ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TIPS
Posts Tagged: staff development
Staff productivity in the workplace is connected to a number of different factors including how happy the staff are and how engaged they are with company goals. However, these factors can be difficult to quantify. If you want to encourage your staff to be more productive, what are the best ways to go about it? If happier employees are also more productive, then what types of perks and incentives tend to motivate employees toward greater productivity?
One of the most important things to do is making sure your employees have the tools they need to do their jobs. This sounds self-evident, yet you might be surprised at how many workplaces inhibit the productivity of their staff through outdated technology and outdated processes. All of the employee goodwill in the world cannot overcome software that should have been retired years ago or forms that require hard-to-get signatures to move up to the next level. Therefore, the first step in increasing workplace productivity is to look at how things are done and how they might be improved.
One thing to keep in mind during this stage is that “how they might be improved” may not always be the way that seems the most efficient. For example, it might seem that having staff that could work the longest hours possible with the fewest distractions is the obvious path to workplace efficiency. However, humans are not machines, and studies have shown a vanishing rate of return as far as productivity goes when employees are working long hours. Moreover, being treated like a cog in a machine does not make for a happy workplace, and a happy workplace is critical to long-term productivity.
Rather than strictly enforced long hours, workplaces where it might be possible to flex start times even by an hour or so gives workers a greater sense of autonomy. Furthermore, contrary to employers’ nightmare visions about a day of working at home consisting of the employee watching daytime television, running errands and chatting on the phone to friends, many at-home workers have demonstrated more productivity because they are not constantly being interrupted by their co-workers.
Any flexibility of this sort that can be built into the office routine is likely to boost productivity. Employers who still feel anxious about a potential negative effect on productivity can introduce a trial period and track how productive their employees are with and without flexible hours and options to work at home one day per week.
However passionate people may be about their jobs, they also work in order to get paid, and financial incentives are still an excellent path to boosting productivity. Bonuses that are tied to company profits or to production numbers reinforce this direct relationship.
Not all managers are empowered to offer bonuses, and small businesses may operate within a tight enough profit margin that such an approach is not feasible. In these cases, other perks tied to productivity might be offered such as paid time off or afternoon pizzas paid for by the company.
Try to provide productive employees with opportunities for advancement, and if that is not possible, giving them the opportunity to further their Staff Development Skills through additional training and education can be a reward or incentive as well. Having clear goals communicated effectively is also important. Strong leadership in the form of management that shows appreciation and encourages employees to do their best will also lead to a rise in productivity.
There’s no great secret to improving staff productivity
Give them the tools they need to achieve clearly defined goals in an atmosphere where they feel valued. With an approach to productivity focused on staff needs, productivity will soar.
For further information on how to encourage your staff to be more productive, simply click the image below to download our FREE Happy and Effective Staff Handbook right now!
At its best, training your staff in the workplace is beneficial to both employees and the organisation. The key is identifying staff who would gain the most from the training and who would be able to use those skills in a way that best serves the company. Most of us have had the frustrating experience of sitting through work training sessions that lack relevance to our own jobs. However, matching the right training with the right employee can be a powerful tool to increase productivity, boost morale and cultivate new skills throughout your department or company.
Training staff in the workplace sends an important message to employees as well. It is a signal that you are investing in them. It says that you are willing to devote time during the work day as well as company resources in the form of office space to that training. Furthermore, it signals to employees that you are interested in their professional development. This builds loyalty and results in higher retention rates.
Studies have shown that good professional development has far-reaching implications throughout an organisation. Given new solutions, employees feel empowered to problem solve while managers spend less time dealing with issues for which employees were previously not sufficiently trained.
Staff training is also a necessary aspect of keeping a company current with technology and industry trends.
Even the most conservative industries, such as insurance, are seeing exciting technological innovation. However, keeping up with trends is not just about technology; industries also develop more effective ways of dealing with challenges, and this can also be taught in Staff Training.
Identifying employees who seem to have leadership or other qualities that make you want to invest in their professional development is an excellent approach to selecting candidates for further training, but you should also consider what you might learn about employees through training itself. Training onsite provides you with the opportunity to observe your employees, and what you find out may surprise you. Employees may show unexpected potential. What appears to be a lack of motivation in an employee may be revealed through training to be a lack of challenges. Onsite training might be the place to identify employees who could be great assets to your organisation who might otherwise have been overlooked.
Staff training is not just about technology or learning new ways of doing a task; it can be about teaching soft skills as well. Training may teach employees how to better negotiate interpersonal conflict in the workplace whether it involves co-workers or clients and customers.
Workplace training provides the opportunity to examine both employee and employer expectations as well as looking at goals and the company’s mission. Employees may sometimes feel mired in the minutiae of the work they do and their daily tasks. Training can be an excellent time to remind everyone of the larger goal toward which they are all striving.
It can also be a time to examine whether current processes are still in alignment with that goal. This presents another opportunity for empowering employees. How do they see themselves and their job duties within the larger organisation? What suggestions might they have about how their role can be improved? When you are faced with a roomful of employees in a training session, consider that everyone in the room is an expert at the position that they hold within the company, and as an owner or manager, you have a powerful opportunity to find out how you can work toward improvement at every level.
Training that considers the goals and needs of staff and the organisation can be one of the most effective ways to benefit both employees and the company. By demonstrating to employees that you value their contributions enough to continue their development, you will cultivate an engaged and productive workplace.
Motivating employees and ensuring that they are working to their full potential is an important aspect of being a manager. Doing so involves engaging employees as fully as possible in their daily tasks.
Here are five employee management tips to strengthen that engagement and help you get the most out of your employees:
1. Get them invested in the success of the business.
If a manager can pass a portion of company profits on to their team in the form of performance-based bonuses, this is one of the best motivators. However, if this is not possible, less costly incentives may range from a staff pizza party to ensuring raises and promotions for those who are integral to that success. The key is to make sure that the concrete success of the business is linked to those incentives. Managers should also make sure that staff understands the company’s vision and how their work supports and advances that vision.
2. Show appreciation
This is separate from linking employee efforts to company profits. Showing appreciation in this context should be based only on employee performance. In fact, it may be particularly important to do so during times that are stressful and when employees are working hard but seeing few concrete results.
It may not sound like much, but saying thank you is something managers should make a point of doing on a regular basis. Employees should be thanked for going above and beyond but also for their regular efforts.
Appreciation can be shown in other ways as well such as complimentary tickets to watch a local sports team play or periodic staff luncheons for which the company picks up the tab.
3. Work to align employees with job descriptions that develop their interests and skills
A good manager should know their employees well enough to know what they like and what they are good at. Working to ensure that team members are in positions that make the best of their strongest skills as well as giving them the opportunity to build on their interests is another way of making sure that employees are invested in their jobs.
4. Give them autonomy
Who is likely to perform at their highest level: people who have very little say in what they do, how they do it and when they do it or people who have at least some input into how their work day unfolds? Many studies have shown that a lack of autonomy can be a major source of job stress, so finding ways to give employees some control over their work can go a long way toward reducing this stress. Whether it is empowering employees to make decisions, permitting them to develop their own processes or simply allowing them to make some choices about the order in which they will work on tasks on any given day, granting some independence to employees will enhance their job performance.
5. Promote effective communication
Employees should have a clear idea of what is expected at them at work, but managers need to go beyond communicating with their staff. They should also work to foster communication between co-workers and between their department or work group and others. Good communication should include directness and transparency. Employees should also know how to proceed if they have a grievance about an issue or co-worker or other problems at work.
One of the most important aspects of Staff Development and getting the best from employees is making sure that employees know they are valued. Concrete rewards and demonstrating appreciation for company success and for hard work, providing employees with engaging work and independence, and making sure that communication is smooth at all levels will make the workplace one where employees excel.
To assist further in getting the best out of your employees we recommend downloading a FREE copy of our Happy and Effective Staff Handbook. Simply click on the image below.