The US Department of Labor states that most people work an average of eight hours a day, but the question is, how many of those hours are productive? Employee productivity has been getting a lot of attention lately, and some studies show that workers spend only three hours per day on work tasks. Even if that figure is somewhat exaggerated, the point is that your employees may be busy with unproductive activities while they are on the job.
So what are employees doing when they should be working? Many are reading news websites, checking in with social media, or discussing non-work related topics with their co-workers. Some take coffee and/or smoke breaks, talk on the phone and email their friends. Employees spend a surprising amount of time looking for another job.
Here are some ways to make your employees more productive.
- Empower your Employees Once you present your employees with a task, step back and allow them to complete the project. Micromanaging can lead to frustration. If workers feel that they will be scrutinized, criticized and undermined at every turn, they are understandably reluctant to think out of the box and come up with creative ideas. Set clear goals with broad parameters, then trust your employees and allow the team the latitude they need to get the job done. You may be surprised at how resourceful they can be at coming up with ingenious solutions.
- Define their Roles ClearlyYour employees need clear guidelines for goals and expectations so they are inspired to perform at a higher level. Define company standards and make sure that each worker has a well-defined job title along with a detailed job description. Once workers understand what is expected of them, you have set the stage to hold them accountable for what they do – and don’t do. Regular accountability checks are a good way to promote consistent performance that is up to your company’s standards.
- Examine your Technology PolicyWhile you don’t want your employees on their personal social media accounts all day long, many workers feel that social tools can foster better teamwork. Keep in mind that a good work/life balance is important to many workers, especially to the Millenials who have now entered the workforce. You may want to consider allowing some personal social media breaks throughout the day to accommodate workers who are used to being connected. It’s no secret that breaks for personal time can energize workers to become more productive when they go back to the task at hand.
- Promote Employee EngagementDo whatever it takes to make sure your workers are invested in their jobs. Experts say that the more engaged the employee, the more productive s/he is. One way to promote engagement is by giving workers more authority in their area and removing unnecessary approval steps on the project. Workers who are allowed to complete the task from beginning to end feel more ownership and pride in the outcome. When employees buy into the mission of the company, they see the big picture and they tend to become more engaged.
- Become a More Effective LeaderEffective leaders inspire their employees to stay engaged and focused on the task at hand. To become a more effective leader, you have to examine your leadership style. Be honest with yourself. Deep down, do you believe that if you want a job done right you have to do it yourself? If that is really what you think, you are probably communicating that belief to your employees. Acting in a confrontational or critical manner can also turn off workers and result in a toxic corporate environment. To lead effectively you have to show employees that you care about them, and their ideas.
- Use Innovative Tracking TechnologyKeep your employees accountable by installing behavior analytics technology. Products like Veriato monitoring systems empower companies to see a definitive record of online and communications activity for employees. Real time, actionable data enables managers to make sure employees are in compliance with company policies for using electronics. As an added bonus, monitoring technology will allow companies to respond immediately to any potential threats, and protect valuable assets like customer information and intellectual property.
- Provide a Flexible Work Environment
Just as you would appreciate some flexibility in the way you spend your day, try to allow your employees some flexibility in setting their schedule and speaking with co-workers when necessary. Rework your vacation policy to give employees a chance to take some time off when they need it. Get rid of as many rules and burdensome procedures as you can, and trust that your workers will act in a responsible manner. The physical environment of your workplace is important, too. Sometimes chance meetings with co-workers can produce excellent solutions to work-related problems.
Chances are, with the right changes your employees will rise to the occasion and become more productive. If they don’t, remember to hold them accountable for their actions, or inaction.
Knowledge is Power
Veriato is an employee productivity monitoring system that can help you stay on top of employee behavior and promote productivity in the workplace. Our system can track and record your employee online activity to ensure compliance with company policies. We provide video playback of all onscreen activity and alerts when necessary. Our daily, weekly and monthly reports inform you of the productivity of each worker. Veriato employee monitoring software can monitor remote worker productivity as well as in-office worker productivity.
With Veriato, you will be notified of any suspicious activity and you will see who is working hard, and who isn’t. Knowing if a productivity problem exists will allow you to increase your management effectiveness and ultimately the productivity of your employees.
To find out more about the Veriato employee monitoring software and how it can help you increase productivity, visit Veriato.com or call 1-888-598-2788.
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