As business owners, you’re often evaluating business practices and looking for ways to streamline them. The basic understanding is that through improved productivity is the ability to succeed as a business. However, improving productivity within the workplace is not only about integrating new systems and processes, but also about motivating and encouraging the staff.
Essentially, if the staff is not given the right amount of support and motivation, the business processes can decrease significantly. So, how does one motivate their staff to improve overall business productivity? Consider these methods below:
1. Flexible Working Options
Employees have a lot of responsibilities outside of work. Whether it’s raising their children, taking care of their health, or maintaining a household, they have a lot going on at one time or another. While employees are grateful for their jobs, many times, they are left to choose between having a successful career and taking care of personal responsibilities.
If employers took the time to show their staff that they understand they’re not robots that essentially eat, breathe, and sleep work, chances are productivity would increase immensely. Offering flexible working options is one way to do this. By giving employees the ability to choose working schedules that fit best into their daily routines, absences decrease and productivity increases. Some ideas of offering flexible working options might include:
• Varying Shifts – While most might assume that shifts are only for warehouse workers, this can be offered in just about any working environment. For example, a company that is open from 8 am to 6pm might offer the options of 8-4, 9-5, and 10-6.
• Telecommuting – There are times in which you need staff in the office physically, but not in all instances. Why not allow your staff to work from home several days out of the week? Not only does this improve morale, but it also saves your business on overhead expenses such as utilities.
• Days Off – some companies have programs that allow employees to have one day off per week during the summer seasons. This means that employees might work an extra hour on the days they’re in the office, but then be able to take off on the day they choose. Again, this allows them to enjoy their families, while saving you money.
2. Encourage Breaks
Again, employers have to let employees know that they don’t look at them as robots. Encouraging breaks amongst your staff is a great way to improve morale and productivity in the workplace. Encouraging employees to take a break and stretch their feet or even take a little walk is a great way to show them you care. Making sure they’ve had their lunch and even one or two fifteen minute breaks per day gives them to opportunity to step away from the computer screen (or business equipment) and refresh their brains.
3. Promote Wellness in the Office
According to a report by Stltoday.com, the average American worker takes off approximately 14 sick days per year... talk about slowed productivity. Employers can address this issue by caring about the health and well-being of their staff. Encouraging wellness within your workplace allows employees to get informed about their health, thus keeping them from using so many sick days. Some options for promoting wellness in your office include:
• Offer exercise classes – having a yoga or zumba instructor come to the workplace on a weekly basis during lunchtime is a great way to promote wellness in the workplace. For a discounted price (or free if you’re willing to foot the bill), employees get to have fun while exercising which is great for their overall well-being.
• Keep Healthy Options Accessible – most companies have vending machines that are filled with high calorie, sugary and salty foods and sugary drinks. Since this is the most accessible option for employees, they consume these things which cause them to gain weight. As you know, weight gain can open up the floodgates to health issues. Instead, try having healthier options that your staff can easily access. For instance, installing bottleless water coolers for your office will give your staff another beneficial drinking option besides coffee and soda. Also, opt for healthier selections in the vending machines. Instead of chips and candy, have the vending company put alternatives like wheat crackers, trail mix, and even baked chip options.
• Offer Wellness Education – There are several companies that have started providing wellness education classes for their employees. Such programs give employees ideas on how to make better choices as it pertains to their health. WeightWatchers is often a popular program to consider. Employees get to attend meetings, and even participate in friendly weight loss competitions.
What it all boils down to be is showing your employees that you care about them as individuals. When your staff understands that they’re more to you than just robot coming to work each day, they are more willing to get the job done quickly and efficiently. While investing in new systems and training is also a great way to streamline business processes and improve productivity, it is always important to consider those who have helped your business to be a success in the first place – your staff.
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