3 Ways to Neutralize the Things that Kill Employee Productivity

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By Judy Willard

It happens from time to time. Employee productivity begins to lag. While this can make most business owners angry, it is also important to put in your fair share of work to ensure that employees are doing their part to help you run your business—after all, this is what you pay them to do.

It is important to keep a level head here, ladies, because you have to ensure that you are connecting to your employees on a personal level in order to get the optimum results you are looking for.

While the causes for a lag in employee productivity can vary, there are some universal ways to nip these problems in the bud. Check out these three ways to ensure that your employees are at their most productive throughout the day/week/month.

#1) New Policy Explanations

It is essential to speak to your employees on the same level. Do not discriminate between your “worker bees” and your management. This is incredibly important, because everyone has a very essential role in your company, and those “worker bees” of yours can and most often will become your management eventually.

Therefore, when it comes to new policies, it is essential not to single any one employee or any one group of employees out during the explanation and implementation of these policies.

Sit everyone down, and discuss the different policies and how you see these changes helping the company. Remember to let them know that their hard work in implementing the new policies is essential to creating a strong business.

When you recognize the importance of every employee in your company, they will recognize it too. Many employees lose work ethic when they feel as though they are not an essential part of your business. For this reason, it is important to remind them that what they are doing (even if it is simply running a register or cleaning shelves) is necessary for the success of your business.

When you include all of your employees in meetings, they feel as though they are being heard. When they know they are being heard, they will work harder to create a stronger voice in your company.

Additionally, many people fear change or have trouble with change. When changes in policy are explained, they are easier to “get on board” with. When you tell an employee “it is what it is, and it is my way or they highway,” most often, these employees will take your way only after they have been reprimanded for taking the highway too many times. This is not productive for your business or your profits.

#2) No Cell Phones

Cell phones can be the bane of any business owner’s existence. They reduce productivity, and create poor customer service. For this reason (especially for retail shops), it is essential to ban all cell phone usage where you can.

No cell phones on the floor, no cell phones unless you are on break, no cell phones unless it is business related (do be sure to explain that complaining about work is not a business-related cell phone call).

It can be difficult to detach an employee from his or her cell phone, but when you explain to your employees the level of professionalism you want in your company, the stronger, more productive employees will understand and follow this policy to the letter.

#3) Employee Boost

Employee productivity can rely solely on the fact that your employees need a little boost every once in a while—a simple reminder that they have a job to do that is essential to the success of your business. For this reason, offering incentives to your employees is a great way to get them to naturally be more productive.

While your employee boosts don’t always necessarily have to be monetary, you can offer bonuses based on employee productivity.

However, by recognizing an employee’s productivity in any way, you will essentially create a strong team that works together while they compete for the best incentives you offer.

Offering a teamwork incentive is a great way to help your employees bond with one another as they teach each other and learn from each other. Additionally, offering personal incentives is another great way to get your employees to work harder for themselves, and by doing so, your business.

I am seeing more and more a lack of employee incentives. This is because many companies believe they save money by not offering a bonus structure or an incentive program. On the other hand, I notice companies who do offer bonus structures and incentive programs have a much lower turn-over rate than those who do not. Keeping employees for longer periods of time can boost your productivity, because as employees understand the ropes, they work faster and harder without feeling as though they are.

For this reason, it is always a good idea to remind employees that they can do better and get more for doing so. In many cases, this costs you much less than you are getting from your more productive employees.

Your employees are the backbone of your company. Whether they are sweeping the floors at your shop or running your accounting every week, it is important to recognize them for the essential part of your business that they are. Their productivity starts with you, and it isn’t difficult to have weekly or monthly meetings to show them how integral a part of your business they truly are. What are some ways you neutralize the things that bog down your employees’ productivity? Share with us in the comments below!

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