The country continues to suffer from stagnant levels of productivity in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Statistics, labour productivity in Australia reached levels lower than 2015 to 2016. On an hours-worked basis, productivity only increased by1.1 per cent, the lowest annual growth in five years.
A low growth rate in productivity means that changes are necessary in the workplace as employees appear to be stagnating. Experts say productivity in the workplace is the key to a company’s genuine growth. However, your employees may be overworked or unmotivated, so how do you help them become productive?
Boosting Workplace Productivity
Implement internal changes that can help them do their tasks as efficiently as possible. Reduce obvious factors that affect productivity, like repetitive meetings that occur on a daily basis and lasts for hours on end.
Consider the following steps:
- Reduce obvious factors
Reduce meetings to a bare minimum. Hold them only when absolutely necessary, such as rolling out new company policies and when announcing company-wide news. Reduce emails, phone calls and any other activity that potentially distracts your employees. These may seem minor on the surface, but when inefficient meetings occur at a great frequency, they may hamper productivity.
- Upgrade technology and amenities
Malfunctioning personal computers contribute to reduced productivity at work. A majority of your employees’ work likely relies on technology, and when they’re not working, your workers are not likely to be either. At best, they may suffer delays with tasks.
- Focus on health and well-being
Research shows that employees perform better under less stress. Lessen stressors in their environment by providing areas where they can relax even for a few minutes every day.
Additionally, providing your employees with manual or adjustable sit stand desks gives them the option to do their work sitting down or standing up. This helps with back pain problems they might be having from sitting at their desks for at least 40 hours every week.
- Recognise success
Employee recognition can boost well-being at the workplace. According to O.C. Tanner Institute’s 2018 Global Culture Report, effective recognition for an employee’s work has led to a 16 per cent higher sense of well-being, 23 per cent higher sense of quality leadership and 20 per cent rise in the employee’s connection to their purpose in the business. Reward employees who’ve done well on projects, and those who have gone above and beyond for the company.
- Avoid excessive micro-management
Excessive micro-management stresses out employees. When under extreme levels of stress, they underperform, both in quality and quantity. Avoiding excessive micro-management also exhibits some semblance of trust between the heads and the employees, which may motivate them to do better.
Tracing the Root of the Problem
Australians consistently showed low growth rates for productivity. In an effort to understand why employees are becoming unproductive, Nitro, an Australian company that deals with software and work productivity conducted a survey on more than 1,000 workers.
Nitro asked employees about the challenges they experience in terms of productivity and what employers can do to help. The survey revealed five key reasons for low workplace productivity:
- Negative workplace culture
- Insufficient training
- Outdated processes, policies, and workflows
- Outdated tools or technology
- Poor management and leadership
Workers are the lifeblood of the business. When they underperform, the business underperforms. As such, it’s imperative to ensure they have everything they need to do their job well, and to do so consistently.