How to Ensure Employee Productivity ?

We all must know that Employee productivity is a direct outcome of how they are being treated at the organization

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By Payal Sondhi

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Journal of Labor Economics had published a report in 2016 that stated that "Happier people are about 12% more productive'. This result was based on four different experiments that employed a variety of tactics on a total of 713 subjects at an elite British university. Now how do you ensure employee productivity? Let's look at few ways to work on it.

Delegate Right – The most obvious and critical way to begin with is to set the right objectives for the employee; make sure that the objectives are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely and are in-line with the employee's skill set. The idea is not just to delegate but to delegate right for which the manager needs to be well-versed with their team's strengths and weakness. For e.g. if you have an employee that has good communication skills, is an extrovert and creative, you know he is the correct person to pitch in front of the clients, they might have difficulty working if they are given a detailed and rule-based project to work on.

Communicate Effectively – Transparency is the key to an effective communication; clearer the communication, the more productive the employee will be. Choose the right tool to communicate based on the requirement and urgency. A McKinsey study had earlier revealed that emails can take upto nearly 28% of an employee's time. Encourage phone calls and quick meetings; this will reduce the time spent on back and forth communication over emails. It will also help towards team building as there is a personal connect in both these forms of communications.

Share Feedback – Performance reviews are very important – measure your employee's performance, conduct individual meetings to let them know the areas that they are excelling in and the ones that need to worked on. Post this, ask them where they need your help or guidance to improve, encourage an open dialogue for continuous development of the employees over time. Additionally, conduct unofficial and anonymous feedback meetings, this is an exercise where the members of the same team will share a feedback on their team members – their way of working, behaviour, etc. Considering that the feedback is anonymous, this will be an upfront and transparent review which may help in getting an accurate picture of how cohesive the employee's performance is in the organization.

Revamp Meetings – Some major companies have already adopted the no-meetings on Fridays policy so that the employees can wrap up the week's work without interruptions. You can implement the below shared ideas as well:

  • Do not schedule meetings before 9 am or after 5 pm for a work-life balance

  • Share a meeting agenda beforehand, so that everyone in the meeting is on the same page and the meetings do not get stretched

  • During the meetings, the laptops should not be used unless it's really necessary, this will increase the employee engagement and also help work through a problem effectively and promptly

Give Incentives – Customise the incentive plans for employees, go an extra mile to recognise them for their efforts. One employee may prefer public recognition whereas another one might be content with a private "thank you'. You can also look into the below incentives:

  • Instead of a bonus, you can give your employees additional paid leaves, this will be separate from their annual leaves

  • Team lunch or team dinner, an old age incentive but it still gives the desired results

  • You can send them a handwritten appreciation note, this shows to the employee that you care and they are important enough for you to take time to write the note for them

  • If you plan to compliment a team member for their work through an email, make sure you copy your boss and his other team members on it, this will act as a huge motivator for them

  • Consider executing a fitness program, this will help with the employee's health, cut the number of sick days, will help in inculcating a health-conscious culture and will also give out a clear message that the organization is concerned about the employee's wellbeing

Employee productivity is a direct outcome of how they are being treated at the organization, how aligned they are with their work, do they feel they are being heard, does their feedback matter? Organizations need to increase their focus on making the workplace more employee-friendly to ensure that better results are achieved at the organization level.

Payal Sondhi

Manager - Human Resources, SILA

Payal Sondhi is the Human Resources Manager at SILA.

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