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People (employees) are the lifeblood of any organization, and management’s ability to hire and keep the best people can sometimes be the determinant between workplace efficiency and slack.

Studies have shown that staff motivation is one of the important factors that drive employee creativity, innovation and satisfaction. When your workforce feels a strong connection to the company’s vision, mission and success, they are encouraged to do better and attain optimum productivity.

So, how do managers ensure that employee morale is kept high and staff motivated?

Below are 7 useful ways to enhance employee productivity.

Tip 1: Maintain A Positive Environment.

An employee’s motivation to work is heavily influenced by his or her environment. A positive environment engenders a healthy work output and this attitude must start from the top. Employees should respect management, not fear them. Creating a positive work environment of mutual respect, cordiality with a can-do attitude will yield far-reaching results for your employees and the organization.

Beyond monetary gains, employees in today’s market are looking for organizations with work environment that supports growth, offers enriching opportunities and work/life balance. Environments designed in these formats will attract and keep the best people.

Tip 2: Listen To Your People.

One of the challenges of managers is that most are out of touch with their subordinates. Oftentimes the focus is on output, KPIs and milestones without due consideration of the wants and desires of the people who make these happen. Listening is a critical skill in management and managers who want to achieve excellence in their workforce must embody this skill.

Keep lines of communication open. Operate an open house where inputs, ideas, and concerns can be shared freely without biases or fear of retribution. Allow employees take on active roles and encourage communication within and amongst teams.

Tip 3: Recognition and Reward.

Recognizing and rewarding good works amongst employees is another way to enhance employee productivity. Reward can range from financial to non-financial benefits, but overall, it should appreciate the effort of the employee and show respect for their input. The better your employees feel about themselves on the job, the better they’ll feel about putting forth their best effort.

Tip 4: Embrace Technology.

It is no longer enough to work hard; we must learn to work smart. Modern technology avails us useful tools that make doing work and co-working easy.

The advent of the recent pandemic and the attendant disruption of work life as we know it has shown that working remotely is as productive, if not more productive as working on-site. This new mode of work is attractive to most Gen Z employees. The dynamic nature and fluidity of the practice while beneficial to employees, offers organizations the opportunity to choose from a broad pool of qualified individuals to join their workforce.

Tip 5: Encourage Effective Feedback.

Improving efficiency and maximizing productivity can only be achieved if an effective feedback mechanism is in place. Sometimes, employees are not aware that they are not giving their best or if their best is enough. An effective feedback mechanism can help bridge the gap and show room for improvement.

Feedback tools such as performance reviews are great but they should be followed up with a person-to-person conversation to let the individual know what areas they are excelling in, what areas they need to work more on, and suggested ways and or ideas they can apply to achieve results. Asking for feedback not only gives you clear, immediate ways to help your employees improve, but also encourages a culture of open dialogue that will allow for continued development over time.

Tip 6: Create Workplace Support Systems.

Employees want to know that there are systems in place to support them in their times of need. Whether it is emotional or psychological, an endearing support system creates a more productive work place.

Support can be in the form of the following;

  • Opportunities: Developing talent within your company and grooming employees for leadership positions is a good way to prepare for the future. People want to feel appreciated and supported for growth. A work environment that promotes growth would definitely witness increased productivity.
  • Challenges: Giving your best people more responsibility or ownership of a particular project helps them feel that their contributions are more meaningful. If they are more directly connected to the company’s success, they’re more likely to try harder to meet your common goals.
  • Training: An effective training and development plan is one of the best ways to show commitment to your employees. Instituting a solid training program can help keep employees motivated and loyal, mitigating the high costs in time and money of a high rate of employee turnover.
  • Balance: Yes, your employees do have a life outside of the office. Let them enjoy it! Flexible work schedules and mandatory vacations help employees put some breathing space between them and their jobs. Routine mental health check is also ideal. Workplace stress can impact negatively on productivity and as such, managers can identify employees that require some help, and offer guidance or where expert guidance is required, direct them to the professionals.

Tip 7: Match Tasks to Skills.

Sometimes, workplace efficiency is tied to employee skills and behavioral attributes. Matching employee with certain skills with tasks that require such skills is a win-win for all. For instance, an extroverted, creative, out-of-the-box thinker is probably a great person to pitch ideas to clients. However, they might struggle if they are given a more rule-intensive, detail-oriented task.

Asking your employees to be great at everything isn’t being efficient. Before assigning any tasks to an employee, ask yourself: is this person best suited to perform this task? If not, find someone else whose skills and styles match your needs.

Final Thoughts

Building a formidable team is not a sprint, but a marathon. You need to take it slow, find the right individuals that fit your work style, and create an environment that supports increased productivity. Apply the useful tips above to get it working.

Read more: Employee Needs and Organizational Productivity