One of the biggest misconceptions about maximising productivity, whether it is when it comes to housework, blogging or if you run your own business, is that to be productive, you have to work every possible moment.
It just is not true.
In fact, if anything, it is a way to reduce productivity. If someone is so exhausted and burned out that they can barely function, well, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that they are probably not going to be working at their best.
Here, we are going to look at how to get maximum productivity out of your employees if you are running a small business, but to be honest, these tips can be applied to pretty much all areas of your life.
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From team meetings to feedback sessions to formal development, you can implement a variety of strategies and methods that improve and build on capabilities on an ongoing basis.
You, as the top dog, are in a prime position to model, encourage, and develop learning rhythms that can then be applied equally across the company. Develop a community of ongoing learning, beginning from the top.
It also means that you need to do more than just say learning and growth are essential – you have to be seen to be doing it yourself and support employees in their training and development, recognise and reward new skills and encourage the sharing of learning amongst the team.
It is not just a learning and developmental culture that encourages productivity; the environment is also a significant factor.
In recent years, the layout of offices have changed, but the importance of worker comfort has not. Whether it is the room temperature or the chairs, every element can have an impact on how hard your staff work. While it can be costly, If your environment is conducive to people giving their all, any expenses will soon pay off.
Make sure rooms are bright and full of light – natural light, if possible. A poorly lit room can lead to eye strain, which is never going to help anyone work hard. Make sure you choose furniture that is ergonomically designed for comfort and that the room layout is carefully considered, so employees are not traipsing from one side to another to get something from a printer.
This is particularly important if you have parents on your team. While, understandably, your business is your main priority, remembering that your staff have home lives and families that they sometimes have to prioritise is important. If you can allow them the time off to go to a class assembly or sports day, they will repay you by giving their all at other times.
Flexibility goes a long way with all of your team, though. Do you have to work 9-5 Monday to Friday in the office, or can people work at times of their choosing, as long as they get their allotted hours done? Sling’s mobile time clock is a useful tool for this, allowing employees to clock in and out so you and your payroll department can keep an eye on how many hours they have worked.
In many workplaces, there is a ‘lunch at your desk’ culture, with people working through their lunch hour and grabbing a quick snack from the vending machine and eating at their desks. This is actually detrimental to productivity. Encourage your staff to eat healthily – a filled fruit bowl in the staffroom and access to fresh drinking water all day will help – and to step away from their desk and perhaps go for a walk at lunchtime. They will come back feeling refreshed and ready for an afternoon of their best work.
Employees respond well to praise and appreciation, no matter what job they do. Showing that you have noticed their achievements and appreciate their efforts goes a very long way, even if it just a few simple words of praise. They are more likely to feel valued and work harder as a result.
By putting these tips into practice, you can encourage the very best out of your staff and therefore maximise your business output – a win-win for everyone involved!