If you engage in appropriate workforce forecasting, you should ensure that you have enough workers on staff and in the office to account for projected workflow. However, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to achieve the productivity you predict. Workforce productivity is a complex equation that can be impacted by any number of factors, from the amount and difficulty of work, to personal and professional relationships, to seasonal concerns like holidays and colds.
The office environment can also play a decided role in workforce productivity. This is an area over which businesses have some measure of control. Your human resources software can help you to figure out how to efficiently schedule and manage your workforce, but you also need to interact with employees in a positive way and support them in order to optimize productivity. Here are just a few steps you can take to improve workforce productivity.
1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Employment is a contract between a business and its staff, one in which workers perform needed services in exchange for agreed-upon wages. Labor management services can help you determine the ideal number of workers needed to get jobs done, but the contract between employer and employee can only benefit both parties if expectations are made clear from the get-go.
If you want to get the best performance and ensure productivity, it’s imperative that you have clear goals, including benchmarks and deadlines. Also be sure to create detailed and realistic expectations so that employees know exactly how to proceed. Other factors may interfere with productivity, but if you plan properly and communicate effectively, these instances and influences can be accounted for to a degree.
2. Empower Employees to Manage Their Time
Most businesses take great pains to hire employees that have the education and experience needed for a particular position. So why would you micromanage and force your employees to perform meaningless, time-wasting tasks?
There’s no reason to put them on edge by having their supervisors check on them frequently throughout the day. Nor do you need to bog them down in senseless drudgery like writing reports that their managers don’t have time to read anyway. Instead, delegate work they should be able to handle and extend them a level of trust to complete it, with reasonable oversight.
Allowing your employees this latitude to manage their own time, provided they meet deadlines and expectations, will make them feel valued and trusted and boost morale. In most cases this will result in greater productivity.
3. Provide Incentive Through Merit-based Rewards
A little competition is a good thing, and when used appropriately, it can improve workforce productivity. Instead of promoting on a schedule or handing out bonuses just because it’s the end of the year, offer rewards that are based on merit.
There are certain things you’re required by law to provide for employees. You must offer health benefits (for companies of a certain size), and you have to follow FMLA guidelines for employers, just for example.
However, there’s nothing to stop you from basing additional benefits and rewards for a job well done. When employees meet their own goals, help the company to accomplish its goals, and prove their value, they should be rewarded. Creating a merit-based system can help to fuel productivity.
4. Institute Ongoing Education and Training
It’s one thing to challenge employees to learn and improve; it’s another to throw them into the deep end by assigning tasks for which they are unprepared. Keeping employees challenged, invested, and engaged will promote productivity. The best option to help every employee meet his or her potential is to implement a program of training and education.
Whether you offer training that can help employees improve in their current position and eventually move up, or you create an education reimbursement program that promotes additional schooling, investing in your employees is an investment in the future of your company.
5. Measure Productivity
With proper HR analytics software, you can efficiently and effectively manage your workforce. You should also take steps to measure productivity in order to improve performance through analysis and adjustment.
In addition to tracking hours and making sure that work is completed on schedule, employers can also use a variety of software and tools designed to manage and track workflow, including project manager applications. Such tools can help you understand how and when employees are working so that you can find ways to improve productivity.