Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Ways to Send Productivity Through the Roof

Here's how to motivate employees to get more done--no extra money or real effort required.

Want to dramatically improve your employees' performance without spending any money?

Want to dramatically improve your own performance without taking classes, attending seminars, or buying cool new gadgets that promise lots but deliver little?

It's easier than you think.

Here's how:

Create self-esteem incentives.

We all work harder when we feel respected and appreciated. (Obvious, but really easy to forget.)

Every employee is different, so think about the type of praise and recognition that has meaning to each person who works for you. For example, some people like to be praised publicly; others prefer a quiet private word.

Then build incentives based on what makes the most impact. Have an employee lead a presentation to upper management. Place an employee in charge of an important project. Give an employee the opportunity to train in another department.

Employees work hard because it's their job, but employees work even harder when they feel good about themselves.

Every job has some latitude--make sure you fully exploit that latitude so your employees can feel better about themselves, both as an employee and as a person.

They'll naturally be more productive--and happier. The two always go hand in hand.

Eliminate stupid stuff.

Every company and every job has a number of once meaningful but now worthless tasks.

Think about all the "that's how we've always done things" stuff. If a task doesn't directly impact sales, quality, productivity, or safety, get rid of it and free up that time.

I once started a new job and had to spend two hours a day creating reports. After a week, I did a little networking and asked the recipients what I could do to improve the reports. Each person answered with some version of "Don't worry about it... I don't even look at them." I stopped creating the reports, no one cared, and I looked like a superstar simply because I had more time to focus on other tasks.

Get rid of the stupid stuff and every employee gets more time to be a superstar.

Ask for one simple thing you could do to make someone's job easier.