10 Ways To Increase Business Productivity

Published on:

February 4, 2021

Two girls working together at a PC looking very productive.

Workplace productivity is vital for business success. Improving employee productivity is the first step you should take to grow your business and increase profitability. Yet, despite how important productivity is to business survival, UK productivity is 21% lower than the rest of the G7 and continues to struggle year on year. In the face of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, it is time to reverse this statistic and prioritise workplace productivity to ensure the survival of both the UK economy and its businesses.

Business owners can no longer afford to overlook the importance of business productivity and its profound benefits. High levels of workplace productivity not only boost business growth, improve profit margins, and create happier workers but are also integral to the success of the country. Productive and profitable companies contribute more to the UK economy. As the country becomes richer, the standard of living rises and generates more money to be spent on health, education and welfare.

Follow these steps to improve workplace productivity, grow your business and get a better night’s sleep.

10 Ways to Improve Business Productivity

Good leadership improves business productivity

The role of the 21st century leader is to motivate and inspire their staff to work towards a shared goal. Start by ensuring all staff are aware of how their roles fit into the organisation and the importance of their contribution to the business. Engaged staff who feel valued in the workplace will reward you with increased levels of productivity.

It is also vital to address your employees’ needs, encourage wellbeing, eliminate stress and show understanding during difficult periods in their lives. In return, your team members will feel appreciated and supported which increases loyalty, engagement and ultimately, productivity.

Positive work cultures are more productive

A healthy work culture inspires innovation, collaboration, happiness, wellbeing, engagement and job satisfaction. When an organisation is struggling with their employee productivity, it is essential to examine the current company culture.

A toxic company culture can cause animosity between staff which hinders collaboration; employees lack direction which results in wasted time and undervalued employees simply lack the motivation to perform productively.

Happy workers show up consistently, are more engaged with the business, seek to solve problems and, as a result, contribute more valuable and productive work.

Employee wellbeing boosts workplace productivity

Improving employee wellbeing reduces absenteeism and employee burnout. Workers with improved wellbeing have increased energy and are in a better headspace to devote more of their time and attention to the task at hand.

There is much more emphasis placed on a good work/life balance today than there was 50 years ago. Millennials value health, wellbeing and job satisfaction more than their predecessors.

Implementing an employee wellness programme can be a great way to improve happiness and boost productivity. A survey by Deloitte in 2018 found that 61% of employers said their wellbeing programme improved employee productivity and bottom-line business results.

Improve employee performance through training and development

Ongoing employee training and development is vital to business success. When employees learn new skills or enhance their existing ones it raises their confidence, inspires innovation, brings new skills to the workplace and boosts employee satisfaction. On the other hand, when an employee lacks the skills needed to perform their job efficiently, time will be wasted and mistakes made.

Confident, happy and innovative employees will increase business productivity. Research has shown that employees could be up to 28% more productive with better training.

Goal-setting improves business productivity

Setting Stretch Goals can be a great way to boost business productivity. A stretch goal is a target goal that is incredibly challenging and ambitious. It can even be deemed the ‘impossible’ dream. Managed in the right way stretch goals encourage employees to think outside the box, push themselves to come up with new solutions and require a renewed commitment to the project.

Both personal and business growth occurs when we are push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and take risks. As we uncover new strategies in our attempt to reach these goals, we are able to improve processes and find more productive solutions.

It is key to encourage experimentation but not to reprimand failure. Confidence will begin to waver and no one will want to take on future challenges, knowing they might receive negative feedback if they fail. Even when stretch goals aren’t met, positive progress and new ideas will have been made along the way.

Offer incentives to boost worker productivity

Everyone responds well to praise and we crave appreciation for hard work. A simple thank you or a small token of appreciation in the workplace improves productivity, boosts happiness and creates loyalty.

Putting a reward and recognition scheme in place improves productivity, increases job satisfaction, boosts happiness and creates loyalty.

A survey by Workhuman found that 79% of people work harder when recognised for their efforts and a considerable 78% cited increased productivity as a result.

Employee empowerment increases organisational productivity

Empower your staff by involving them in the decision making and giving them control over their own work. You need to listen to their ideas, challenge them to think outside the box and allow them to make relevant decisions. It shows trust and loyalty and, as a result, employees will become more engaged with the business goals.

Being ordered to do something tends to negatively impact on our motivation. However, when we’re included in the decision-making we feel part of the bigger picture and our productivity improves as a result. Empowered employees are more likely to go the extra mile for you.

A study found that those with a high level of empowerment came in at the 79th percentile of engagement, compared with just 24% from less empowered employee. Engaged staff exhibit better workplace productivity levels.

Flexible working can improve productivity

Flexible working allows for a better work/life balance with increased childcare opportunities, less time wasted travelling and helps prevent employee burnout. Employees who are tired, stressed and resent the rigidity of the workplace are less likely to be engaged and productivity will suffer as a result.

A recent survey by Locatee found that just 7% of respondents wanted to go back to working from the office full time after the pandemic. This is a stark indicator that full-time office working is not in the best interests of employees. Allowing a blended approach to office and home working could help increase workplace productivity and improve employee wellbeing.

Effective communication is vital to increase workplace productivity

Effective internal communication is central to all business goals. It avoids confusion, encourages teamwork, allows for collaboration, provides purpose and creates a positive company culture.

Employees need to be given effective and clear briefs for each task. Employees who are informed and clear about their goals are more likely to perform tasks with increased confidence and direction, improving their productivity.

Additionally, management should be available for staff at all times and foster a culture of open, honest and transparent communication. When staff feel they can ask questions, it provides quick clarification and avoids costly mistakes

Utilise technology to increase workplace productivity

Staff can be held back by poor performing technology and spend most of their day trying to solve IT errors instead of carrying out their jobs effectively. Technology should be helping boost productivity not hindering it. It is therefore important to make sure you have a strong and reliable IT package in place.

Furthermore, business owners should be embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution and using emerging technology to boost worker productivity. There are many advanced automation and AI tools that can be utilised to help eliminate employee boredom by completing arduous repetitive tasks, allowing staff time for ideas and innovation. When technology is used correctly, alongside humans, it can assist in boosting productivity.

Summary:

Improving business productivity is vital to the success of your business. Our vision is to help UK businesses grow and flourish through our business productivity improvement programme. Our goal is to improve UK productivity from one of the lowest in the G7 to the highest by 2030. By implementing these 10 ways to increase business productivity, you should start to witness improved growth and profitability.

About Paul Freudenberg

Paul Freudenberg is a business productivity coach and consultant with a focus on operational excellence delivering improved profitability and business performance, and Founder of Awardaroo in 2005. Paul has set the mission of Awardaroo to help raise UK Business Productivity from one of the lowest in the G7 to one of the highest by 2030. Connect on LinkedIn

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