Chapter 4: What managers can do to boost employee productivity

What managers can do to boost employee productivity

Improving employee productivity is like an overdue file that keeps making its presence felt at the manager’s desk. No matter how hard they try, there is always a clause or a page that remains incomplete.

Managers across every domain face similar problems when it comes to increasing employee productivity. There are reports that say employee productivity has grown by .3% a year over five years, from 2011 to 2016. The slim growth reveals that something needs to be done right by the firms and of course managers to get better at employee productivity.

There are a lot of tricks in the book but rummaging through them can be pretty time consuming and at times futile. To make every manager’s life easier and make every firm prosper, here are four practical ways to live by if you want to be a better leader at work and inspire your employees every day at the office:

Incentives: ‘one’ for ‘all’, not ‘all’ for ‘one’

One of the best ways to encourage employees to be more efficient is actually to give them a reason to do so. Recognizing your people for a job done well will not only make them feel appreciated, but also encourage them to continue increasing their productivity.

But there’s a natural tendency for management to focus most heavily on senior-level economic incentives. While this is understandable, it’s best not to neglect substantive incentives for lower-level employees.  

While some may argue that it can be a costly affair, experts say that a carefully structured program with clearly defined revenue and/or earnings targets can work like a charm, both for an employee and manager.

Say it when you mean it and mean it when you say it OR Communicate Richly

Meaningful feedback is a foundational management skill that can have a significant impact on an employee’s productivity. Undeniably, feedback should not always be positive rather it should be encouraging. Managers and employees communicating effectively about the problems and improvements will create a holistic environment to work.

So, providing constructive feedback on a regular basis, be it encouragement for a job well done or advice on a presentation gone awry, will make a massive difference to the productivity of a firm.

Value. Support. Recognize. (VSR)

Three words that can’t be stressed enough. It’s essential that every manager understands and abides by these words in their tenure.

A manager’s support in times of need won’t be forgotten. In fact, it builds employee goodwill and loyalty. A situation where an employee is valued and recognised for their work can have a positive impact on them as compared to the contrary situation.

That’s not saying that unwarranted praises will do the trick. Recognition at the right time (say for getting a client onboard) is often a more powerful motivator than money. Value your employees, support them during rough times and recognise their hard work and achievements.

Make yourself a priority

Yes, you read that right. The best investment you will ever make as a manager is in yourself. In fact, this is a move that will put the aforementioned points into action.  

Get enough sleep, use your time wisely and always surround yourself with people who share your values and push you to achieve. By doing things that will make you a better leader or a person will let you have more time to tend to the needs of your employees.

So, to say that increasing productivity of a firm is just in the hands of a few individuals is incorrect. It’s an amalgamation of effort by everyone who is a part of the firm.

To know more about increasing the productivity of your firm, check out the previous chapters and get an insight on how highly productive and engaged employees can change the course of a company’s success.

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