Sage Advice UK

Five ways to maximise employee productivity

Employee productivity is critical. People power should always be at the forefront of every business’ mind and roadmaps. Not only is employee productivity key in driving performance-based metrics, but investment in people is the real secret to success.

An obvious oversight many businesses make is forgetting that employees are humans, and human needs must be catered for. Important aspects like the need for recognition and hosting office events can create a better working atmosphere and will maximise productivity.

Here are the top five ways that companies can look to increase workplace productivity:

Communicate well and often

In a recent study by McKinsey, it was revealed that office workers spend an average of 28 hours a week trying to collaborate internally – especially with their seniors. It was estimated that employee/employer communication could be improved through social media and social technologies which would, in turn, raise productivity levels by as much as 20-25%.

Remember too that regular training sessions, memos and newsletters can all be used to present useful information to your employees as well important updates like the vision for your business. Make sure the information is presented in a positive and clear way, and always offer the opportunity for questions.

Make work meaningful

It’s easy to forget that your end product or service should be tangible. If employees feel detached from your main goals and business objectives then a feeling of disassociation can manifest. For many employees who spend the majority of their time behind a computer screen, it’s your responsibly to reenergise them – and regularly. Meaning is critical, as is feeling part of a wider team, so ensure that you invest time to taking employees to conferences, events and create situations where they can meet people.

Pay staff accurately

Sounds obvious but the majority of businesses are stuck using the ghosts of payroll past. Clunky systems and a mismatch of employee data often lead to month end inaccuracies. Anything from tax being calculated incorrectly to late payroll payments can fuel a feeling of employee discontent.

Payroll doesn’t have to be hard work. Software like Sage Payments uses your existing payroll data to make accurate, on-time and worry-free payments to your employees. A recent Sage Payments customer survey revealed that 91% said Sage Payments significantly reduces the risk of errors or mistakes when processing payments (Sage Payments Customer Survey, March 2016). Integration is easy and there’s no need to export and re-import payroll data.

Recognise employees

According to a SHRM/Globoforce report, companies that practice values-based recognition experienced a 32% increase in productivity. Research shows that recognition has a direct impact on employee productivity. When employees are recognised, they experience an increased emotional commitment to their jobs. You should take care though that recognition is consistent and happens throughout the year. Constant and regular appreciation provides employee validation and lets them know that what they’re doing isn’t going unnoticed.

Focus on employee happiness

You should always lead by example. If you expect your employees to be engaged and motivated, then you should try and focus on demonstrating your own accountability. But focus on your employees’ happiness in the process. While working nine to five comes through obligation, well-being leads to real productivity. It’s a good idea to promote a positive and healthy work-life balance, otherwise employees might experience burning out or become frustrated.

Focus on employee happiness by making team outings a regular occurrence, encourage staff to use up their holidays and spend time with the people important to them. When employees are happier, their approach to work is often much more refreshed, relaxed and comfortable.