How to motivate your employees to be productive

By Moira Dunne
Founder of beproductive.ie
3rd Apr 2018

Your employees are your most valuable assets and their productivity is critical to your business success. These days most people seem to be busy but not a lot of people feel productive. Expectations within the workplace are higher than ever and deadlines are shorter. And while our mobile technology is fantastic for communication, employees feel they are permanently on-demand. Individual productivity depends on a person’s motivation and their ability to be productive. But it also needs to be considered at a company level to make sure the environment people work in doesn’t prevent them from being productive.

Employees Want to Be Productive

Obviously, employers want their team to be productive. But in general, employees want to be productive too. Being productive is about getting the right work done with the right outcomes in the time available. It provides a sense of achievement and accomplishment. That feeling helps people switch off after work which in turn allows them to relax and refresh. If people can’t get their work done, they feel stressed and this causes them to worry which makes them unhappy in their job.

Barriers to Productivity

When employees cite the factors that demotivate them in work they list things that prevent them being productive. Here are some examples:

  • Changing demands and priorities
  • Inefficient systems and processes
  • Lack of clarity around role and expectations
  • Poor communication with managers
  • Long hours, poor work-life balance

Take a look at this list. Can you see anything that may be a barrier to productivity in your business?

Create a Productive Culture

A company needs to create a productive culture that motivates employees to be at their best. The good news for small business owners is that most motivation strategies require little or no financial investment. They are mostly based on solid management techniques.

Ask yourself the following questions to get started:

  1. Are people clear about what is expected of them?
  2. What are the bottlenecks or inefficiencies?
  3. Are people collaborating when deadlines change?
  4. Have the employees got the right skills to be productive?
  5. Are the managers enabling productivity?

Work Together to Make Changes

Once you have some answers encourage your team to work together to identify any specific productivity barriers they encounter day-to-day. By encouraging solutions from within your team you will get greater commitment to change.

5 Ways To Motivate Your Team

  1. Creating The Right Environment
    Foster a positive and productive environment where everyone wants to be at their best, where good performance is applauded and rewarded and poor performance is tackled.
  2. Empower People to Be Creative
    Encourage your team to solve problems and develop new, creative solutions. Be open to change and try new methods in planning meetings. Brainstorming, mind-mapping and design thinking bring energy into a room and sparks creative thinking in a way a traditional meeting won’t.
  3. Work as a Team and Embrace Diversity
    Everyone in a team will bring different strengths and will be motivated by different factors. Give people responsibilities and tasks that play to their strengths or fit their interests.
  4. Keep Boredom to a Minimum
    Automate any repetitive work with templates and systems. Make sure the distribution of dull tasks within the team is fair. Provide meaning by explaining how every small task contributes to the achievement of the overall business goals.
  5. Practice What You Preach
    If you ask your team to adopt good planning and prioritising techniques to increase their productivity don’t expect them to drop everything when something new crops up. Agree the target response time for clients and build your process around that.

Productivity Benefits Everyone

A productive environment will reduce employee stress and maintain employee wellness. But it takes a commitment at the top to develop and good, collaborative management techniques to maintain. There are long-term gains for both the employees and the business that can positively impact the company’s bottom line. It’s a win-win situation! Best of luck with any changes you make. If you would like more information and productivity tips to help get you started please contact Moira Dunne at moiradunne@beproductive.ie.

 

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