Your employees may be spending 5 hours a day at their desks but do the monthly reports show results that match those numbers? It’s likely that they do not. But don’t worry, you are not alone. Lack of productivity in the workplace is a problem faced by a lot of business owners. And it is a serious problem too. Every year businesses lose anywhere from U.S. $483 to $605 billion due to lack of employee productivity.
Here are five ways you can tap into the reservoir of potential that sits inside each of your disengaged employee:
Find the problem
Before you can start making any changes to your organization, you need to identify where you company (or in this case, employees) are lacking. The problem can be anywhere in the organization. From lack of proper infrastructure to incomplete induction training. One of the most straightforward ways to identify potential issues is to take a quick anonymous survey. Alternatively, you can ask the various department heads to collect feedback and compare previous work performance with the current. The latter option, however, will be more time-consuming and expensive.
A Lack of Motivation
Very often the cause behind low productivity and high turnover rates are disengaged employees. They do not feel motivated to work. A recent study found that only about 33% of the American workforce feels engaged at work. An unmotivated employee will be very likely to leave the organization which is always a costly affair.
Employee morale and motivation can be boosted in a number of ways but not all will work on all of your employees. Some of your workers might work harder when they are given a raise or a promotion, others might be happier when their efforts are recognized and appreciated by the superiors.
There is no lack of incentives available at your disposal but it is important that you take the time to understand which one will make the biggest difference.
Understanding the limits
Every human has a limit to how much he/she can work. How much their bodies can be pushed physically and mentally. It’s important that you as a business owner and leader know the limits of your employees and respect them. If your employee is already working on maximum capacity, they might show signs of:
- not participating in discussions
- Lack of enthusiasm, etc.
You should look out for signs like these and make sure you take necessary steps to help decrease some of the excess workload and stress to ensure you do not lose a valuable part of your team.
You can also conduct a fatigue study that will help you find the required number of people needed to complete a certain task in a certain time frame. Conducting this study will make sure you’re not overworking your employees and that they get sufficient intervals.
Far too often an employee’s weeklong efforts can be wasted in an instant when they find out that there was an error in the memo or someone mixed up the orders. The frustration and stress from such an event can stick with the employee for a long time too. To avoid situations like these, there needs to be a formal as well informal chain of communication between superiors and subordinates.
The formal chain can be used for orders and enquiries between superiors and subordinates while the informal chain can be used by employees to coordinate actions for smoother and faster movement of information. Of course, both these chains can be used as you see fit.
It’s also a good idea to make use of the Internet and the various applications available on the market to make sure you are always connected to your team and maintain real-time communication.
Regular feedback and performance evaluation
It’s a circle. You start by analyzing previous work, you make changes, take feedback and you measure the performance again. The cycle starts again. It’s very important to the time to see where your team is lacking or doing very well and giving them constructive feedback on the same. This will make them feel appreciated and valued and push them to work even harder next time.
There are a lot of things that you as a business owner, mentor and leader can do to make sure your employees perform at their best at all time but it’s important to remember that little things count. It may not be feasible to give stock options to your employees but even a little ice-cream treat will go a long way in retaining your team.