Regardless of the size of your business, you realize the value employees add to your success. As a leader, you want to see maximum productivity for yourself and your employees. While positive reinforcement can help keep your boat afloat, failing to provide for the needs of employees and ignoring their suggestions can ultimately cripple your company’s ability to function.
Many businesses face the daunting task of trying to keep workplace morale and productivity high.
When business booms, things tend to go smoothly in the office without the need to interfere with employee work.
But when your company faces a sharp downturn in capital or organizational growth, leaders are quick to blame employees a lack of productivity.
So, how should you make your employees more productive? Here are eight ways to increase your employee productivity for 2019.
1. Be Flexible
The summer season brings beautiful weather, lounging by the poolside and vacation to mind. Your employees also think about these things. Workplace productivity drops 20% during the summertime. Not to mention that workplace attendance takes a dip at 19%, and employees are 45% more distracted. Instead of making work feel like a chore, offer more summertime flexibility. How you make your business more flexible is up to you but consider the following suggestion as a starting point.
Make start times a flexible option for employees. Flexible morning start times allow employees to choose what eight-hour time frame they will be most productive. This option enables your workforce to worry less about their personal lives — especially those with children.
2. Promote Collaboration
You’ve probably heard horror stories of forced collaboration in the workplace. This teamwork attitude has integrated with life since grade school, but can it help your business today? A study found that companies with a collaborative workplace environment were five times as likely to perform high versus those who opted not to include workplace collaboration.
While this information provides hard-hitting data, you can’t force collaboration. Give your employees a drive to work together to collaborate and accomplish organizational objectives.
3. Engage Your Workforce
Employing some of the best individuals in your field of business can be a great feeling, but if you employ a large workforce, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone or develop employee relationships. Organizations that engage their employees see higher earnings-per-share than their competitors. Additionally, those companies that realize the power of engagement have better retention, better customer relationships and higher profitability.
You can’t necessarily shake every employee’s hand as they walk through the door, but you can organize company meetings, send emails or walk around the office to let employees know the work they do matters.
4. Alleviate Stress
Stress is alive and well in 2019. One of the leading causes of stress in the workplace derives from the workload. While people issues at work falls close behind, 72% of the stress employees face at work comes directly from the work environment and workload.
Stress negatively impacts productivity. That’s why companies need to address stress through company initiatives such as work-from-home policies or providing flexible break times during the business day.
5. Take Breaks
While many might argue that breaks demote workplace productivity, research says otherwise. Employers that encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day — specifically, lunch breaks — promote re-charges that last all day. One study shows the importance of lunch breaks:
- 20% of U.S. employees worry their boss will see them as lazy for taking a lunch break.
- 22% of U.S. employers say they see employees who take lunch as less reliable.
- 38% of U.S. employees do not feel like they are encouraged to take a lunch.
These statistics should concern you, because 90% of U.S. employees from the same study, who take a regular lunch break, indicate that taking lunch helps them feel re-charged and able to get back to their work on task.
6. Encourage Ownership
Some employers tend to feel the need to micromanage their workforce to generate the highest quality work. After all, they are the boss and they know what they want. However, an interview with a productivity expert takes a different approach to how management should approach its workforce. Slaughter advises giving your employees freedom and encouraging ownership of their time and projects. This will create a team of self-starters who can work without oversight.
Additionally, those owners who take the attitude of less micromanaging will see great performance. Employees with 95% performance will need to be micromanaged 95% less.
7. Make Work Homey
There’s nothing worse for an employee than to see the same office floorplan repeated over and over. Many office spaces encompass endless cubicles, drop ceiling lights and a dull space to work for eight hours. One study shows that 47% of employees feel tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their desk. Additionally, 43% reported they felt melancholy because of the lack of light.
While you can’t knock down every wall in your building to let light in, you can invest in lighting that will help cure work blues. Consider lighting options that will amplify the current natural lighting. Some creative office lighting you could consider includes:
- Cove lighting
- Pendant lighting
- Track lighting
8. Retain Millennials
Workforces don’t stay the same age forever, and the next generation eagerly awaits to start their professional careers — many already have. While many young professionals have a hard time finding a company that will take them on, many find the company they work for isn’t for them. Many millennials don’t stay at a job they aren’t happy at. A mere 18% of millennials intend to stay with their current employer for the long term.
What does this mean for your business? If you plan on hiring or already have hired millennials, it’s time to start listening to them. The next generation of the workforce has new ideas, talents and skills ready for exploration. Look out for these job candidates in 2019.
Create a More Productive Workplace
Take the time to re-evaluate your workplace and integrate some of these productivity must-haves in 2019. You and your employees will both reap the rewards.