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How do I Increase Staff Productivity?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2016
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High staff productivity is vital to most businesses and there are numerous books, articles and other media devoted to the subject of how to get the most from employees. Though there can be some disagreement on the best strategies to increase worker production, there are good tips on which most businesses would agree. These tips don’t work for every industry or every working scenario, but in general, they can give employers ideas on how staff productivity can be improved.

One commonly suggested tip for increasing staff productivity is to make sure employees have a clearly defined line between increased work and positive, personal results. This can be accomplished in several ways. Some employers pay by unit of production or sales, compensating employees only by what they produce, such as in sales industries where people work on a commission only basis. This form of compensation isn’t always realistic and other suggested methods include setting up profit sharing, so that employees know their efforts directly contribute to their own wealth. Alternately, supportive management that recognizes productivity with promotion from within, check-ins with employees to positively review their performance, or company recognition via awards are evidence to the employee that increased production levels lead to personal gain.

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Another valuable tip for increasing staff productivity is to set realistic goals workers can meet. Some companies do not ever set goals, and this lack of goal-setting gives an employee nothing to aim for and he or she may not be motivated to achieve because there are no defined expectations.

Setting the bar too high when creating goals can be incredibly discouraging. Employees know they can’t reasonably reach a goal and extra effort doesn’t really matter. Instead, companies might aim for realistic goals that most employees can meet with slightly more effort. These give workers a reasonable target, which combined with recognition in some form, may increase production of the employee.

Staff productivity is increased when workers have access to equipment they need to best perform their jobs. Making sure that computer systems, fax machines, and any other equipment is updated, easy to access, and in good repair can help avoid downtime or slow employee to technology interface that robs workers of their time. Employees also need to be fully trained to achieve maximum productivity levels.

Other tips for increasing staff productivity include:

  • Implementing skilled management — enough, but not too much, supervision so that employees feel supported and encouraged without being micromanaged.
  • Using teams and employee input as motivation.
  • Offering flexible time schedules or telecommuting.
  • Giving workers access to adequate breaks to restore energy.
  • Encouraging employees to be physically fit.
  • Creating a work environment where employees are respected by management and free from any form of harassment.
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