By Michael Gunther
Let’s face it: some days it’s hard for employees to be productive. Their coworker just got engaged, they had a fight with their significant other, someone in their family lost their job, or maybe they just can’t find the motivation to start (or finish) a project.
Then, add in the stress of wondering if the company is financially stable or if they are on the chopping block, and you can understand the many moving pieces that take a toll on workplace productivity.
So, how can businesses maintain productivity? The best place to start is with manager and employee relationships. Then make sure you pepper in some inspiration and a lot of communication. Next thing you know, you’ll see productivity rise.
BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
As stated by Marcus Buckingham in First, Break all the Rules, one of the key factors behind productive work environments is the manager/employee relationship. Managers who recognize and praise employees for their good work at least once every 7 days creates a more productive work environment. Now, think back to the last time you recognized each of your employees. If it’s been more than 7 days (and statistics show that it probably has), put down this article and go praise them for their good work.
The other role you have as a business leader is to inspire. In fact, with inspiration comes innovation.
While it’s common knowledge that more millionaires were made during The Great Depression than at any other time in history, it’s not as common to reflect on the reason behind those gains: innovation. The Great Depression Millionaires were not focusing on their own woes or the negative possibilities – they were focusing on creating positive solutions.
One way to create inspiration in the workplace is to bring in guest speakers, such as a money manager, a creative facilitator, a finance manager, or an expert on health and wellness. By doing this, you’re able to address your employees’ personal concerns that distract them from working productively. Also, you’ll be promoting other professionals in your community. Now that is innovation!
Communication is a fading skill for some organizations. But as we know, people tend to assume the worst, and that includes our employees. As business owners and managers, it is up to us to step out of our comfort zone and communicate the happenings of our business: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then, focus on what the company is doing to get out of the bad and the ugly. Focus on innovation and inspiration to transition from stress mode to productivity mode.
In the early 1990s, the business model shifted from “don’t tell them about the bad news” to one that created support groups for employees. That is because people return to productive levels more quickly if they can talk about what’s going on.
One way to enhance employee communication is to provide ongoing, consistently scheduled updates that inform employees on the status of the business and its initiatives. Another option is to determine key measures, such as sales goals or target clients, and report consistently on the achievement of these measurements.
Make your employees part of the solution to enhance productivity. The more that employees understand the business, the vision, and their role in making it happen, the more likely you will see increased productivity. Remember to celebrate the successes, even the small ones!