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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team
(Last updated )
Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team
(Last updated )
Read our guide where we'll discuss the benefits of high workplace productivity, productivity techniques, and what makes a productive team.
Every business needs a workspace where staff can thrive. High workplace productivity can offer your company several benefits, including increased employee engagement and collaboration.
If your business's productivity is low or fails to improve, it could have adverse effects on your company as a whole. This includes low customer satisfaction, more hours worked by staff, and low employee morale.
In this guide, we'll discuss the benefits of high workplace productivity, productivity techniques, and what makes a productive team.
What is workplace productivity?
Workplace productivity is the concept of performing work in a timely manner, without diminishing its quality. In a productive workplace, team members will stay focused and spend less time on small tasks.
However, it's important to note that high productivity does not mean staff compromise their physical and mental wellbeing. If staff are working longer hours and finding it difficult to accomplish tasks, it might be an indication that your workplace isn't productive.
If staff are overworked, it could negatively impact their wellbeing and your business. For instance, employees' stress levels could increase. Consequently, your workplace might experience high levels of absenteeism, which could affect your overall business goals.
What are examples of productivity skills?
There are several examples of productivity skills you should be aware of, so you can ensure your staff possess them. For instance, being able to prioritise each specific task in order of importance and deadlines. Other examples include:
One example of a productivity skill in the workplace is having a strong sense of time management. Employees being able to manage their time effectively is essential in any workplace. Without this, staff will struggle to:
- Juggle multiple tasks.
- Complete their work.
- Hit deadlines consistently.
Not to mention, juggling multiple tasks means employees are frequently context-switching. This is when our brains have to reset and refocus when moving from task to task. Therefore switching the context of the task each time, and ultimately, taking more time to complete work.
This is why staff managing time correctly is so important. This looks like them prioritising tasks, breaking down larger ones, and being flexible with workload. For example, if an urgent job comes in, the employee should understand that it needs to take priority.
Another example of a productivity skill is effective communication. Staff need to communicate with clarity in an efficient manner to accomplish your business objectives. This communication should be:
- Concise: It should be brief so it doesn't cause confusion.
- Clear: It should be easy to understand so all employees can interpret it.
- Accurate: All relevant information should be up-to-date to prevent mistakes.
For example, you might set a team member a task verbally whilst they take their own notes. But, they mishear the deadline and parts of what the task requires. As a result, the task is done incorrectly and not on time.
Without effective communication, staff might misunderstand what you need from them and consequently, your business may become less productive. Because employees spend valuable time redoing one task or miss important deadlines.
Another productivity skill your staff require is the ability to provide honest feedback. This applies to everyone in your business, from senior managers to junior employees. Transparent feedback helps:
- Everyone to save time.
- Ensure everyone's on the same page when it comes to work.
For example, a team member performs a task incorrectly, but their manager fails to explain how or where they went wrong. Or, a junior member of the team finds a task difficult and doesn't ask for help. They might end up doing the task again and again, but still fail to complete it correctly.
So without honest feedback, productivity in the workplace is likely to be low. It's best to encourage your team to be transparent with each other, as long as they do so in a respectful manner. This way, staff can convey how they like to be communicated with, which will likely streamline the briefing of tasks.
Why is productivity important in the workplace?
Productivity in the workplace is important for several reasons. For instance, high productivity ensures that your staff are contributing more value to your overall business objectives. Other benefits of a productive workplace include:
Better customer and client service
Productivity in the workplace is important as it can help you provide better customer and client services. With a more productive workplace, it's likely that:
- More tasks will be completed on time.
- Your business will work more efficiently.
Therefore, you'll probably have more satisfied customers and clients, as everyone will be adding value and working to the best of their ability.
For example, if your business is more productive, workers will have more time to spend on each client or customer. As a result, they'll have an increased satisfaction and appreciation for the service or product you provide.
Increased employee engagement
Another benefit of maintaining a productive workplace is that workers will likely be more engaged at work. If your workplace productivity is high, your employees will likely:
- Complete tasks efficiently.
- Have a higher quality of work.
As a result, they might gain an increased sense of accomplishment and be more motivated to continue working hard. Not to mention, if they’re more productive at work, they’ll have more time to spend in their personal lives.
This could increase their wellbeing as they'll develop a better work life balance. Consequently, they'll have more respect for you as their employer, and be motivated to progress within a workplace that prioritises their wellbeing.
Having a productive workplace could also reduce stress among your workers. High levels of stress can negatively affect your business. Stressed employees are likely to:
- Make more mistakes.
- Spend less time organising their workload.
- Increase your absenteeism rate.
All of which affect your business productivity. For example, if an employee is stressed about their workload, they'll begin associating this stress with your business. As a result, they'll probably develop a sense of dread when attending the workplace, and possibly call in sick.
But, if your productivity level is high, staff will be more efficient with their workload. Consequently, they'll likely spend less time working outside of their working hours, and have more time to spend on self-care, or with their family. All of which could benefit their wellbeing in the long run.
What makes workers inefficient?
Your workers might be inefficient in their role for a number of reasons. For instance, your workplace might not offer the tools employees need to be productive.
Other reasons why staff may work inefficiently are:
A root cause of workplace inefficiency is high levels of distraction. Distraction can be a productivity killer because it breaks the focus of your workers - which means they ultimately spend less time working. Distractions might include:
- Taking personal phone calls consistently during work hours.
- Poor email habits. For example, having loud email notifications.
- Social media. For example, an employee scrolling through Instagram whilst working.
To avoid distractions taking place, you could encourage staff to use their phones at lunchtime. Or implement employee monitoring to ensure staff use social channels appropriately.
Of course, exceptions should be made for those waiting on important calls. Remember, you can cause more harm than good by being overbearing. So ensure you tread the line between upholding professional standards and invading their privacy.
Low employee morale
Another cause of workplace inefficiency is low employee morale. Morale is how your staff feel about their work environment and the role they play in it. As a result, your workplace might become less productive overall. Because when morale is low, employees are:
- Less motivated to work hard.
- Less interested in developing.
To avoid this from happening, you need to ensure that employees are being listened to. For example, your workplace might employ a high number of parents. So introducing a flexible working policy might give them a better sense of control over their work-life balance.
Consequently, they'll be less stressed about personal issues, such as childcare, which could increase their respect for the business and their overall morale. What’s more, flexible working can benefit a number of people, not just parents.
Poor company culture
Another cause of workplace inefficiency is poor company culture. This is the shared values, goals, and attitudes amongst your employees. It can be impacted by:
- Your working environment.
- Employee policies.
- Employee benefits.
These items all contribute to company culture. If staff aren't happy with any of the above currently, it could result in a poor company culture. This affects workplace productivity because if staff have a negative shared attitude to your business, it might make them less motivated to succeed.
For example, if you provide no workplace benefits, such as free fruit or early Friday finishes. Or fail to reward hard work, employees might believe their work isn't recognised, and feel less valued. As a result, they likely feel motivated to work to the best of their ability.
How to increase workplace productivity
There are several steps you can take to increase workplace productivity, for example, using a task management system. This will help employees understand what tasks are a priority, and which ones have short deadlines.
Let's discuss some other steps you can take to increase productivity in your business.
One way to improve workplace productivity is to measure your business's current level of efficiency over a particular period. For example, you could:
- Check-in with senior managers to see how their direct reports are performing.
- Have one-to-ones with staff to gauge how they feel about their workload.
This can help create an environment where staff feel comfortable being transparent. And therefore, quickly resolve issues they have about work. Consequently, it helps to achieve a better level of workplace productivity.
Delegate tasks fairly
Another way to improve productivity at work is to ensure you delegate tasks fairly. Delegation is the process of assigning tasks to multiple people. It helps to achieve better efficiency because:
- Work gets done in fewer hours as more people are assigned to more work.
- You can assign tasks to employees who are more equipped.
Overall, this will likely result in higher productivity, because more tasks will be completed in a short amount of time, and to a better standard.
Ensure staff take breaks
You could also develop a more productive workplace by ensuring staff take regular short breaks. You should also avoid scheduling meetings during lunchtime or after work hours. Breaks are a legally requirement but are also essential for productivity. They can:
- Improve focus: Employees taking a break from their workload allows them to recharge and return with a fresh perspective.
- Improve creativity: This is because letting staff rest their mind will allow it to wander, and help them create new ideas.
- Improve mood: Taking a break allows employees to spend time doing something they enjoy, such as physical exercise.
All of which result in happier employees who are more motivated to work hard. As a result, workplace productivity will likely increase.
Another way you could make your workplace more productive is by promoting organisation. Organisation at work is important in ensuring employees complete their workload, and that they know how to prioritise depending on:
- Importance: For example, how important is the task in regard to the business's overall goals?
- Deadline: For example, does the task need to be turned around quickly?
You could encourage staff to use to-do lists. Or implement productivity apps that help with task management and goal setting - which can be more helpful when working remotely. Ultimately, it'll help to achieve focus amongst your team as they can prioritise better, and likely increase their productivity.
Create an efficient workspace
Creating an efficient workspace can also improve productivity. Mostly because, if staff are uncomfortable at work they probably won't work to the best of their ability. A productive workspace might include:
- Comfortable workplace equipment. For example, computer chairs with back support.
- A bright environment with windows. This will help with air ventilation and focus.
- Collaboration areas. For example, this can aid team projects and creative brainstorms.
Overall, an efficient workplace helps teams to work better independently and together. As a result, it could create higher workplace productivity.
Reward hard work
Another way you can achieve high workplace productivity is by rewarding hard work. Many employees will likely work better if you recognise the value of their contribution. You could do this by:
- Implementing an employee of the month programme.
- Personally thanking staff who have worked particularly hard.
- Offering bonuses.
All in all, acknowledging the work of your employees' contributions will make them feel valued in your workplace. Consequently, they'll be more motivated to work harder, which will likely increase productivity in your company.
Get expert advice on workplace productivity from Peninsula
You should do everything you can to improve employee productivity. This means rewarding hard work, delegating tasks fairly, and creating a productive work environment.
Otherwise, it could affect your overall business strategy. As a result, you could lose customers and clients, as well as experience damage to your business's reputation.
Peninsula offers expert advice on workplace productivity. Our teams offer 24/7 HR advice which is available 365 days a year. We take care of everything when you work with our HR experts.
Want to find out more? Contact us on 0800 029 4377 and book a free consultation with an HR consultant today.
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