Motivating employees and maximizing productivity are two key management objectives, but enhancing performance among staffers can be an elusive pursuit, in some cases. The relationship between employees and employers is complex, requiring ongoing tweaks to keep everyone on the same page. On one hand, employees clearly operate for salary and benefits, but these are not the only things motivating them to maintain high standards on the job.
Supporting employees with the tools they need to succeed and properly motivating them when performance slips keeps managers walking a fine line between being well-liked bosses and loathsome micro-managers. The balancing act comes with the territory, prompting effective employers to innovate and motivate for the highest levels of productivity possible. So what are some of the best ways to help employees be more productive?
- Traditional Incentives and Rewards – There is no question that money motivates employees, so using it to boost productivity is an effective part of a comprehensive management strategy. In addition to higher salaries and bonuses, effective managers devise internal incentives for departments and individuals; rewarding them for meeting specific goals.
- Less Conventional Incentives – To augment traditional salary incentives, innovative employers look for hard-hitting ways to make a positive impact on employees’ lives. In turn, productivity rises as employers share the burden of getting things done. Employer-sponsored child-care, for example, plugs right-in to most families’ needs; making employees feel appreciated and prompting them to increase productivity.
- Flexible Delivery Options – Employees able to conduct work from home should be allowed to do so; even if only part of the time. Studies show employees performing better when flexible options, such as telecommuting, are extended.
- Show Company Colors from the Top Down – Upper-level managers are role models for other staffers, so nothing undermines organizational integrity more than bosses misbehaving. Employees are most productivity when they are proud of where they work, so a top-down culture of honesty goes a long way.
- Recognition and Reinforcement – Positive reinforcement furthers productivity; appealing to the psychological need for validation. Failing to emphasize successes undermines productivity; when employees become complacent about subsequent assignments.
- Training and Education – Productivity relies on employees’ access to cutting edge concepts and processes. Continuing education and training seminars keep employees on pace with industry best-practices; enabling them to produce at high levels.
- Limit Distractions – Just as distractions slow you down accomplishing personal goals; they get in the way at the workplace, too. Keeping distractions to a minimum may be as simple as reorganizing workstations to accommodate higher productivity.
- Foster Unity – The less friction there is between employees, the greater productivity you’ll find in the workplace. To create harmony, foster an organizational environment leaning heavily on a team approach. When employees depend on one another; by design, productivity increases. Competitive one-upsmanship doesn’t motivate everyone in the same way, so a unified approach is preferred.
- Embrace Technology – Technology evolves at a blistering pace, furnishing improved business strategies with each advancement. Failing to keep pace with emerging technology puts companies at a disadvantage in the marketplace – and also internally. To maintain peak productivity, furnish the tools employees need to perform at high levels.
- Be Realistic, Set Goals, and Follow-Up – Setting un-achievable standards creates unrealistic expectations for employees, prompting them to coast. Instead, effective managers set specific benchmarks for staff members, tied to tangible performance objectives. Following-up regularly fosters accountability among employees, who know exactly where expectations lie.
Maintaining high levels of productivity requires employers to create proper environments and to continually reinforce their commitments to employees. By giving a little and holding employees accountable, employers strike the right balance; prompting staff members to perform at peak levels.