Tim Ferris, American entrepreneur, podcaster, and author of the best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek, says, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
The same applies to employees in an organization because keeping them busy does not necessarily mean they are productive. Instead, employees should add value to meet project deadlines and contribute to the company’s long-term goal.
However, employees encounter multiple productivity killers at the workplace that negatively impact their performance.
Therefore, the onus is on managers to identify and take necessary measures to combat them effectively. It will help to maintain the high-performance levels of employees. This also contributes to timely project delivery, increased ROI, and healthy work culture.
This blog highlights the various reasons that deplete a resource’s productivity and the steps managers can take to course-correct. Let’s begin;
1. What are some productivity killers at the workplace?
It’s a new day. You reach your workplace aiming to complete all the assigned project tasks. But then you got swamped with calls, meetings, or emails, and now you struggle to get back to the productive zone.
Or the manager has assigned some high-priority work with unrealistic and overambitious deadlines and didn’t explain exactly what you are supposed to do. With this ambiguity, you are under high work pressure to complete the task.
Does any of the above situations sound familiar?
In today’s competitive business world, achieving higher workforce productivity is what organizations look for. However, often employees experience several productivity killers at the workplace, which can be detrimental for them.
Here’s a rundown of two different categories of productivity killers:
Intrinsic: Lack of sleep, addiction to social media, procrastination, low motivation, poor mental and physical health, personal problems, etc.
Extrinsic: Unclear roles and responsibilities, frequent meetings and calls, non-uniform workload distribution, hostile work environment, low lighting, poor ergonomics, and ventilation.
Now that you understood the various productivity killers in the workplace let’s move on to the section below to discuss some proven ways to overcome them.
2. 7 Effective ways to mitigate productivity killers
Various factors come into play that hinders productivity at the workplace, as mentioned above. However, they can strive to implement the following strategies to amplify employee productivity.
2.1 Define roles and responsibilities for every employee
Employees get disengaged when they are not given clear roles and duties by their supervisors. This ambiguity leads to low productivity and a loss of individual accountability or ownership. Therefore, managers need to set defined roles for each employee in the company.
With clarity in their roles, employees will feel a sense of purpose and get a direction to put their best foot forward. Moreover, when they understand their responsibilities, employees will be eager to contribute to the organization’s goals, enhancing their productivity.
2.2 Prepare an agenda before every meeting for effective time management
A lot of time is lost in attending frequent meetings and calls, especially those without pre-set agendas. Furthermore, including passive and irrelevant members in meetings can lead to a loss of productivity. Therefore, managers can take the onus to set a meeting plan and only invite those who are directly related and can contribute.
This way employees can stay focussed on pressing matters and minimize time loss. Managers can also decide if a message can be conveyed via email, call, or needs a meeting. This will enable employees to utilize their time on critical tasks and maintain productivity.
2.3 Ensure uniform workload distribution for optimal utilization
Employee productivity can take downhill when the workload is unevenly distributed in an organization. Overutilization leads to burn out and underutilization can cause disengagement. Therefore, to overcome this productivity challenge, managers can optimize their employees’ schedules with different resource optimization techniques and maintain their productivity.
Moreover, competent allocation of resources will help managers avoid skills mismatch. Managers can also look into resource availability and utilization levels before scheduling tasks. This will ensure the right employee is working optimally at the right job, thereby enhancing productivity.
2.4 Empower your employee for better productivity
Another obstacle to productivity is when employees are micromanaged. Lack of trust in their capabilities by the managers can negatively affect employee morale. To combat this, managers can promote a culture of autonomy where employees can take complete responsibility for individual tasks.
In addition, they can empower employees by letting them work on the projects of their interest, which will increase their engagement. This will make them feel empowered and trusted at their workplace, boosting their morale. Moreover, providing employees with constructive feedback on a regular basis will help them to grow and increase productivity.
2.5 Create an inclusive work environment to ward off internal conflicts
Challenges like office politics, discrimination, and favoritism can make employees feel undervalued, contribute to job stress and bring down employee productivity. Therefore, managers can foster an inclusive environment where employees are treated equally with respect regardless of their social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.
Furthermore, organizations can partner with behavioural coaches to formulate programs that can teach how to create a positive work culture. A warm and welcoming workplace will result in higher productivity of the workforce.
2.6 Have individual development plan supported by L&D
When employees work on one kind of project for a long time, it gets monotonous. As a result, their career development becomes stagnant, and they stop growing professionally. Further, it leads to dissatisfaction and insecurity and brings down their productivity. To combat this, organizations can invest in formulating an individual development plan (IDP) for every employee conducted by the learning and development team.
They can then implement various training and upskilling programs to meet individual aspirations as well as the organization’s goals. These programs help resources acquire new skills, work on multi-faceted projects and expand their portfolio. It, in turn, will reinforce a sense of belonging and purpose. As a result, employees will be more dedicated and productive.
2.7 Use rewards and recognition to boost employee morale
Lack of appreciation and acknowledgment of employees’ contributions can lead to disinterest and disengagement, resulting in low productivity. Therefore, organizations need to adopt formal and informal ways to recognize employees. This can include providing increments in their salary, bonuses, or offering extra paid leaves when they perform exceptionally well.
In addition, they can give employees a shout-out on the company’s social media page and send them a thank-you note to express their appreciation. All of this will make employees feel valued which will motivate them to work more thereby increasing their productivity.
In the upcoming section, let’s see how a resource management tool can effectively help organizations to maintain their workforce’s productivity.
3. How resource management software assists in employee productivity?
Saviom’s resource management software helps to keep employees’ productivity in check in the following ways:
- For one, the tool provides complete visibility into the resource pool, including their skills, experiences, competencies, and qualifications. An advanced filter enables managers to allocate the right resource to the right project and avoid skills mismatch, thus ensuring productivity.
- For two, a resource management tool offers color-coded heatmaps that enable managers to identify overutilization and underutilization of employees and course correct them.
- Furthermore, the forecast vs actual time helps track the time taken against the estimates for a particular task. In case of any variance, managers can reach out to the concerned resource, identify reasons and course-correct to improve productivity.
- Finally, the open seat feature in the resource management tool enables managers to consider employees’ interests when assigning work. This will foster better engagement and productivity.
As we know, the reason for lowered employee productivity can vary from person to person. However, companies can adopt the strategies mentioned above and pair them with a robust resource management tool to manage resources effectively and boost their productivity at the workplace.