Whether you run a small business or manage a team in a larger organization, finding ways to motivate your employees is important for increased productivity. Often lack of direction, clogged inboxes, and inflexible work schedules lead to employees’ burning out or losing productivity throughout the day or throughout a project. Find ways to give your employees the resources they need to work smarter, like the option to telecommute or the opportunity to bring their own devices to work — and then watch their productivity increase.
Create Flexible Work Schedules
Technology makes it easier for work to bleed into personal life, so flexible work schedules and a good balance or blend between work and personal time becomes essential. Many employees are more productive if they can telecommute one or two days a week. Flexible schedules also offer more opportunities for parents, employees going back to school, or other staff members who have work–life conflicts.
Use Project Management Apps
Give your employees the tools to visualize each project’s progress. Project management apps, from simple options like Trello to more complex software programs, allow you to create timelines for projects, assign tasks, and communicate via the app. When your employees can see how their tasks fit with the overall picture, timely delivery of their components becomes more likely. Plus, in-the-moment feedback can help when a certain team member or group gets stuck.
Offer BYOD Options
Sometimes the most comfortable way to do your work is on the device you use all the time. This is especially true for employees who do a lot of social media posting, photo editing, or presentations. Plus, it’s easier for an employee using the Uncarrier’s lightning-fast network to hop on his or her LG G5 from T-Mobile for a video call so that he or she can remain mobile in office and multitask. Security issues sometimes prevent businesses from implementing BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policies, but the right cloud and network security make it possible for employees to bring devices.
Meet in the Morning
Every morning, bring your employees together for a short gathering to focus on the day ahead. Go over the key outcomes you’re aiming for that day, and outline how each employee fits into that plan. This way, your employees get the chance to ask brief questions and to learn how they fit into the big picture. By focusing on what the team needs from each employee, you make them accountable both to you and to each other. They’ll also start their days with clear goals so that nobody feels confused when facing a big to-do list or a full inbox.
Slow Down on Email
Employees get bombarded with emails both at work and when they’re at home. Many employees don’t get as much of a break from work as they should because they receive emails during evenings and on weekends. Limit your emails to your employees to business hours. Keep in mind, too, that employees are fielding emails from many sources, and email is a huge cause of employee distraction. Try implementing an office email policy that reduces the number of emails everyone in your small business sends each other.
Many workspaces highlight employee performance only when it’s lacking; being pulled into the boss’s office automatically indicates a screw-up happened. Don’t take success for granted. When your employees feel good about the job they’ve done, they’ll want to invest in their work so they can feel that satisfaction with every project. Give individuals a pat on the back when they’ve gone above and beyond. Celebrate with lunch or an afternoon activity when a team completes a project and it’s impeccably done.
These productivity tips can help you make your staff more efficient and effective, especially if you’ve used technology inefficiently or if you’re not as organized as you’d like. Clear goals and a focus on communication will give each of your employees objectives to achieve and the resources they need to get there. You have many resources at your disposal that will help with employee productivity, so start implementing them.