Are you behind the curve when it comes to generating employee efficiency in your workplace? Managers and HR innovators at larger companies seem to be catching on, but many still lag a bit behind when it comes to fully understanding how and why employees maintain high levels of productivity throughout the course of a 9 to 5 day. The problem isn’t their lack of education or experience. Rather, it’s the temptation to add unnecessary complexity to the efficiency equation. So what’s the solution? Taking it back to the basics, of course!

The process of creating an efficient employee performance platform is as simple as tending to five core areas in your management. Ready to see if you’re managing where it counts? Check out the five unsung heroes in the employee efficiency equation!

1. Recognition

69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized, according to the Workforce Mood tracker Survey. Apparently, the power of a gold star sticker is greater than most would think. As a business owner, you might assume that your employees are being recognized for the great work they do, but do you really know? An easy way to ensure that your employees are staying motivated with positive reinforcement is to create a system for employee recognition. Perhaps take five minutes away from each management meeting to have your managers highlight positive aspects of your employees’ performance. Or maybe create an incentive program to recognize and reward hard work. There’s no need for extravagant gifts or getaways here. Just a simple “great job!” can go a long way.

2. An Inspiring Work Space

Environment is key to employee productivity. Encourage comfort and inspire creativity by providing a workspace that fits your company’s culture and objective. Provide open space for collaboration and understand lighting needs. Noise and temperature are also important factors for consideration as you create your workspace. You can find more details on creating the perfect workplace environment for employee productivity in the B2C article “Environmental Factors Impacting Employee Efficiency.”

3. Collaboration

It can be all too easy to find yourself in a rut as you work on a particular project for an extended period of time. This is why your employees need to work together to break through road blocks with innovative ideas. Scheduling regular brainstorming sessions where your employees can collaborate on projects is huge. Not only does it help them find new ways to solve recurring problems, but it also gets them motivated to keep working and trying new things for greater success in their projects.

4. The Right Tools

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In order to achieve efficiency in their work, your employees must have the proper tools and technology. Listen to their needs and do your best to find solutions. Understand where and how your budget will allow you to invest in up-to-date technology that is crucial to their day-to-day responsibilities. Make sure you have enough internet speed to handle each electronic device to avoid crashing and long load times as well.

Outdated tech and slow connectivity are productivity killers in your office. Be sure you’ve built a solid electronic platform from which your employees are able to succeed. If you’re not sure where to start here, a great way to understand your connectivity needs is to determine how much speed you currently have (GeekSquad offers up a great article on this)  then figure out how much speed you need and who can provide it. The “How Much Speed do I Need?” tool will help you find a range of speed that will fit your needs. Once you’ve got your range, check out Netgear’s article “How Much Internet Speed do you Need?” to understand the how and why of your results.

5. Effective Goal Setting

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Goals provide direction and increase motivation. They help your employees understand what it is that you need from them and offer a timeline for completion. Obviously, inspiring motivation and proper direction in your employees’ work will yield higher levels of productivity in their performance. There are several tools and tracking platforms available to help you organize and implement a solid goal setting strategy. A couple of great platforms I’ve found for this are Goals on Track and Lifetick. Both software systems allow you to visualize and manage corporate goals with a simple spreadsheet of individual employee goals.