A productive office can make the difference between a successful company and a failed attempt.
The ability for your team to work efficiently and smartly as a unit and produce quality results at a fast pace can lead to big results and company growth.
To be technical, employee productivity is a measure of how efficient a worker or team is over a specific period of time.
But how can you improve your team’s productivity?
While employee productivity has a lot to do with your individual workers, there’s plenty you can do to create an environment that makes it easier for your team to succeed.
Don’t wait to improve. Here’s how to improve your employee productivity and increase your team’s output at work.
Reasons why employee productivity could be low
Here are some of the reasons your employee productivity could be low:
✏️ Workload — If your employees have too much work on their plate, they will be more liable to rush, forget work, or make mistakes, all of which affect productivity. On the flip side, a team with nothing to do could slack on the few assignments they have to work on.
🗃 Organization — A disorganized office or company can impact employee productivity. Without clear instructions, asks, deadlines, or access to resources, even the most dedicated employee can suffer from a lack of productivity.
💆♂️ Motivation — Unmotivated and unappreciated employees are less likely to be productive. Make sure your team is well-paid and acknowledged for the hard work they put in.
🗣 Communication — Employees who don’t feel comfortable speaking to their supervisors or team members when they encounter roadblocks or problems can suffer from a lack of productivity. Creating a welcoming environment with clear lines of communication can increasee productivity.
🎉 Culture — A toxic or uncomfortable company culture can tank your productivity. Happy, passionate employees will almost always be more productive, so take the time to create a company or team that people want to work at.
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How to Increase employee productivity on your team
Here are eighteen highly recommended ways you can improve employee productivity on your team.
1) Gamify projects with points and leaderboards
A fast, fun way to increase employee productivity at work is by gamifying projects with point systems and leaderboards. This can be done internally with your own system, or by using one of the many office productivity softwares on the current market.
Even better, these point-based systems are often built around recognition and positive reinforcement, which means you can increase productivity while creating a more positive work environment.
Why this increases team productivity: Leaderboards and point systems help make it clear what goals and metrics you’re trying to achieve. Plus, it’ll bring out the fun, competitive spirit in your employees!
Tip to get started: See what office productivity tool best fits your office and reach out for pricing. An engagement tool like Motivosity can be a good place to start since they help distributed teams connect over a shared platform and maintain the kind of communication needed to be productive.
2) Survey your employees to learn about their roadblocks
A lack of productivity doesn’t happen for no reason. Usually, there’s specific roadblocks and issues getting in the way of your team members’ productivity. In order to identify and eliminate these road blocks, take the time to survey or interview your team members and learn about potential issues and pain points. This will allow you to clear the way and allow everyone to work as efficiently as possible.
Why this increases team productivity: You can only fix a problem if you first identify it! Surveying your team to discover roadblocks will allow everyone to work at their best.
Tip to get started: There are a number of easy-to-use survey tools that can generate a short or long survey using templates! If you need some help, SnackNation has used these survey platforms in the past:
3) Fine-tune your employee recognition program
One way to get your employee productivity up while also creating a happier work environment is by fine tuning your employee recognition program. An employee recognition program is a way for you and your employees to shout and recognize the hard work of your team members.
Whether you’re shouting out a big win or recognizing the consistent work of a great employee, employee recognition will boost morale and raise productivity.
Why this increases team productivity: A more recognized and appreciated team will feel more inclined to work hard, while also jelling better with their coworkers and management team.
Tip to get started: There are plenty of great employee recognition software platforms to help you reward and recognize your team’s achievements.
4) Provide healthy snacks
Delicious healthy office snacks will keep energy up in the office, while also improving employee morale. These snacks will help get your team through energy lulls and demonstrate that you value them and their needs. That means healthy office snacks (or snacks sent right to remote workers’ homes) will be a surefire way to boost office productivity.
Why this increases team productivity: Happy, energized employees will be able to work with greater productivity and efficiency.
Tip to get started: Use snack delivery services to keep your employees fed without any stress or hassle on your end.
5) Encourage employees to take breaks
While it may seem counterintuitive, less overall working time may actually lead to more productive, efficient employees. By encouraging your employees to take breaks, you’re giving them a chance to reset and recharge, allowing them to return to the work at hand with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. Plus, it’ll make your team happy, which can combat employee burnout.
Why this increases team productivity: Productivity often means working smart for short bursts, not just grinding away at a problem all day. Encouraging breaks will teach your team how to work effectively.
Tip to get started: You can set a company-wide break time, or you can give reminders to take a breather in one-and-ones or team meetings.
6) Provide employees with a strong tool box
In our technological age, there are plenty of tools and systems you can adopt to help your employee’s productivity. Whether its an office management tool, an HR helper, or a rewards system, providing your team with a full tool box of great services will set them to succeed and be as productive as possible.
Why this increases team productivity: These tools are custom-made to help streamline office busy work and centralize organization, which will only create a more efficient, communicative office.
Tip to get started: Explore your options and choose which tool is right for you!
Here are some top-rated productivity tools to try out:
7) Plan fun icebreakers and games at meetings
This may also seem less than obvious—how will games make your team more productive? These bonding games, icebreakers, and social events will lead to a friendlier, happier office, which in turn will boost your workplace collaboration. Many of the causes of office inefficiency is poor communication, so focusing on games that will break down office barriers could do wonders for your team productivity.
Why this increases team productivity: A team that communicates is a team that succeeds. Help them by creating an environment focused on camaraderie and bonding.
Tip to get started: Consider what games and icebreakers would be the best fit for your team and then get planning!
SnackNation tried out a few icebreaker activites from the folks at Confetti and had a blast!
8) Invest in a project management tool to provide more transparency for everyone
Project management is one of the most important tenets of a productive office. This is how people know what they need to work on and when they need to finish. By keeping everyone accountable and making goals and deadlines clear, your team can work with purpose and efficiency.
Why this increases team productivity: Office management tools are remote work software services that can make an entirely WFH team feel like they’re all working out of one office. With this level of organization, productivity will improve.
Tip to get started: Choose a project management tool like monday.com to help keep your team united, focused, and organized.
9) Improve onboarding
This tip will help your employees be more productive from day one! Improving your onboarding process can show employees from the very start how to be productive members of the team. If this means laying out goals, explaining office management tools, or creating a clear communication hierarchy, a great onboarding means a great new employee!
Why this increases team productivity: The first days, weeks, and months at a new company are often an employee’s least productive. You can fix this by paying extra care to the onboarding process.
Tip to get started: Speak with your HR team to learn where onboarding can grow and what steps you’d need to take to make this happen.
10) Encourage Paid Time Off
Just like breaks during the day can lead to a happier, more productive office, encouraging your employees to use their paid time off and turn off their work brains for a bit can do wonders for overall office productivity. Not only does a vacation (or a quick mental health staycation) improve employee morale, it allows employees to reset and return to work more productive than ever.
Why this increases team productivity: Your employees aren’t machines. Giving them a chance to relax and live their lives will only make them better, brighter employees when back in the office (or on Zoom).
Tip to get started: Make sure your employees are clear on your office’s PTO policies and encourage them to take advantage!
11) Set realistic deadlines
While crunchtime can often lead to results, they’re not often the best or most productive work. Instead of rushing your employees, which can lead to sloppy work or bad office energy, you should set realistic deadlines for your team to strive for. This will allow your team to plan ahead, set daily or weekly benchmarks, and work with efficiency.
Why this increases team productivity: Realistic deadlines make it possible to plan ahead and use time correctly, instead of rushing, which can lead to sloppy work and easy-to-avoid mistakes.
Tip to get started: Use a work planning template to create calendars and runways for your team to use and refer to.
12) Communicate effectively
Creating open, clear lines of communication is a huge factor in running a productive, successful office. Good communication allows your employees to work at peak productivity, as they will always be clear on what the best use of their time is and what their expectations are. Good communication isn’t just top-down too: create a healthy office culture and use project management tools to help your team communicate with each other and stay on the same page.
Why this increases team productivity: A team that communicates will be able to use their combined power the best way possible, helping you avoid wasted time and unclear instructions.
Tip to get started: Invest in an office management tool, start sending weekly status updates, or create communication-centric meetings to start improving how you and your team communicate.
13) Hold employees accountable
While you assembled your employees to be the best team possible, part of that is holding them accountable. While you need to be understanding and give them the flexibility to succeed, you still need to hold your team responsible for deadlines, tasks, and quality work.
If you feel an employee is underperforming, having a one-on-one chat where your give them actionable feedback can do wonders for their performance and your team as a whole.
Why this increases team productivity: A single underperforming employee can impact your entire team. Keeping everyone on track and accountable will create a productive office.
Tip to get started: Take the time to assess your team and pinpoint any areas of improvement within your office.
14) Reconsider your office design
For an in-person team, the space in which you work can have a surprisingly large impact on your team’s productivity. A comfortable, well-lit office where each employee has space to work can help everyone’s mental well-being and productivity.
A well-stocked and organized office will also save time, as employees won’t waste time searching for what they need to succeed. Plus, a breakroom stocked with healthy office snacks to keep your team happy and energized can help!
Why this increases team productivity: Creating an office where its easy for your team to succeed will make their workdays more meaningful and productive.
Tip to get started: Do a tour of your office and identify problems like poor layout, underutilized space, or missing supplies.
15) Improve training and development
One way to improve your team’s productivity is by helping your employee’s grow and learn. By taking a more direct interest in their development and training, you’ll create better employees who are in-tune with and ready for the caliber of work you expect. Plus, by helping people grow, you’ll create a more thankful, positive work environment.
Why this increases team productivity: The better your employees understand how to be productive and work to the peak of their potential, the stronger your company will be.
Tip to get started: Take a look at your current training and development program to see what’s working and what needs growth.
16) Promote valuable employees
One way to encourage productivity is to reward it. Don’t just leave it at a ‘good job’—give your hardest-working, most valuable employees promotions, raises, and other incentives to show how much you value their contribution to the company. This will incentivize them, motivate other team members, and create a hierarchy full of passionate, valuable employees.
Why this increases team productivity: A C-suite and leadership pool full of promoted employees will make sure your best, brightest, and most productive rise to the top.
Tip to get started: Check your budget and see if there’s space for raises or promotions for your top-performing employees.
17) Celebrate big wins
It’s crucial for your office productivity to celebrate what that productivity leads to. By taking the time to call out and celebrate big wins, you’re showing why the work you do is important and what the daily grind is building up to. Plus, a celebration is a good way to allow employees to blow off steam and feel good about themselves. Even if a party isn’t in the cards, using an employee engagement software to call out your team or specific employees can go a long way toward making people feel appreciated.
Why this increases team productivity: Recognized, appreciated employees will work harder and be more productive. Plus, celebrating wins highlights why being a productive team is so important, and what can happen when everyone works at their best.
Tip to get started: After your next big success, make a big deal out of it! Get out the streamers, send your most effusive email, and make it clear what an accomplishment it was.
18) Create clear goals and benchmarks
Just like making achievable deadlines, creating clear goals and benchmarks for your team will lead to greater productivity and success. When your employees know what they’re working to and have markers along the way to track their progress, they’ll be able to work with more specificity and decisiveness. In breaking a large project into manageable chunks, you’ll transform your team’s ability to produce work.
Why this increases team productivity: With clear goals and benchmarks, each little piece of the large puzzle will be done with vision and clarity.
Tip to get started: Take your projects and break them down into steps and chunks, and find a way to divvy up this upcoming work in an understandable, actionable way.
What are the benefits of increasing employee productivity?
It is very important to try to improve productivity in the workplace for the health and longevity of your business. Here are high-level benefits that your organization can enjoy by focusing on employee productivity:
➤ Faster results
With increased productivity, you can expect results and work done at a more efficient pace.
➤ Better work
Productive employees will consistently produce better work.
➤ A happier office
Productive employees are likely to enjoy better communication and less crunch time pressure, leading to a happier office culture.
People Also Ask These Questions About Increasing Employee Productivity
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about increasing employee productivity.
Q: What are some ways to increase employee productivity this year?
- There are plenty of ways to increase employee productivity this year, including providing your team with tools to succeed, creating realistic goals, and celebrating your wins.
Q: What are low cost strategies to improve employee productivity at work?
- There are tons of low-cost and completely free employee productivity strategies. Improving communication, setting reasonable goals, and acknowledging good work will all improve employee productivity at little to no cost.
Q: How do I boost team productivity during busy times at work?
- You can boost team productivity during busy times at work by giving reasonable deadlines, creating clear goals, and rewarding your team for all their hard work.