Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seven Tips to Increase Employee Productivity

Workplace productivity obviously affects your bottom line. If it’s down, you’re revenue is most likely down. If it’s up, your company should feel the difference in its cash flow, morale and impact. Every leader looks for ways to increase employee productivity. Here are seven simple tips for where to start.

#1 Prioritizing Priorities

This is also known as “The ABC’s of Productivity.” The ABC approach to increase employee productivity involves having your team make a list of what they do every day. You then have them appoint certain letters to the tasks they consider most important, somewhat important, and not important at all. For example, all critical daily tasks receive an A; somewhat important tasks receive a B and unimportant tasks receive a C.  There is typically a surprising outcome to this exercise, as many managers discover that what they think is critical receives a C from their employees, and tasks that can go undone with little or no repercussion will often receive an A from their employees. This exercise will increase employee productivity as both employee and manager are on the same page regarding prioritizing tasks. 

#2 One-Point E-mails

Make your emails short and to the point. One-point emails help increase employee productivity by keeping responses quick, and therefore easier to compose. Nido Qubein teaches the importance of one-point emails: “I instruct my staff to send me one-point emails that I can respond to with a word, a sentence. I don't care if you send me fifteen but make it one [point]; I don't have time to dig down in your email.” 

#3 Standing Meetings

A simple lack of chairs can turn a 45-minute meeting into a 15-minute marathon of productivity. The lack of comfort in a meeting environment tends to increase productivity through forcing people to work more quickly through the agenda. Give standing meetings a try particularly if you have employees who have the innate ability to make meetings stretch so they don’t have to get back to work. 

#4 Clarifying Standards