Are your employees time efficient and performing to the best of their ability? The chances are that you can’t answer this with a resounding yes, but how can you improve employee productivity?

In this blog I want to talk about the age old issue of productivity, and discuss how organisations can improve the productivity of employees without increasing the number of hours they work.  

Productivity: A recurring concern

Within organisations productivity has long been on the mind of managers, directors and CEOs. The age old question of how can we help employees become more productive has been an ever present challenge in organisations across the world.

What experience with employee surveys has told us (at Effectory International), is that there is huge variety in the survey results and that one thing is for certain; there is always room for improvement.

Social innovation

Studies show that productivity doesn’t rise when you increase the hours or the number of tasks of employees. On the contrary, long and arduous work weeks can lead to staff exodus, fatigue and lower productivity in employees.

Simply shoring up costs and recalculating outputs alone won’t increase productivity. One of the ways that organisations can help increase productivity is through (social) innovation. To innovate, managers and employees need to work together on changing things for the better and on finding solutions to work smarter. It can be a real waste of human capital and talent if organisations ignore the opportunity to innovate with their employees.

We’ve seen that an important component in innovation in organisations is that employees are heard, and that there is an accessible platform where employees feel they can be heard.  Employees have the greatest knowledge on what is happening inside an organisation, and are by far the best people to provide input on how organisations can innovate their current work systems! 

Energy and direction

As identified by numerous studies, the two crucial elements to successful innovation (and thus higher productivity in employees) are energy and direction.

To provide employees with energy, organisations should create a stimulating working environment, and should create opportunities for employees to work with colleagues whom they can collaborate and discuss ideas with. On top of this, employees can also gain energy also gain from clarity about responsibilities, as well as inspiring and motivational leadership.

In tandem with energy, there also needs to be clear direction for employees. Providing employees information on and regularly communicating where the organisation is, can provide a solid basis. Furthermore, employees gain direction when they know where their organisation wants to go and how they can do to help it get there.

Organisations that manage to work on improving the energy and direction of their employees, and work with their employees to innovate are often some of the most productive organisations in their industry. At the other end many organisations struggle with this, but providing the necessary information and opening a dialogue with employees on how to work smarter is always a great starting point.

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