As a manager, you need to know how to keep your employees and colleagues on track if you want to hit the goals and objectives that have been set for your business. You also need to make an effort to ensure that people are motivated and productive, especially if your company is implementing a hybrid policy where staff will be spending some time working away from the office.
Of course, this can sometimes be easier said than done, but there are some practical steps that you can take to boost and maintain employee productivity for your team. And, we are going to take a look at six of them in this article. Read on to find out more about effective productivity tips every manager should know.
Use a productivity tool that will keep everyone on track
Productivity tools are some of the project management essentials that can help you manage your team because they do a great job of tracking most areas of your business so you can stay on top of things.
Using a productivity tool can really benefit your team because it allows you to set deadlines for tasks and it makes it easier for you to collaborate with other team members. It also enables you to have all the relevant documents for specific projects in one place and it makes you feel more in control.
Another benefit of project management tools is that they let you see all the tasks you have to do on a particular day, at a glance, and it makes it possible for you to track everyone’s work, even if some employees are working remotely.
If you do decide to incorporate a tool like this into your workflow, you will need to put some work into properly introducing your team to it, though. The first thing you want to do is explain the reasons why you have decided to manage everyone’s tasks in this way. And you can start by outlining the current problems that your team is having — for example, if people are missing deadlines, finding it hard to keep track of their tasks, or struggle to share relevant files for different projects.
Once everyone understands your decision, you can make plans to ease them into it by providing tutorials or demonstration videos that can show your team members exactly how to use the project management tool you’ve chosen. It could even be a good idea to opt for a tool that has a dedicated helpdesk so your employees can contact the provider should they run into any problems.
Finally, you can start to introduce the tool to your staff’s day-to-day processes slowly. Monitor how things go and how people are feeling about this new way of working, then make any necessary adjustments to ensure everyone will stay happy and productive.
Support your staff in creating productive work environments
Work environments can have a huge impact on employee productivity so, as a manager, you should try to ensure you support your staff in creating healthy working environments.
This is a very important practice for the workplace, but it’s also something you need to consider for your employees who are working from home. A lot of employees are likely to still want to spend at least some of their time working remotely after the Covid-19 pandemic. So, this means you need to start investing in the workspaces of your employees who work from home as it could help increase their productivity in the long run.
One of the ways you can make sure your staff are able to create a positive and productive work environment is by supporting your employees in improving their home workspaces. For instance, you could provide them with a budget to buy themselves comfortable desk chairs, or even ship some to your employees’ homes. Plants also offer a great way to clean the air in an indoor workspace, so it could be worth encouraging your staff to add some greenery to their home office desks, or even send them one each as a gift.
Another way you can help staff to create a productive environment is by giving them high-quality tools and other ergonomic equipment to help get their work done faster and more comfortably. This could mean providing quality computers that run quickly and effectively, for instance, so your team members can do their jobs more efficiently and deliver results on time.
It’s a good idea to check in with your staff to see what they might need to ensure they have a great working environment, whether they’re at home or in the office.
Streamline tasks with the right templates and tools
If you’re able to streamline certain tasks for your workers, it will help to significantly speed things up and amplify employee productivity. And keep in mind that there’s no task too small to be streamlined, as even the smallest of tweaks can save your team a lot of time that can be spent on other activities.
For instance, if you see that your team members often forget the passwords to most of the tools they use, or logging in every time is slowing them down, you could invest in single sign-on technology. This allows users to access multiple tools with just one set of credentials, which can save the time spent trying to remember or recover lost passwords.
Also, it could be beneficial to provide templates for common jobs, like preparing invoices for clients. At the moment, this probably takes your team more time than it should but, if you decide to use an invoice template like the one provided by FreshBooks, this will help to cut down the time that your employees spend on starting the job from scratch each time.
Another task you could streamline is the manual posting of content to your social media platforms. This tends to take a lot of time and might be stressful for the person performing the task. But, if you were to introduce the use of a bulk scheduling tool, this could help speed up the creation and distribution of your social media content. If you need some recommendations, SocialPilot has a great guide on some of the best LinkedIn marketing tools you can use for this purpose. And the good thing is the tools also work well for other social media channels.
Finally, if you find it hard to keep track of the messages that each team member sends from different applications, you could consider using a communication tool like Slack. It has been specifically created to allow team members to communicate with each other in the same place all of the time, which will help to ensure everyone is always on the same page and can find the information they need quickly and easily.
Always have clear goals for youSelf and your team
One of the best ways to make sure that you and your team stay on track is by setting clear and attainable goals that will guide your activities. These could range from general day-to-day goals to revenue-based or overall business objectives.
You need to think carefully about the approach you’ll take when setting these goals. You should only be setting clear, realistic, and measurable goals that can be met by your employees.
One way to do this is by looking at the historical data and figures of the company to study the trends so you can know what worked in the past and what didn’t. Having this information will help guide the kinds of goals you set for the future because it gives you some insight into how your team can replicate results that have been achieved before, or even surpass them.
Also, try to ensure you set goals that can be measured. For example, if one of your goals is an increase in revenue, then you should have a clear figure in mind, so you’ll know if and when you reach it.
After setting your goals, it can also benefit your team if you map out the different tasks and processes that they need to follow to reach them. Venngage has some fantastic process infographic templates that are ideal for this. They’ll help you and your staff to visualise your goals and will ensure you’re always aware of how you can achieve them.
You should also remember to schedule regular check-ins with your team so you can be sure that each person is on track to hit the goals you’ve set for them. You can do this by having one-on-one meetings with each staff member or by conducting regular team meetings with everyone. To accommodate any employees who are working remotely, you can even hold group meetings online via conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Ensure your staff can always see you’re working
One way to improve productivity in your workplace is by ensuring that your staff can always see when you are present and active. You might not realise it, but this will motivate your employees to continue with their own work and it also encourages them to reach out to you should they have any questions or concerns.
And remember that you’ll probably still have some employees who work from home, and it will be slightly more difficult to keep them in the loop about what you’re doing. So, you may need to make more of an obvious effort for your remote workers.
For instance, you could send check-in messages every 2-3 days or host virtual coffee mornings that create opportunities to say hello and stay in touch. You could also hold weekly virtual meetings to engage your remote employees, talk about the tasks they need to do, and discuss how to remove any roadblocks that are stopping them from performing these tasks.
Consistently ask your staff for feedback (and listen to Them)
There may be times when your staff aren’t doing their best work because they need better tools or more support from you as their manager. But it can be difficult to notice these roadblocks on your own. So, it’s important that you regularly encourage employees to give you feedback on what they’re experiencing so you can identify any instances where you can make life easier for them and increase their productivity.
If you’re looking for ways to collect honest employee feedback, you could try creating an anonymous feedback system. To do this, you could ask your staff to fill in a survey form that asks specific questions about their experience in the workplace and include comment boxes for each question so people can give their feedback freely and comfortably.
If you want people to give you one-on-one feedback, you’ll need to do more than create a survey form. You have to be transparent with your employees, be honest with them, and explain that you need feedback to provide a better work environment. Then book regular face-to-face meetings to discuss any suggestions they have.
And, when you get the feedback you need, don’t just say thank you and forget about it. Make sure you try to act on it by implementing any suggestions that can help make the workplace better. When your employees see that you actually pay attention to their comments, it will motivate them to keep providing honest feedback.
Managing employees isn’t always a walk in the park. There are so many factors you need to consider if you want people to keep doing their best work and, in this article, we’ve looked at some great tips that can help you out. From using a project management tool to streamlining tasks and asking for feedback, these are all very effective tactics that you should implement in your workplace.
And, if you’d like to keep learning about the best practices for productivity, you can go to the Engage For Success website and read through their productivity archives for more information.
Author: Aaron Haynes – CEO of Loganix
Photo credit: Ryland Dean on Unsplash