Productive employees are what keep a business going and it can be difficult to strike a balance between ensuring employees are happy, and getting the most from them. Here are four techniques guaranteed to boost productivity levels.
While it is true that one cannot simply choose what they’re passionate about, it’s also true that your mood and predisposition can be determined by man-made and controllable factors. For instance, there are some studies that indicate that the temperature of a room can impact productivity and with the help of an AC unit and/or a thermostat, this is something that you can easily control.
Still, feeling physically comfortable is not the only thing that affects the efficiency of your employees, due to the fact that their morale and mood do the same. Namely, there’s a study suggesting that a happy employee works 12 percent better, which is why the safety and happiness of your employees need to become your top priority. Here are several ways how.
1. Happy employees stay your employees
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that an average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times in their lifetime. This means that the chance that a person will stay in your employ forever is incredibly low and the amount of time that they stay within your company decreases with their happiness level. This is problematic for several reasons.
Firstly, every employee needs to undergo a certain training period, even if they have some experience within the industry. Different companies have different models, use different templates and even adhere to different rules of the market. This is why the training period is a downtime where an employee is either not productive enough or not productive at all. Coupled with the fact that your current employees will likely need to take time out of their own busy schedules to help, you’re losing even more productive hours.
Moreover, every time a person leaves, they have to be replaced by someone new, which means that this training period resets, causing yet more downtime. Things get even worse, due to the fact that the longer a person stays in the employ, the more experience they have. The more experience they have the more productive they are. By harboring a negative workplace atmosphere, you’ll force people to abandon you in droves, thus preventing them from ever reaching their full potential (at least in your employ).
2. Safety is paramount
The next thing you need to focus on is the safety of your employees, both physically and mentally. Namely, there’s a claim that people are more likely to abandon a bad boss than they are to abandon a work post that they’re not content with. Still, the abuse that your employees are encountering doesn’t come just from the employer and management but from the clients as well. In the 21st century, the majority of businesses have abandoned the idea that the customer is always right and the sooner you embrace this trend, the sooner you’ll earn both respect and loyalty of your employees. Both of these tips help you avoid a decline in employee happiness.
As far as the physical safety of your employees goes, there’s nothing that can kill morale in the office easier than the negligence of the employer. Leaving obvious hazards unattended and unresolved will make your employees live in constant fear, the same goes for not having a proper emergency plan. This is particularly important when it comes to confined spaces (for instance in the construction industry), which is why it’s even worth sending some of your employees on a confined space course to help boost their happiness and productivity.
More importantly, if injury does occur and you try to sweep it under the rug, you’ll send a clear message to your staff that you simply don’t care for their wellbeing. All of this, if ignored, can make your productivity plummet.
3. Identify emotional vampires
In order to provide employees with a positive working environment where they can be satisfied with their role and productive, you need to keep an eye out for individuals capable of siphoning life and joy from others. Also known as toxic employees, it’s vital that you’re aware of any emotional vampires in your employ. The greatest problem lies in identifying them, due to the fact that these people aren’t always underperforming or underqualified. In fact, they may be ideal on paper.
This is what makes the situation much worse, seeing as how you won’t have a clue where you should start looking, nor whether these people even exist in the office in the first place. Keep in mind, that not a lot of people feel comfortable playing the whistleblower. This means that unless you know how to actively listen and have the full confidence of your staff, you won’t be able to diagnose the problem. Luckily, now that you know what it takes to fix this situation, you can start working towards its resolution.
4. Be a safety net, not a whip
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that your employees need to see you as a safety net, not as a whip above their head. You see, some employees distrust the abilities, responsibility or intelligence of their staff, which means they don’t give them autonomy or room for independent decision-making. By doing this, you’ll limit your staff’s potential, which will hold back your business and make your employees develop the urge to break free from your authority.
In order to avoid this, you need to give your personnel a chance to do some work on their own. Now, in order for this to work, they shouldn’t be afraid of making a mistake. Of course, if a person in your employ makes a mistake due to their lack of care or simply being irresponsible, they need to be disciplined – be sure to outline the consequences beforehand to help avoid this.
On the other hand, if they’ve made an honest mistake by attempting something that could have improved your business model, they need to be given a second chance. Only in this will allow your company to be able to grow in the right direction.
The very last thing you need to understand is that every business is built on trust and relationships. Sometimes, it’s the relationship between the employer and the employee that we’re talking about. At other times, it’s the relationship between an employee and their co-workers or an employee and a brand. Either way, improving these relationships is the only way for an organization to grow organically and be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Author: Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing are her favorite things to do. Besides that, she loves animals, music and traveling.