, keeping in mind the individual differences and challenges faced by employees? 

Here is a guide that can help employers like yourself to increase productivity in the workplace.


What Is Productivity?


As we mentioned, productivity varies between individuals, which often leads to confusion about what productivity means.

Setting aside differences, productivity, in the simplest terms, means the amount of work accomplished in a given time frame.

This means that an individual is productive when they are able to complete an amount of work in a set period of time. It is not about how busy someone looks or how many hours they spend at their desk, but rather the actual output and results they produce.

For instance, if one of your employees takes 8 hours to complete a task, while another can finish it in 4 hours, the latter is considered more productive because they could accomplish the same amount of work in half the time.

So what happens to the employee who took 8 hours to complete the task? Does that mean they are not productive?

Not necessarily.

The time frame can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the task, skill level and experience, and even interruptions or distractions.

This is why it’s important for employers to understand that productivity should not be solely measured by the amount of time an employee spends working but rather by the quality and quantity of their output, as well as personal circumstances and challenges that may affect their performance.


How To Increase Productivity In The Workplace


Below are a few practical tips that employers can implement to help increase productivity in the workplace. 


1. Introduce The Eisenhower Matrix To All Of Your Employees


The Eisenhower Matrix is a formula for prioritising tasks based on urgency and importance.

Introduce and encourage each employee to use it in their daily work routine. This will help them stay focused on more important and urgent tasks rather than getting bogged down by non-essential tasks.

Here is how you can use the Eisenhower Matrix:

  • Draw a block and divide it into four quadrants.
  • Label the top two quadrants as “Urgent” and “Not Urgent” respectively.
  • Label the two left quadrants as “Important” and “Not Important”, respectively.
  • Now, place each task in its corresponding quadrant based on its urgency and importance.
  • Once all tasks are placed in the appropriate quadrant, your employees can then prioritise their work accordingly.


2. Encourage A Healthy Work-Life Balance


The concept of a healthy work-life balance is not new; it originated in the 1980s as part of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Women advocated for flexible schedules and maternity leave. Despite raising their voices, women saw minimal progress towards achieving a true work-life balance.

But, in today’s fast-paced world, with the rise of technology and remote work opportunities, many companies are prioritising work-life balance for their employees (both men and women).

Here’s why:

  • It helps prevent burnout and reduces stress levels, leading to happier and more engaged employees.
  • It helps employees with time management, leading to better productivity and efficiency.
  • It creates a positive company culture, attracting top talent and retaining employees in the long run.

To promote a healthy work-life balance among your employees, you can:

  • Offer flexible working hours or remote work options.
  • Encourage employees to take breaks and vacations.
  • Discourage after-work emails/calls unless it’s an emergency.
  • Provide resources for stress management and self-care activities such as yoga or meditation classes.


3. Prioritise Mental Health


Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and deserves as much attention as physical health.

The World Health Organisation reports that mental disorders are responsible for 1 in 6 years lived with disability. Individuals with severe mental health conditions have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years shorter than the general population. These alarming statistics highlight the need for individuals to prioritise their mental health.

As an employer, you can support your employees’ mental well-being by assisting them with access to mental health resources or providing an inclusive and supportive work environment.

If you do not provide support to employees suffering from mental health conditions, it can lead to absenteeism, presenteeism, and higher turnover rates – all of which contribute to low productivity levels.


4. Encourage Open Communication


Imagine yourself in an employee’s shoes. Would you feel comfortable approaching yourself if you had a problem or suggestion?

If not, then you need to design and implement an open communication policy within your organisation.

Employees need to feel heard, valued, and supported in the workplace to perform at their best.

To start this process, follow these steps:

  • Establish regular check-ins or one-on-one meetings
  • Create anonymous feedback channels where employees can voice their thoughts without fear of retribution.
  • Create a culture of transparency where information flows freely, and decisions are communicated clearly and promptly.
  • Open communication can increase productivity in the workplace by giving your employees a chance to share their ideas and concerns. This ultimately leads to a more engaged and motivated workforce.


5. Practice Accountability


Accountability is a cornerstone of any productive business. When employees are held accountable for their actions and performance, it creates a sense of ownership and responsibility.

When you examine a sales team, for example, the role of accountability in a salesperson’s success is clear.

If sales targets are not met, it’s essential to discuss the situation with the team members to understand why and work together to find solutions.

Accountability also applies to managers and leaders – they must be accountable for the well-being and performance of their team members. If an employee is struggling, it’s important for their manager or leader to provide support and resources instead of simply expecting them to perform without assistance.

  1. To effectively practice accountability, start by setting clear expectations and goals for each team member. Ensure that these objectives are achievable and aligned with the company’s mission and values.
  2. Next, create a system for tracking progress and providing regular feedback. This could involve performance reviews, progress reports, or informal check-ins. 
  3. Finally, recognise and reward accountability. Celebrate milestones and achievements, and acknowledge when employees take ownership of their mistakes and work to rectify them. 


6. Avoid Micromanaging


As an employer, you might have the urge to constantly check in on your employees and make sure that they are completing their tasks – especially if there has been a decrease in productivity. 

However, micromanaging can often have the opposite effect.

Why does micromanaging lead to decreased productivity?

  • It can create a sense of mistrust and resentment between managers and employees. 
  • It stifles creativity, as employees may feel like they are not trusted to make decisions on their own.
  • It takes up valuable time that could be spent on more important tasks.

Instead of micromanaging, start trusting your employees to do their jobs effectively. Provide them with clear expectations and guidelines, but then step back and allow them to find their own ways of completing tasks.

You can always monitor progress by measuring their KPIs, client satisfaction, and overall team performance.


7. Invest In A CRM System


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can profoundly enhance your business operations by streamlining processes and improving customer interactions.

With a CRM system, your employees can easily automate mundane tasks, personalise customer communication, and track valuable data.

This saves time, effort and resources, freeing up your employees to focus on more important tasks.

Leadtrekker, for instance, is an excellent CRM system in South Africa. It is a lead management and sales tracking system that enables businesses to capture, nurture and convert leads into sales.

So, if you have a sales team, investing in a CRM system like Leadtrekker can significantly boost their productivity and efficiency. 


Final Thoughts


Increasing productivity in your business or your team is a continuous process. It requires consistent effort, open communication, and a willingness to adapt and improve.

Remember that productivity is not just about getting more done in less time; it’s also about maintaining balance and ensuring the well-being of your employees.

So take action today and implement these strategies to see positive changes in your business’s productivity levels!

For more information on Leadtrekker, a CRM system proudly made in South Africa, contact us today for a free demo!

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