May 6, 2022

14 Workforce Productivity Hacks To Help Employees Work Smarter

No matter how large or small an organisation is, without proper leadership and direction, the entire operation can be meaningless. A company must have consciousness and conscience to function properly. It must be led in the right direction by someone who can propel it forward on its path to success. That’s where good managers come in: They lead organisations that require steering, rather than simply following.

However, many businesses around the world are still struggling to engage their employees through high-quality leadership. Gallup discovered that 82% of the time, companies fail to select the candidate with the talent for the job.

This could be a problem because, for an organisation to succeed, a manager must not only be present but also be in charge of the company's direction. While that may appear to be common sense, that kind of thinking doesn’t hold up to scrutiny when there are too many people occupying too few seats at the top.

It’s important to note that managers have the most direct impact on the employees under their supervision. They're accountable for ensuring that the performance of their department and its employees are in line with the overall organisational goals while also defining the workplace culture.

Hence, the responsibility of leading the actions of their collaborators comes from the role of managers and leaders. With a proper understanding of what their jobs entail such as delegating, planning manpower distribution, making decisions on time, and motivating employees from time to time, good managers can really help to boost productivity levels among workers.

What Is Workforce Productivity All About?

Workforce productivity, also known as labour productivity, is defined as "real economic output per labour hour" by Investopedia. The change in economic output per labour hour over a specified period is used to calculate workforce productivity growth.

Workforce productivity is an important measure of how efficiently a company or country uses labour to produce goods or services. It's an indicator used by economists and financial analysts to measure the size and strength of the economy, as well as a key benchmark for companies' competitiveness in the global economy.

Any effective and successful business must recognise the significance of workplace productivity. Productivity benefits both employees and employers, by assisting the firm in increasing and utilising the maximum capacity of its human resources.

Many factors influence worker productivity, not just management techniques, but they're difficult to measure or predict accurately. The most crucial component is a country's overall economic health, which influences job growth, government policies, and how much businesses invest in their operations.

What Happens When You Aren't Concerned With Business Productivity?

It stands to reason that a decline will result in a decrease in profitability and, in the worst-case scenario, the organisation's demise if not corrected. While we all want competent managers and leaders who can effectively delegate and help drive the company to the top, there are advantages and disadvantages to this implementation as the world continues to create a more productive working environment.

Let's start with the positives

1) More income/ revenue

Many organisations are constantly striving to increase workplace productivity because it generates more revenue with the same amount of input and cost, resulting in higher profits. The financial benefits open up even more possibilities for the business, such as expansion or the purchase of additional resources. Your company will thrive and succeed in the long run if your employees increase their productivity and generate more revenue.

2) Clarity

Workforce productivity and purpose go hand-in-hand. When your employees are productive, they're focused on achieving their goal, which is ultimately the goal of your company. They have a clear objective and know what they need to accomplish by the end of the day or week. They also have a better understanding of their overall purpose and why they do what they do.

3) Quality work

With clarity, employees can be more effective and produce better output. Producing better results not only benefits the organisation you're managing but also gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as an individual. This will boost your and your team's confidence, which will feel great!

4) Productivity breeds positivity

When you're being productive, it's almost certain that you'll bring positivity into everything you do. Being productive as a worker means earning money to support yourself and your family, whereas being productive as an employer means providing resources to your employees. Essentially, productivity provides.

Now onto the downsides of super productivity

1) Continued expectation

So, now that you've named your favourite employee the employee of the month after he or she has worked 80 hours per week, you’re continuing to expect greater and better things of him or her, which may turn out to be detrimental.

Everything appears to be fine until this employee of yours becomes burned out and decides to take a step back and stops working after office hours. You’re now panicking that you might lose your best employee and that your company will implode. With one wrong move, you could lose this employee once and for all.

2) Different types of employees

Unfortunately, productivity is not a one-size-fits-all model, and your strategies may not work for some of your employees. Some members of your team may be more self-disciplined than others. For example, you could implement Strategy A for all of your employees in the hopes of increasing productivity.

The procrastinator on your team may produce good results, but he or she cannot keep up with the rest of the team members who are producing more output in the same amount of time. This will reduce the overall productivity of the team. In the long run, your organisation will suffer as a result of the vicious cycle.

3) Counter-productive

You may believe that the various technologies developed for employers to track employees' activities will help to improve your organisation's productivity. Apps and software that are used to monitor progress or keep employees in check are now emerging one after the other.

However, research has found that this has been counter-productive because it creates anxiety and uncertainty for employees, leaving them feeling suffocated and untrustworthy. You could also be affected because routinely checking in on employees may give the impression of productivity when, in reality, they're just distractions from the actual production process.

Here Are 10 Tips That You As A Superior Can Do To Help Your People Be More Productive

It's critical for you, as a manager or supervisor, to devise strategies to boost your company's productivity. So here are some pointers to assist your subordinates in being more productive at work.

1) Experience with the space

When it comes to promoting work productivity, comfort should always come first because a comfortable workspace creates a positive vibe. Invest in ergonomic furniture that not only looks good but also feels good for your employees to sit on for long hours.

Add different colours to connect with your employees' emotions at work. Blue and green hues can boost productivity and focus, while yellow can stimulate creativity and help your team come up with better ideas. When it comes to layout, consider having open space with some designated private areas where your employees can move around and use rooms as needed.

2) Make some room to have fun at work

Despite cultural notions that playing games at work hamper productivity, the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, games and other leisure activities among workers (and bosses!) can help to create a better working environment.

Some friendly ping-pong matches with the Heads Up can strengthen bonds between employees or an organisation. Allowing employees to take a break may also help to refresh their minds and reduce absenteeism. After all, as the saying goes “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”!

3) Encourage workplace creativity

Creativity vs. productivity: One is subjective and unpredictable, while the other is structured and linked to performance metrics. However, research shows that they both work in tandem with one another. To put it another way, creativity fuels productivity.

When your employees are fuelled by innovative thinking and are involved in a culture of experimentation in which you, as the manager, invest the company's time and effort into this ideation, the results are usually fruitful and convert into profit.

Some activities that can help you foster creativity include team brainstorming sessions where no idea is wrong! If your employees are more reserved, consider allowing anonymous suggestions that you can go through, and act on good ideas regularly.

4) Allow for more frequent but short breaks

It’s one thing to be able to catch some fun time at the office with your colleagues, but sometimes, your workers need some alone time to themselves. A refreshing, small, but frequent allowance for a break can help your employees to have a respite from the monotony and boost their focus from time to time. Even a short walk around the lobby or taking a mini nap can do wonders to your employees’ productivity.

5) Give gadgets a “home”

The benefit of working in an office is that everyone is in the same building and is reachable via intercom or a knock on their door, removing the need for you to be constantly engaged on your smartphones and tablets. With constant connectivity on multiple screens grabbing our attention at times, it can be a great distraction for us to work productively.

Prepare a "gadgets home," such as an individual box, for your employees, or implement a no-phone-on-desk policy for every hour or so while they're at work. You'll notice that your employees will be more focused on the task at hand, increasing the business productivity altogether.

6) Block any unnecessary apps

One cannot simply avoid using the Internet during working hours because it's a necessary tool for their jobs. This includes various Internet-connected devices and the various apps that come with them. 'Push Notifications', which enable the delivery of targeted information from an app to a mobile device or desktop computer without a specific request from the app, can be distracting and take focus away from the actual task at hand for your employees.

According to research, minor distractions can have a significant impact on your workers' productivity. To reduce the possibility of this happening, workplaces are now using Internet-blocking apps. Apps such as Cold Turkey allow you to block specific websites or apps for varying periods, allowing your employees to focus on their work without distraction.

7) Create positive challenges

It’s common for staff to feel comfortable and complacent after working for a while, which could be detrimental to workplace productivity. As managers, you should create new challenges on a regular basis to ethically motivate, encourage, reward, and recognise your fellow employees. For example, you could try seeking employee input regularly on ideas and decisions so you can maximise their full potential.

8) Hold productive meetings

Did you know that most employees dread meetings? Especially the ones that could've been an email! Consider employees who have just walked into the office, ready to get to work. All of the sudden, they're summoned to a meeting in which they can't fully participate or have any say. Just like that, an hour of their office time has been wasted, and your employees must now take the time to shift into fourth gear and be even more productive at work.

To avoid this, double-check the invitee list before organising a meeting to ensure that everyone on the list is relevant to the event. You can also ask for feedback from the staff at the end of each meeting to see what could be improved. Together, you and your employees can focus on enhancing the processes that take place at your workplace, and automatically create a more productive business.

9) Let your employees say “no”

Iit's tempting to recruit every "yes" person in the world, just because you think they'll perform more work for less money, or simply say yes to whatever you need. Just keep in mind that this could have a very negative impact on your workplace productivity. So, are you considering delegating any low-priority work to your employee during a busy period? Give them room to say “no”.

This helps them to concentrate on the most vital tasks at hand, resulting in higher output and increased productivity for your company. You should also allow your employees to say no to responding to messages at any time of day or night, allowing them to maintain a good work-life balance. Happier workforce, better production!

10) Work-life balance is essential

Healthy employees are happy employees. And happy employees are keys to your business productivity. Research done by Oxford University's Saïd Business School found that happy employees are 13% more productive.

If your employees are overworked and unable to enjoy life outside of work, they're less likely to be happy because there is no work-life balance. Workers who have the opportunity to exercise a healthy work-life balance are more productive and motivated at work. That's exactly what you'll need to boost your company's performance.

What About The Remote Workforce? Here Are 4 More Ideas To Consider To Improve Workforce Productivity Remotely.

1) A dedicated workspace is important

If you've heard that some of the world's largest corporations are providing their employees with funds to set up a dedicated working space at home, you're not mistaken. This is due to research indicating that a proper working environment at home is essential for your employees' productivity.

Consider investing a small amount to compensate your employee for setting up their work desk at home if you're a business owner. Alternatively, you could hold a competition for the best "My home office." It'll be a fun way to encourage your employees to neatly arrange their workstations as they compete to win a prize.

2) Provide tools and set them up for success

As a manager, it's your responsibility to assist your employees in getting the appropriate tools to help them perform better at their jobs, thereby benefiting your organisation in the long run. The Pomodoro technique, for example, is introduced to help reduce distraction while your staff is working on a task. Try demonstrating the technique to your employees and checking in once awhile to see how effective it is.

3) Trust your workers

Many managers struggle with this, especially when it comes to workforce productivity. They worry because working remotely is still a change of habit from what’s been practiced for hundreds of years. However, for your employees to grow, you should try to trust them rather than suffocate them with micromanagement and checking in every few minutes.

Implement some strategies that will allow you to supervise your employee without having to monitor their every move. Encourage your employees to be transparent about their progress and to come to you for advice or assistance. In this manner, you’ll enable your team to grow and improve their productivity levels, thereby increasing the overall productivity of your business.

4) Consider both structured and unstructured work

Leaders who take into consideration the working hours needed for employees to perform structured work (“clear, specific tasks that are expected to be done in a certain order, at a certain time”) and unstructured work (“day-to-day tasks that keep the organisation running such as meetings and responding to emails”) can increase productivity and ingenuity.

According to the Workfront 2019 State of Work Report: "While 64% of workers say their workplace regularly asks employees to think of how they can do things in a completely new way, 58% say they're so swamped with day-to-day work that they don't have time to think beyond their daily to-do list." So, strike a balance between the two structured and unstructured work to boost productivity, by allowing time for collaboration and setting clear expectations.

Pave The Way To Success With The Right Leadership Mindset

With so many changes taking place in the world that are challenging traditional ways of doing things, we must always strive to work smarter rather than harder. As a leader and manager of a group of people within an organisation, you should take the lead in developing better workplace practises, not only for the benefit of the company and business productivity but also for the benefit of your employees.

Thanks to advances in innovation and technology, employers and employees can now communicate via a variety of channels, each with its own set of features. They can help you organise projects, track the progress of your employees, and collaborate with your team all in one application or software.

Some of the apps that employees and managers can use to collaborate and become a more productive team are:

  • Monday.com and Trello – Fantastic tools for increasing workforce productivity by utilising a visual management system that allows multiple collaborators to provide feedback, comments, or simply to use as a reference.
  • Slack – A great alternative to WhatsApp or iMessage with features such as schedule send and real-time collaboration process.
  • Serene – An app that combines all of the features you need to get into focused deep work faster by organising work structure, eliminating digital distractions, and streamlining day-to-day tasks.

At GRIT, we believe people look for opportunities instead of jobs in this new era of work. We focus on in-demand Digital and Technology roles, where we intelligently match outstanding talent to some of the most groundbreaking companies in the industry. Find us doing what we do best globally at our offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Germany.
Connect With Us
© 2024 GRIT Search Singapore Pte Ltd. Reg. 201931701Z. EA Licence 20S0054. All rights reserved.