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6 Ways to Boost Employee Productivity

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It seems as if employees are spending more and more of their time at the office, often working in excess of the standard 40-hour work week. Does more really get done with the extra hours worked, though? Maybe it’s time to take a look at what’s actually being accomplished and see if there’s a way to cut back on hours worked while restoring a better work-life balance for you and your staff.

If you’re looking to economize time without compromising deadlines, here are six things you can do to boost your team’s productivity:

1. Learn to delegate.

Sometimes this can be tough to put into play. It’s important for leaders to learn to pass on responsibilities to qualified employees, and also trust their judgment. Delegation provides an opportunity for your employees to gain leadership experience and develop skills that will ultimately benefit your company.

2. Assign tasks according to skills.

In order to maximize efficiency, it’s critical for leaders to know employees’ behavioral styles and skills. It’s unrealistic to expect your employees to be great at everything. When delegating tasks, ask yourself, “Is this person the best for the project?” If not, assign the task to an employee whose skill and style matches your needs.

3. Communicate effectively.

Every boss knows that communication is essential to a productive workforce, and leaders often rely on email as the primary means of communicating because it  allows employees to be in near-constant communication. Of note, however, is a McKinsey study which found that emails take up almost 28% of an employee’s work day, proving to be quite time-consuming. Yes, email has its place, but keep in mind that you don’t have to rely solely on email.  Consider adopting a social networking tool, like Slack, which is designed for quick and efficient team communication. Also, leaders should remember that a brief in-person chat or phone call can get items settled quickly.

4. Set attainable goals.

Naturally, your employees will be more effective if there is a clearly defined and achievable goal for them to aim for. In general, make sure the goals are S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Leaders must be straightforward with expectations for projects, and also inform employees how the project will impact the company. A shared vision will help employees buckle down and work hard towards that goal.

5. Incentivize employees.

Make the effort to recognize the hard work of your employees. It’s a good way to make employees feel appreciated, and they in turn, typically increase their productivity at work. When acknowledging a job well done, take into account the personalities of your employees and realize some may want public recognition, while others may prefer a personal ‘thank you’ memo out of the limelight. Here are a few other ways to incentivize employees: offer additional PTO at the end of a busy season; plan a team outing to a nice restaurant; or include your boss on the email you send to your employees to thank them for their hard work.

6. Provide feedback.

Timely employee performance reviews are useful toward improving the overall success of your company. Employee productivity can only get better if the employee receives reinforcement for what they do well, and gets a nudge in areas where they need improvement, including how to better manage their time. If you aren’t doing so already, consider having regular check-in meetings to measure employee performance, and to ask for feedback from your employees. This will give you a better understanding on how you can help your employees succeed, as well as encouraging open communication.

By applying the above tips, companies can count on seeing improved productivity that allows employees to better manage and utilize their time.

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