productivityFor every company’s success, it is essential for the employer to be able to motivate his/her employees to work efficiently, in order to have a satisfactory output.

This can only occur by utilising the employees’ productivity rate for the company’s benefit.

However, employees cannot be blamed entirely for lower rates of productivity.

During periods of a financial crisis, such as the one that the work force is currently going through globally, increasing productivity in the workplace can not only be quite challenging for those in charge, but it can also be extremely frustrating and time consuming.

So how can one increase productivity in the workplace? As many specialists and researchers state about this matter “Sometimes it is not about working harder, it is about working smarter”. Therefore, enforcing and applying specific strategies which can promote a smarter way of working may affect productivity in the workplace in a positive manner.

The following article will explore a few ways which employers can utilise in order to affect productivity positively.

Structured Environment

It is exceptionally useful for a business to set a structured environment. The departments should be organised within the building in such a way so that related departments can be closer to each other. The departments’ proximity can result in organising people according to their duties, which has been proven to be incredibly constructive. If employees are closer to each other as needed, they can perform their tasks faster and more effectively.

Improving the quality of the workspace

Research shows that arranging the workspace in a positive manner might affect employees’ productivity positively, as well.

The decoration of the workspace can impact the employees’ mood. Painting the walls with light and bright colours and avoiding the use of the cubicles so that the office looks bigger and more spacious, promotes a positive reaction to the space. Decorating the office with paintings or motivational posters and plants promotes a pleasant feeling for the employees.

productivity increase

In addition to that, using bright lights, such as fluorescent lamps, so that the employees are more alert can also increase productivity.

Relationships between the staff and good teamwork

Working together does not necessarily create good relationships amongst the employees. However, by improving the relationships between the people who must cooperate, it eliminates disputes which can be time consuming as well as the cause of possible errors. As a result this enhances the productivity rate and output.

Therefore, it is a manager’s duty to provide the appropriate circumstances in order to encourage friendships between the employees, which in turn will promote good teamwork. The employer should organise outings and social events which can spearhead robust bonds amongst the staff members.

Additionally, in order to achieve a good sense of teamwork, it is crucial that the staff feel that there is equal and fair treatment from those in charge towards everyone. If they feel that some are favoured whereas others are mistreated, then it is highly possible that they will hold back on the way they work and they will not meet the standards that they are capable of.

Further training

Even though employees may be specialised on what they do through their studies and work experience, it is vital that they enhance their level of knowledge regarding their field of work. It is fundamental for companies to better their employees’ awareness as ongoing training and life-long learning constitutes one of the best ways to increase productivity.

For that reason companies may benefit by either organising in-house trainings, or by sponsoring their employees to attend trainings.

Furthermore, it is important to arrange trainings and meetings which can lead the staff members to a better understanding regarding their duties and in regards to how they can have a more efficient performance, thus making them more productive.

Employees’ input

Employees are the backbone of any business. They are the ones who are in contact with the clients, they are the ones who utilise the company’s system, they are those who are “hands on” the situation.

Consequently, it is beneficial for the company to seek its employees’ input. By asking them and listening to what they have to say regarding what limits them from being productive and what causes difficulties, can provide valuable insight to the company.

Taking into consideration all of that information and applying it into a company’s performance plan may increase productivity.

Keeping employees satisfied

When employees are satisfied they tend to want to offer more of “themselves” in the sense that they want to contribute more.

By acknowledging their input, or their hard effort, or the good results that they managed to have, it portrays that they are valued and needed. This helps into developing a mentality of belonging in the company’s environment. The stronger this mentality is, the better the results that the employees will bring will be.

In addition to that, rewarding the people who do well, either by oral or written public praises or by materialistic ways (i.e. financial bonus, extra vacation time etc) can lead to the desirable outcome, as well.

Another noteworthy aspect for creating a strong notion of belonging is to allow employees to be creative and to promote the importance of showing initiative. Through this the people who are working in a company feel free and trusted, instead of feeling that they are someone’s subordinate who merely follow orders and complete specific tasks, thus they will be more satisfied.

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Satisfaction can also be achieved by allowing shorter but more breaks throughout the day. This practice also keeps the employees rested, more refreshed and alert.

Fighting stress

A stressed employee will not only be less productive but it is highly possible that he/she will also make mistakes.

In order to avoid such a situation it is beneficial that an employer finds ways to be more flexible. For example, it is better if the time schedule maintained by the company for its operation is not strict, giving the ability to the employees to come in and leave with a difference of at least thirty (30) minutes of opening and closing. Employees are people with lives and obligations outside the workplace and that should be acknowledged and respected.

Stress can be minimised if the person in charge gives smaller and more manageable tasks. Moreover, it is essential that the deadlines regarding the projects are realistic and according to the tasks involved.

Additionally, a manager should prioritize his/her requests so that the employees will not feel overwhelmed or confused as to what they should attend to first. Clear requests receive clear answers and this impacts productivity.

It may be useful to teach employees through trainings some time management skills and prioritization.

Finally, activities which can assist in fighting stress may include simple actions such as allowing the employees to listen to music while working, or complicated ones, such as offering various related workshops to the staff, concentrated on teaching techniques for alleviating stress, performed by specialists (i.e. Psychologists, Psychotherapists etc).

Upgrading the system

Every company should be concerned with its employees’ performance. Nevertheless, as it is obvious, the end result is not only up to the employees; many factors may play a role in that performance.

If, for example, the equipment (i.e. computers, software etc) used is old or it does not comply with the new wave of technology, then failure is probable along with decrease in performance.

Updating the tools used by the employees is required in order to achieve the desirable end result.

Managers must always be a step ahead and they should investigate whether there is better or new equipment in the market which could replace existing equipment in order to have a faster and more efficient outcome. Having the appropriate equipment leads to minimising errors and increasing productivity.

Proper evaluation

It is highly valuable for any employer to ensure that he/she makes the most of the employees’ strengths and it is imperative to recognise their weaknesses, as well.

For this reason companies should incorporate an efficient evaluation system in order to distinguish who is competent about specific duties, so that the particular person can be appointed to the appropriate position.

This will maximise the quality of the employees’ work in the company’s best interest.

Promote friendly and trusting environment

When the staff feel pressured or stressed the anxiety levels increase and the productivity rate decreases.

An employer can maintain boundaries but still be approachable. In that way when there are difficulties the staff can approach him/her in order to share ideas or concerns which can benefit the company.

Otherwise, if the staff keep to themselves and they do not express their distress and apprehension, then there is a high possibility that productivity will suffer.