I believe that talented and qualified employees are truly a blessing to any company. In fact, studies have found that most employees spend more time at their workplaces than their homes. As of 2017, an American full-time employee spends 8 hours at their workplace and only 3 hours at home.

However, spending more time at the office doesn’t necessarily indicate that your employees are productive enough. If you find that employee efficiency in your organization is a concern, you need to dig deeper to understand the causes. In my opinion, the lack of proper incentives, miscommunication, and inefficient delegation of work are the most probable reasons that affect employee efficiency.

So, how can managers and leaders improve employee efficiency and make sure that employees don’t need to spend more time at the workplace than they should?

Here are five great ways to improve employee efficiency.

1. Provide Training to Enhance the Skills of Your Employees

Employees can sometimes feel lost when they don’t know which tasks to perform. Such frustration and/or confusion results in lower employee efficiency. Employees can perform their best when they know and understand what exactly they need to do.

So, I cannot stress enough the importance of training programs. Training can increase the confidence and productivity of your employees.

Apart from training programs, I also recommend that you organize employee development programs. This will help your employees expand their skill sets which will eventually benefit your company. Workshops, seminars, individual coaching, and courses are a few of the many aspects of employee development.

Through training or employee development programs, your employees can enhance their skills. This can lead to an increase in their productivity and efficiency.

2. Give Incentives to Your Employees

In my opinion, companies should give incentives to their employees. I believe it’s one of the best ways to increase the efficiency of your employees. Incentives motivate employees to give their best in the workplace.

It’s important to recognize and appreciate the hard work of employees. It encourages them to perform well and increases their productivity. You can give monetary incentives in the form of a bonus or pay raise. Apart from monetary incentives, you can choose from the following types of incentives.

  • Paid time off – You can offer additional paid time off to your employees. This will be over and above their regular vacation time off or sick time.
  • Allow them to leave work early – As an incentive for showcasing their exemplary effort, you can allow your employees to leave the office early on some days.
  • Take them out for a meal – You can also take your teams out to dinners or lunches that will be paid for by the company.

You can use any of the above types of incentives to improve the efficiency and increase the productivity of your employees.

3. Encourage Ownership and Avoid Micromanaging

In order to increase the productivity and efficiency of your employees, your managers need to take the back seat. The productivity of your employees can be negatively affected if their managers hover around them all the time.

It’s important that you give your employees the freedom to manage their own resources and time. You could allow them to work remotely and provide flexible hours if needed. This shows that you trust their work ethic and can lead to greater productivity which can’t be achieved by micro-managing them.

I suggest that you hire people who are ready to operate independently. People who are strongly motivated by independence and liberty rather than monetary rewards.

Also, ask your managers to stop micromanaging. However, this might sound easier said than done because micromanaging can be a part of their inherent nature. But having said that, managers need to invest their time into operational and strategic thinking rather than into micromanaging.

4. Improve Communication

I strongly believe that communication is the key to running a company successfully. In fact, without proper two-way communication, regardless of the size of a business, eventually it will fail. Much of how an employee performs depends on how effectively their manager has communicated their goals and responsibilities.

So, managers need to communicate effectively. I suggest that you leverage the power of technology. With just a click or tap of a button, you can exchange your thoughts with your team. You need to mention your employee’s assignments as clearly as possible and narrow it down to the smallest level of details as well.

When you assign a task with detailed instructions, it will help your employees understand your expectations of them. However, ensure that your goals are measurable, specific, timely, realistic, and achievable. Each of the assigned tasks should fulfill all of these factors. And if not, you might need to rethink and tweak the task accordingly. This will help your employees focus better and increase their efficiency.

Your company can try using tools like Slack for effective and quick communication with your entire team. When there are any minor issues, you should call for a meeting or a conference call to discuss and resolve the issue. This can save you time by not having to send unnecessary emails back and forth.

Final Thoughts

Your employees are the stars of your company. But it can be quite challenging to increase the efficiency and productivity of your employees. Simple gestures such as providing monetary incentives or giving them the freedom to manage their own work can go a long way to boost efficiency.

You can organize training and employee development programs to increase the productivity and efficiency of your employees. Also, ensure that you set clear goals for your employees. This will help them to focus and perform excellently.

Do you know of any other ways to improve employee efficiency? If so, please share your ideas in the comments.