Increasing business productivity has never been as important as it is today. Companies are constantly striving to increase their productivity to win in an ever-changing competitive marketplace. Want to learn more about how to improve productivity in an organization? Read along!
What does productivity mean for an employee? It is essentially an assessment of the efficiency of a worker. In a broader context, productivity is a measure of either economic or business performance. It shows how efficiently a company converts inputs into outputs.
An input might be labor and the output a service. “Time is money” when it comes to the efficiency of your team. The productivity of employees plays a key role in a company’s profitability and overall success.
Unproductive work can be costly. Finances Online reports that the annual losses from lost productivity due to employee disengagement amount to a whopping $483 to $605 billion in the United States alone.
On top of a negative impact on sales, an unproductive workforce leads to high employee turnover, employee conflict, and disorganization. The lack of productivity in others can also lead to a toxic work culture. Employees who are truly dedicated become overworked, trying to take care of the workload of unproductive team members.
Unproductive work should be tracked if you are looking into how to improve work performance. If employees cannot meet deadlines and goals in a competitive market, customers will find a company that can.
How to improve productivity in an organization
With an increase in digital distractions and the stresses of everyday life, it can be hard to increase the productivity of employees. Let’s take a look at how to improve productivity in an organization.
1 Leverage asynchronous communication channels
Research by the University of Calgary has found that being able to work independently may be the key to better productivity. Leveraging asynchronous communication channels allows employees to work independently, without always depending on others.
Rock has asynchronous communication channels in a single tool, such as tasks, file sharing, and audio messages, improving business productivity. You can encourage cross-functional collaboration without needing a direct response.
Start a new task by updating it on Rock, without having to set a time-consuming meeting beforehand. Change your assignee status when finished and someone else can take over. This allows for a smooth workflow where work can happen independently and then transferred to other team members, boosting productivity.
2. Document as much as possible
Are you starting a task and can’t find the documents you need? Instead of spending 20 wasteless minutes going through Google Drive, employees need an organized file management structure.
The Productivity Experts argue that keeping documents organized saves employees time and helps improve business productivity. When you have organized systems in place, you can just locate the information you need and start your task.
With Rock, everything is more structured and documented, particularly task management. Employees know where to find the documents and information for every single task being worked on in a company. Along with documenting your tasks, other team members can easily take over tasks without having to set a meeting.
3. Reduce meetings
Meetings are an important part of a company’s structure, we are not denying that. However, many employees spend too much time of their day in meetings. At times, they find that they don’t have time to get their work done.
The Harvard Business Review reports that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the 50 years. More than ever before, with the popularity of remote working, Zoom fatigue is the reality for many. If as a manager, you value your employees’ time, it’s time to save meetings for when you really need them.
There’s a clear difference between an unproductive meeting and a good one. The latter is usually established by a clear meeting agenda. What is the meeting about and what are the desired outcomes?
A good meeting is not set last minute, but rather, fits around the productive working hours of employees. Make sure to apply virtual meeting best practices to avoid wasted time.Oftentimes, a meeting does not require the whole team.
1-1 meetings are crucial to the team's success as they allow managers to ensure employees are working towards their goals. This setting also allows employees to be honest about issues and fosters a trustful relationship. Only then can employees feel motivated to up their productivity.
4. Adopt task management
Quality task management is one of the most important ways to increase productivity in a business. Task management refers to the set of activities that focus on the creation, day-to-day updating, and completion of tasks. Tasks must be well defined and clearly set by managers.
Rock minimizes the need for constant work update meetings with its task management feature. Managers can create unlimited tasks, create labels to keep everything organized and assign them to employees.
This helps employees understand the steps to complete a task, without confusion. Managers can adopt a project management framework and assign tasks to different team members and keep track of everyone involved in the task, without micromanaging.
Team members can add their input in the comment section under every task, allowing for productive collaboration.
5. Promote time off
A well-rested team is a more productive team. The Havard Business Review found that without recovery periods, our ability to perform at a high level diminishes. Taking time off is not a luxury, but a necessity for productivity.
Time off to refuel mental focus leads to decreased mental fatigue, dissatisfaction, and anxiety, according to Entrepreneur. Without it, employees will not have the mental ability or motivation to be productive. Many employees might opt from taking their vacation time so managers must persuade them to do so.
Scared to fall behind on their work, many employees choose to not take time off, according to Glassdoor. They might also feel like taking time off signals they are lazy and unproductive.
Not only does promoting time off provide burnout relief, but it also leads to innovation. Productivity without innovation will generate generic and uncreative projects. There’s no point in being highly productive if your work does not contribute something new to your team.
Time off from everyday corporate life allows employees to stimulate their creative muscles and come up with groundbreaking ideas. Fun fact - Kevin Synstrom came up with the idea for Instagram while vacationing in Mexico.
6. Nurture organizational culture
How can businesses increase productivity if they neglect organizational culture? They can’t!
Organizational culture refers to the collection of values and practices that guide team members. Quality organizational culture translates into a positive work environment. The way a company’s culture makes its employees feel affects how an organization moves forward. It all starts with nurturing connection.
Employees must feel like managers have their back and support them, rather than work against them. Make sure to use check in questions for meetings to let employees know you have their back, are receptive to feedback and want to learn more about them.
Managers can foster their relationship by booking 1-1 check-ins about their employees’ well-being. By fostering open communication and trust, employees are also more likely to respond positively to feedback and implement it.
Another way to foster a positive organizational culture is to prioritize wellness and mindfulness. While in a traditional workplace setting companies can set up meditation rooms, there are many remote alternatives.
Companies can organize a weekly meditation session via video chat, followed by a presentation by a mindfulness coach. Yoga classes can also be held remotely. Taking time to be mindful during a busy workday will lead to enhanced morale and in turn, increased productivity.
7. Set clear goals and milestones
Setting clear goals and committing to deadlines is key to improving productivity, according to Forbes. A large part of working with others is taking responsibility for goals that need to be met on schedule. Employees are kept in the dark about their responsibilities without a clear set of goals and milestones.
Having a clear time frame for a goal, whether it be quarterly or yearly, helps employees remain motivated. Ticking off reached goals will give employees a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. A goal can be finalizing a project or it can be quantitative, such as hitting a certain number or metric.
Establishing a set goal as a reachable metric is particularly useful in fostering cross-departmental collaboration. Different departments are more willing to collaborate if a metric goal is set, one that benefits all those involved. When different teams collaborate, innovation and productivity increase.
8. Use all-in-one platforms
Company productivity is directly impacted by the tools used at work. “The more the merrier” is untrue when it comes to productivity. The more tools you have, the more work you have.
If you’re working on a project and have to check, for example, Trello, Slack, Notion, Google Drive, and more for information, the added hassle reduces your productivity. The constant context switching will leave you disorganized and makes staying organized at work a real challenge.
An all-in-one platform like Rock solves this issue. Everything is right where you need it, in one place. Rock minimizes platform switching by bringing together different ways of communication and connects to other services such as DropBox and Zoom.
By reducing the time employees spend looking for documents or tools, they can focus on getting their work done right.
9. Trust your team & say no to micromanagement
When asked how to increase productivity in business, bad managers might describe micromanagement practices. This is a key leadership flaw that in reality kills the productivity of employees and can cause negative types of communication styles to emerge.
Micromanagement refers to a management style where a manager closely observes and controls the work of employees. If you avoid delegating tasks and become overly involved in the work of your employees, you might be a micromanager. When you wonder how to improve productivity in an organization, avoid micromanagement at all costs.
This management style signals to employees that they are untrustworthy. While supervision at work can be complementary to productivity, going overboard has negative impacts.
As an employee, it can lead to a lack of confidence in your skills and affect your work output. When you believe that you cannot get anything right, your productivity will most likely decrease. Micromanagement also leads to a decrease in innovation, as a manager hovering over you will stifle your creativity.
Micromanagement is a costly management style. Not only does micromanagement decrease productivity, but it can also lead to increased employee turnover.
According to Gallup, replacing an employee can cost companies from one-half to two times that employee’s salary. Keeping your employees is vital for the success of a company so let’s keep the micromanagement style in the past.
10. How to improve productivity in an organization: recognize employees
Employees need recognition. They do not want to feel like a hamster on a wheel. Rather, employees need to feel valued in a company. Recognizing employees for their hard work boosts morale and fosters a sense of fulfillment, motivating them to work harder.
The issue is that companies often only reward employees for major accomplishments. To increase company productivity, managers should recognize both large and small achievements. Recognition can happen in a variety of ways.
Offering an employee a pay rise, bonus, or other financial incentives is a clear way of showing your appreciation.
However, looking beyond purely financial rewards is also important. A good manager will find out what an employee is looking for. Maybe your employee's exhaustion after that project deadline means they need an extra week off to recharge.
Managers should also publicly name recipients of rewards. They can use Rock to send a company-wide video giving praise to an employee for a certain project. This will motivate other employees to perform at a higher level and increase productivity for all.
11. Invest in training and development
Investing in human capital is vital. The workforce is the most valuable asset to an organization. Training and development refer to educational activities that improve the knowledge and skills of employees: this includes a 90 day plan for onboarding, ongoing courses and upskilling.
Designed to improve the performance of employees, training and development programs lead to increased productivity. These programs keep employees motivated to better themselves and their work. Companies committed to the growth of employees will invest in them, leading to greater dedication by these.
Training and development can also lead to a decrease in employee turnover. Ottawa University found that 93% of employees will stay longer when a company invests in their development. In fact, these kinds of programs are now seen as a competitive advantage when hiring.
Such programs will also lead to a more skilled group of employees that will come up with innovative ideas. The daily routine in a corporate environment can get dull for some that do the same work every day. These training and development initiatives can diminish this boredom and provide a much-needed engagement boost.
What are the methods to improve productivity?
The productivity of employees increased by 47% during the Covid-19 pandemic as companies shifted to remote work. Still, having the right tools to nurture remote work is vital to the productivity of a company.
Rock’s features help companies that are looking into how to improve productivity in an organization by making sure the workflow runs smoothly and is highly documented. The app minimizes platform switching by bringing together all the tools you need such as Zoom, DropBox, and more.
By reducing the time you spend looking for tools and documents, you have more time to perform at a high level.
How to improve productivity in an organization: Asynchronous Communication
With asynchronous work channels in a single tool, Rock allows you to organize and document tasks, files, audio messages, and notes. Managers can assign tasks to different users and keep track of everyone involved in the task, without micromanaging.
When an employee is finished with a task, they can change the assignee and have someone else take over. This allows team members to work independently and productively. Improving business productivity involves setting clear goals. Whether quarterly or monthly, managers should set goals for their team.
With Rock, managers can set deadlines on projects and even filter them by urgency. Remote work tools like Rock facilitate employee rewards as managers can easily assess which team members are achieving their documented goals.
Managers can also send out a Loom to the entire company when an employee deserves recognition. This is likely to motivate others to also increase their productivity.
Instead of sitting in hour-long meetings that are unproductive, employees can send out quick Looms to save time. When a meeting is really needed, Rock allows you to set up a Zoom, Google Meet, or Jitsi meeting.
By minimizing platform switching and through features that promote asynchronous communication and organization, Rock leads to a more productive workflow.
Managers can figure out how to improve productivity in an organization in an intuitive manner with Rock’s task management feature, high documentation, and more. All the tools you need to increase productivity are only a click away.