The unemployment rate in the US has been on a downward trend since over two hundred thousand jobs hit the economy in January 2020, despite the pandemic. However, the pandemic has also had bigger impacts on employers, with many employees leaving without a second thought for better opportunities or taking their jobs for granted and reducing their productivity. Hiring the right people for your team is only getting more difficult, and retaining a competent, qualified, and productive workforce is a daily struggle for many businesses.
In this article, we share ways how to increase employee productivity and avoid losing your top talents.
Offer Training to Improve Employee Skills
Along with the basic training that your company offers during the recruitment and selection process, offering additional training, opportunities to practice, and constructive feedback on employee performance can be helpful when it comes to company growth and employee satisfaction. Many employees who lose productivity don’t do this simply because they cannot be bothered any longer, but because they just don’t feel like they are getting anywhere in the workplace. If there is nothing to aim for when it comes to being productive or working harder, it’s not surprising that employees might put in the bare minimum. Instead, offer opportunities to improve skills and help employees level up in their field.
Create a Great Place to Work
Likely one of the first pieces of advice that you will get when working with human resource consulting is to improve your workplace and make sure that it is somewhere employees enjoy being. There are lots of aspects of the working environment that will affect employee productivity. Being able to work in a comfortable setting will often boost productivity and is likely to be one of the main reasons why working at home during the pandemic was so successful for many businesses. If your business is not able to have employees working from home, then an HR consultant will advise that you put effort into the workplace to make sure it is a nice place to be.
Offer Useful Benefits
While tried and tested benefits like health insurance are always important, there has been increasing research carried out over the past few years on the importance of offering health and lifestyle benefits to your employees. Along with offering all the usual suspects when it comes to perks and benefits your employees can take advantage of, it’s a good idea to find some options that are a little bit harder to find in other jobs and will make your employees happier at work. This could include access to money off shopping, days out, gym memberships, or even healthy food and the best part is these secondary benefit options are often available for employers to offer at no additional cost.
Make Sure the Right Resources are Available
All too often, businesses complain about a lack of productivity among their employees, when in reality, they are not providing their workforce with the tools that they need to do their job successfully. When employees do not have access to the right tools or equipment or struggle to get access when they need it, they may find themselves in a position where their only option is to use what’s available, which slows productivity down.
Consider Offering Flexible Work
The days of working from nine until five in an office without much give are long over, especially in a post-pandemic world. In fact, around forty percent of people who are looking for a job around the world now state that the flexibility of their working schedule is one of the main factors that they consider when it comes to deciding on the right career for them. Further studies carried out throughout the COVID19 pandemic found that employees were actually more productive when they were able to not only work from home but also have a flexible schedule. Companies across the world are shifting their mindset from making sure that employees work a set number of hours per day, to giving employees more freedom to choose how and how long they want to work, as long as the work is completed.
Encourage Team Building
When employees get on well and can work together as a team, you will likely see an increase in productivity in the office. Employees who know each other and are comfortable around one another are more likely to ask for help when needed and won’t feel too awkward to admit they aren’t sure about something, which ultimately improves communication in the workplace, boosts workplace morale, and helps with increasing productivity. There are lots of things that you can do as an employer to encourage this, including arranging team-building events, providing comfortable break areas, and more.
Get Employee Feedback
Finally, HR can conduct a company-wide survey of employees to find out more about which of the options above are going to be the most useful to implement in the company and find out what employees think about their role and productivity levels at the moment. A survey of employees can be one of the most useful ways to find out more about what your employees think and any issues that may be preventing them from being as productive as they could be, that you were not aware of previously.
If you’ve noticed a drop in employee productivity in your business but are not sure where to start when it comes to addressing it, a good HR consultancy can help with implementing these measures to encourage more productive work. Suppose you are concerned about the impact of the Great Resignation on your business. In that case, working with an HR consultant can help you not only attract and retain the top talent but also encourage them to be more productive at work.
illustration: work illustrations by Storyset