Increasing productivity is a key component for achieving a business turnaround and is a common complaint from many businesses. When it comes to the crunch, increasing productivity is a far preferable option to having to decrease costs by letting employees go. One of the best ways to increase productivity is to get a handle on the time management of all employees within your business and put some steps in place to minimize any distractions.
Increasing Productivity By:
1. Block Distracting Websites
With the prevalent use of social media and the ability to browse other websites today, the internet is potentially one of the biggest distractions out there. In the US alone, over 12.2 billion hours are spent each day browsing social network sites – imagine the overall cost to the economy and individual companies! If your business is of a sort where employees spend a lot of time each day at computers, investing in software to block sites which are unnecessary for getting the job done may be worth it for your business. Of course it could be argued that employees may choose to access these sites on their smartphones, but if these phones are not used for work purposes there is nothing wrong with taking the stance that mobile phones should only be in use at break times with the exceptions of emergencies.
2. Use Checklists
Whether the job is the same every day or not, the use of checklists is a great way to improve time management, increasing productivity and ensure that the proper tasks are being done. These could be standardized lists for common, everyday tasks or you could get into the habit (and encourage your employees to do the same!) of making a list at the end of the day of the tasks that need to be completed the next day. It is much easier to resist distractions when you have a clear list of what needs to be done!
3. Optimize Work Station Set Up
It is considerably easier to stay on task if you have all of the equipment you need in the right place. Make sure all work stations are equipped with everything they need so that employees are not chasing around after office supplies etc. It is also a good idea to ensure that equipment such as printers are positioned close to those who need them the most; there are many distractions on the way to collect a print-out from a far-off printer!
4. Beware of the Unnecessary Meeting!
While it is important to have regular updates with your staff, there is such a thing as too many meetings! Take a look at how often you really need them; is a daily start-up necessary or is once or twice a week a better schedule for meetings? If you really have nothing of value to communicate, there is no point in using the time of having a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting. You are more likely to hold the respect of your employees if they recognize that you don’t waste time on unnecessary meetings. There is nothing wrong with calling a scheduled meeting off if you really have nothing new to communicate.
5. Encourage Employees To Take Breaks
No one can maintain productivity and work at their best level all the time without taking breaks. Encourage your employees to take their breaks rather than work through them as breaks are important for re-energizing the body and mind. Of course, breaks should be within certain time limits, but make sure that employees do not feel that they are ‘earning points’ by skipping breaks.
6. Start a Midday Exercise Group
Sounds counter-productive? Well, research has shown that getting exercise around midday does help with increasing productivity and morale in the workplace. It could be as simple as starting a group for those who wish to go for a walk, or a more formal exercise class.
7. Reward Employees
Recognition for a job well done can be a significant morale booster and help with increasing productivity. It is part of being human that we all want to be recognized sometimes; it doesn’t have to be in a complicated or expensive kind of way, even getting a mention in the staff meeting is a great way to recognize your employees.
As you can see, there is more to increasing productivity than just good time management. If you want to enact a business turnaround you need to ensure that the environment and morale around your employees are in a place that encourages productivity. Try out these steps and see what difference can be achieved in your business!