Increasing productivity is constantly in the mind of every manager. Instead of thinking what the employees need to do in order to increase the company's productivity, managers need to consider what they can do for their employees. Here are some ways every manager can incentivize their employees and create more productive working environment.
Positive Reinforcement and Meaningful Feedback
For one reason or another, managers oftentimes forget to use this simple, yet effective tactic to raise morale and increase productivity. A simple pat on the back or a strong handshake after a job well done can go a long way. Caught in their daily tasks, most managers talk with their employees only to give instructions or reprimand them for their mistakes. Feedback does not need to be only positive or only negative; when an occasion of encouragement arises, managers should take advantage of it.
Somewhat similar to positive reinforcement, economic incentives work by indirectly congratulating employees and showing them that their hard work did not go unnoticed. Management has a tendency to use economic incentives only on higher-level or senior employees, which is understandable. Nevertheless, a small incentive for newer employees can encourage them to work more proficiently.
A lack of motivation in employees is the main culprit behind stagnating or declining productivity. Once an employee enters routine mode, they will be subject to boredom, which can cause a lack of motivation to appear. Managers should attempt to set goals, and motivate employees, so as to not have this issue in the first place. According to a study by the University of Buffalo, challenging goals are the best approach to tackling boredom. They advise managers to set higher, but attainable, goals for their employees to reach. If these goals are not achievable, this strategy may have the adverse effect.
Improving Internal Communication
A rigid power structure, though efficient, does have its limits. A working environment that doesn't promote flexible vertical communications leads to stagnation in overall productivity, missed deadlines, and a higher rate of turnover. Employees need to know who to reach out to whenever they need an answer or to report a problem, a safety issue, or have a suggestion. Certain technologies can greatly enhance communications between employees and departments and they should be used wherever they are useful.
Eliminating Motivation Killers
Managers will have to keep a constant eye out for whatever may negatively affect their employee's motivation levels. These may include the previously-mentioned routine, lack of proper and efficient communication, but also a lack of opportunities for development, a bossy managerial style, toxic co-workers, a lack of appreciation, or no organizational vision, among many others. Each of these motivation killers needs to be addressed separately, either by elimination or correction.
Increasing productivity in the workplace is no easy task, but the process can be managed by breaking it down into simple and doable milestones. From there, it’s just a matter of time until your facility is happier, more efficient, and a positive work environment.