A productive workforce is something every employer craves. At least they should.
Efficiency after all has always determined output and output, by extension, determines profits – or a lack thereof. Intertwined, the productivity to profitability link is one that sustains businesses the world over.
That said, all manner of variables can steer a company off course. While economic factors are often unmitigated and unwelcomed, diminished productivity is at least manageable. To an extent. In a bid to restore balance, it pays to look in the following areas.
An obvious place to start, distractions are plentiful in the average workplace. Handheld devices are perhaps the root of this particular evil, as office workers delve in and out of phones with the regularity of a chiming clock.
Mobiles however are not alone in slowing work rate. While some insist music helps their concentration, others struggle to keep their mind on the task in hand if Ed Sheeran or the Foo Fighters are perforating eardrums.
Elsewhere talkative colleagues have a tendency to break concentration, while surrounding clutter, background noise and all too frequent interruptions will impinge on the quality and quantity of work combined.
Tackling distractions is a challenge for business owners who can seldom appease all employees. Minimising the overall number however, will surely pay dividends.
2 POOR LEADERSHIP
It is said a team is built in the image of their manager, which spells bad news if the latter is incompetent.
Indeed, a glaring lack of leadership can do untold damage to productivity as a workforce lament a lack of direction. Supervisors are in situ because they encourage, motivate and inspire those under their command. If such traits fall by the wayside, productivity will follow suit.
Employees from all walks of life appreciate good goal setting and regular reviews. A lack of both will lead to an inevitable tailing off.
Granted, illness cannot always be foreseen. Nevertheless, if a regular spate of sickness depletes your workforce it may be wise to at least seek to identify a root cause. A lack of ventilation is known to create breathing difficulties. Worryingly, a build-up of carbon monoxide and similar compounds will result in germs spreading. This wreaks havoc with respiratory systems.
Elsewhere, a sheer lack of cleanliness can lead to absenteeism. If the office environment is ridden with bacteria, fungi or mould it can have an adverse effect of those populating the area on a daily basis. People who struggle with allergies generally are the most vulnerable
Do not underestimate the importance of good lighting also. As unlikely as it sounds, a poorly lit workspace can have a direct impact on sleep patterns and therefore energy levels. Presenteeism and productivity alike may just benefit from a refurbishment.
4 A LACK OF MODERNITY
A good business will move with the times and see an increase in productivity by way of reward. Make no mistake, it is vitally important to invest in the latest technologies if you hope to stay ahead of the curve. Only then can you hope to motivate employees and bring the best out of them.
A talented designer will thrive if given access to the latest creative software, likewise a printer with the newest routing table.
A worker is only as good as the tools he is given. Invest in yours and you will soon realise a return on investment and productivity comparable to competitors.
Stress is something which besets the busiest work environments. While some saddle themselves with responsibility and thrive on just that, others struggle to manage their workload and see the quality of their output dwindle as a result.
If productivity is on the wane there is a fair chance a bottleneck of sorts has occurred. Look to better distribute the workload and ease the pressure on those worst affected.
Stringent control of expenditure is necessary for the long-term health of a business. Wild spending has led many on a road to ruin, wherein even productivity matters none. Those in control of the coffers however are best served dedicating budget to additional resources when workload demands it.
Indeed, the easiest way to improve output is to increase the number of staff charged with delivering work itself. If revenue allows, consider hiring new faces who can help free up others and improve their productivity in the process.
7 LITTLE PRE-PLANNING
To eek the most out of a workforce is to prioritise pre-planning. Project Management in its basic form is ensuring key milestones are set in stone and the deliverables that fall between such times are clearly defined.
Productivity dwindles when there is uncertainty on exactly who is responsible for what task. Think ahead, guard against diary clashes and cut over-delivery... you will be glad of it.
8 A LACK OF TEAM SPIRIT
People from all walks of life are far likelier to up their workload if they are content and better still, happy in their role. Staff satisfaction can never be guaranteed but it can at least be facilitated by engendering a positive atmosphere. The latter is helped no end by periodical team building exercises.
Arranging for light-hearted, enjoyable activities to take place once in a while will foster camaraderie. A happy workplace is often a productive one as employees seek to go the extra mile for a business that does the same for them.
9 POOR COMFORT
Seldom a priority, the ergonomics of an office space certainly impact productivity. Think about it, workers can hardly be expected to produce their best if pre-occupied with their own discomfort and irritation at a battered chair or creaking desk.
Only by creating the right working environment can you hope to facilitate a productive one.
10 LACK OF TRAINING
Finally, perhaps the most important factor influencing productivity; regular, engaging and informative training sessions make better employees of us all. Investing in the development of a workforce should be of paramount importance to business owners whatever their background.
Doing so will not only broaden the skillset of those on the payroll but introduce techniques and processes likely to get more out of them. Dead time will become a thing of the past as workers become au fait with several different roles and contribute to far more as a result.
A beneficial training day is often dependant on the location in which it is delivered. A purpose-built venue will boast rooms, equipment, lighting, parking and accommodation to boot, this as every requirement is seen to. In a word they make for ‘productive’ training sessions – the best kind.
On that note, why not take a look at 14 things that improve training event productivity here?
If you would like more information on Lane End’s training facilities please get in touch here or talk to a member of our friendly team on 01494 881 171.