As a manager, I’m always asking myself how I can increase employee productivity and motivate the people I support. Our agency works like a well-oiled machine, but when one person slacks, production slows down. Have you ever had this issue? Are you trying to prevent it? I’ve found a few little-known tactics that motivate employees and help them work more cohesively as a team. Check them out below and give them a try:
1. Put them in your shoes.
In general, it’s hard for people to look past their own goals or issues—it’s a matter of perspective. Providing employees with insight on how a company change or a new product offering affects every level of the business helps them see past their own day-to-day work.
At Accelity, we make sure every team member gets a big-picture look at our business once a week by sharing our goals and priorities. We then connect these ideas to our overall business goals. This keeps us more in sync as we refocus on and reprioritize projects that move our business forward.
2. Training never stops.
Training isn’t a one-month onboarding process—it should be continuous. There are warning signs that your employees may want or need training. If your employees seem less productive, ask them how they feel about their work. Are they overwhelmed? Or do they think the work is stale and boring? Either one of these responses could warrant training.
For those who feel overwhelmed, revisit your initial onboarding with them and pick out classes to refresh their memories on best practices.
For those who feel the work they do is stale, they may be in need of harder work. Consider training them deeper on your product or service to expand their knowledge, or cross-train them to better understand other areas of the business in relation to their role. Doing so will allow for more opportunities to challenge themselves.
3. No all-hands-on-deck meetings.
There’s a good chance your employees think most meetings are a waste of time. This doesn’t mean the meeting isn’t valuable—it just might not be valuable to them.
Before you invite every member of your team or department, stop. Really think through who the necessary stakeholders of your meeting(s) are, and invite only those people.
Think of it this way—if you invite eight people to a one-hour meeting and they don’t need to be there, you’ve wasted 8 hours of productivity. Not only do they contribute little to the meeting, but they were taken away from an hour of work they could have done. Yikes!
When you invite only the necessary stakeholders, you can still loop your employees in after. Keep them up-to-date with any changes they can expect with a five-minute stand up meeting, or a quick email.
4. No Monday/Friday meetings
Here’s another way to avoid employee hatred of meetings! Increase employee productivity by scheduling meetings during the core of the week, and avoiding Monday and Friday meetings.
Allow your employees to heal from their case of the Mondays, get ready to prep for the work week and build their to-do list. If you still want an update or touch base with them, ask them to send you an email of their top priorities for the day/week.
On Fridays, let employees wind down their work week, find a good stopping point for their projects and do any prep work for the following week.
Here’s a tip: If you must schedule a Friday meeting, never (ever!) schedule it at the end of the day. Your employees will be annoyed, they will hurry to wrap up their work for the week and it will be one of the least productive meetings you’ll have.
On a similar note, if you have to schedule a Monday meeting, don’t set one first thing in the morning. Allow your employees to get back into their routine and prioritize their tasks for the week.
Sometimes motivating employees is hard! However, if you help them see the big picture, continue their education and seriously consider when and how to schedule your meetings, you’ll see productivity soar.
Do you have any other ways to boost employee productivity? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!