Running a company can be a challenging task, having to consider operations and processes, as well as profits and turnover. However, when asked what one of the most stressful aspects of a management position is, a large majority of managers and business owners put it down to people management.
Now, more than ever, in COVID-19, increasing productivity has been high on the agenda for managers. The management of remote employees has proven to be incredibly challenging as lockdown and restrictions have forced them to work from home. Maintaining productivity can be challenging, and because of this, we thought we would break down the five ways you can increase productivity in your organization.
Document As Much As Possible
In order to increase productivity, you will need to heighten your organizational skills. The first stage of this is having all of your vital information right at your fingertips. In order to have this, you have to record, document and store all information that comes across your and your staff’s desks.
Cloud solutions allow you to store and manage all documentation digitally at a fraction of the physical cost. Not only are they more accessible and easily managed on the cloud, but there is also heightened security and protection of your documentation.
Keep a record of all verbal communication too. Follow every single telephone or video conversation with an email documenting the key points and elements of the conversation. The same can be said for any meeting. Meeting minutes should be a vital part of every formal or informal meeting to record the discussion.
Even for online, Zoom meetings, for example, minutes should be kept for distribution and future reference. The guys over at SnackNation have put together a great meeting minutes template that you can use. You can opt for digital and even automated templates, and they also give you some great online tools to streamline the process.
Make Use Of Online Tools And Platforms
There are a plethora of online tools that allow management as well as team members to be placed on projects, track progress and communicate digitally about each project and task. Platforms like Trello and Monday.com allow tasks to be assigned to team members, deadlines set, perimeters of the task detailed and intermittent goals to be defined and reached until completion.
This is a great way for managers and staff to have a real-time accurate view of the status of the company as a whole as well as each project in detail. These platforms have also streamlined the management of remote staff, who, in their work-from-home capacity, might be a bit more unresponsive than they would be in the office.
Open Up Communication
As with the project tools and platforms, hundreds of communication tools have popped up for teams to communicate through various devices with various integrations in real-time. From WhatsApp Business tools, that allow multiple employers to engage with customers simultaneously, to tools like Slack, productivity should not be slowed down due to poor communication.
Platforms like Slack allow immediate communication between both individuals and team members, all in one platform. Various project channels can be established, with real-time notifications to each team member. The platform can also integrate with various other management platforms, like Trello, for example, streamlining the full process.
Provide The Right Tools
Organizing everything for new employees in advance will mean that they will also be able to get to the work that you have set for them faster. So, once a training and introductory period is over, you will want that employee to be as productive as quickly as possible.
Create a working list of what every employee needs, and have that ready for new hires. If you are working in an office, for example, you will need to have a laptop, stationery, a desk and phone, an email address and access to the company’s databases available and ready for them to get started.
Encourage A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Lastly, in order to create an environment that encourages employees to be as productive as possible, consider making it as balanced as possible for them. If you do need employees to work in the office, consider allowing them to work flexible hours, or even work from home several times a week. Companies that promote a healthy work-life balance have reported higher productivity levels than those that enforce 9-5 and overtime policies.
Organizations can also set and encourage employees to take part in health and wellness challenges to encourage employees to be stimulated and healthy outside of work, which in turn, reflects on their productivity in the office. Lifestyle challenges such as daily exercise regimes, healthy diet goals or literature clubs have been highly successful for thousands of companies globally. Employees report feeling happier and more responsive at work with a more healthy and active lifestyle.
The key to increasing productivity apart from motivation and reward is streamlined organization. Meticulous planning and attention to detail will remove the margin of error for employees and allow for uninterrupted work to be completed in time.
As a manager or a business owner, you will need to ensure that the employees have all the tools they need, have open communication and access to vital information.