Our last post focused on behaviors you can encourage your employees to adopt to increase their personal and professional productivity. If you are a manager, there are strategies you can use to increase your organization’s output. According to a Gallup poll, companies that engaged their employees saw a 65 percent decrease in turnover and a 21 percent boost in performance. Here are some tips from productivity experts to increase employee engagement:
- Know the strengths of your reports and assign projects accordingly. If a skill comes naturally to a person, he (or she) is more likely to execute related tasks efficiently.
- Let employees own their work. If there’s a problem to solve, present it to your team and let them create resolutions. If they’re part of the solution, they’re more likely to take ownership in resolving it. Your team should figure out the tasks involved and set reasonable deadlines for completing them. View each person in the organization as a small-business owner in charge of their part of the company.
- Present your team with your department’s goals for the year and let them create strategies for meeting those objectives.
- Energize staff by clearly defining expectations and routinely offering positive feedback.
- Focus on results rather than hours spent on a project. Valuing late nights can encourage inefficiency during the workday. Let the quality of the work, rather than the time spent, communicate dedication and hard work.
- Respect your employees for who they are as people, not only for the work they perform. If they feel valued, they’re more likely to go the extra mile.
- Provide career development opportunities for employees at all levels, rather than just management. People in the early stages of their careers are often the ones who can benefit from training opportunities the most.
- Steer clear of shame-based management. If an employee makes an honest mistake, it’s not beneficial to make him (or her) feel inferior. Managing in this manner can cause employees to lose confidence and motivation, experience self-doubt, and feel anxiety in the workplace. And all of these things can lead to more mistakes, loss of focus, hypersensitivity, and a lack of creativity due to fear of how their ideas will be received.
- Avoid wasting time. Send meeting agendas ahead of time and dive right into discussions at the meeting. Don’t waste your co-workers’ time by reading the agenda or a PowerPoint presentation verbatim. Limit agenda items and send out minutes afterward. Take note of non-agenda items as they arise during meetings and save them for a later time (but make sure to address them).
- Send mindful emails. Here’s how:
- Tell the truth. Is what you are writing true? Ask yourself what your intentions are.
- Make sure the timing is right. Is it the best time to share this information? Will it be useful?
- Be kind. Is your message expressed in a considerate manner?
- Keep it brief. Is your message easily understood? Are you being mindful of your recipient’s time?
- Remember the team. What would best achieve the goals of all parties involved?
- Use “I” language; “you” language can make people defensive.
- Don’t reply immediately. Take time to think about what you want to say.
- Proofread in your recipient’s shoes. Reread your email as if you were the recipient. Try sending it to yourself first. Opening it from your inbox changes the way you read an email.
If you have been entrusted with the responsibility of managing others, you have the power to influence workplace morale, enhance your employees’ wellbeing and boost your organization’s productivity. It’s an honor that should not be taken lightly.
Salzberg, S. (2013) Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace. New York, NY: Workman Publishing Group