The secret to increased productivity and profitability [Infographic]
When employee engagement is lacking, more often than not it is the work systems that are at fault, not the individuals. Do you need look at your businesses systems with fresh eyes?
In the second part of our ‘Business Growth in 2022’ blog, we ask you to consider the levels of employee engagement in your company.
How do you measure the productivity and profitability of your workforce?
Motivation is a driver of success, growth, contentment, and happiness. It propels you to perform at your peak. Purpose will differ from person to person and many people will claim money motivates them, yet this is more often than not a hollow stimulus. For inspiration and drive, motivation needs to be underpinned by complex and profound emotions.
Every person is motivated by something, the trick to business success is to generate an environment where that motivation is encouraged, flourishes, and becomes contagious.
Demonstrate trust by minimising rules and procedures.
People like a well organised workplace in which expectations are clear, people thrive in an environment in which all employees live by the same rules. However if you have too many rules and procedures, employees will feel that they work for an organisation that operates on the assumption that people are untrustworthy. This can be very demotivating.
Enforce the minimum number of rules and policies needed for an ordered, professional workplace and to protect your organisation legally. Be clear in your communication of workplace expectations and guidelines. Rather than applying a blanket policy to address individual dysfunctional behaviour, adopt a need-to basis using counselling, performance improvement plans, and progressive discipline if required.
Legitimate policies and rules will receive support from the people in your company and if you create an environment that is viewed as consistent and fair, employees have less to push against - less to demotivate them.
Do you know how motivated your employees are?
How do you measure the engagement of your workforce?
Track their productivity and find out.
Empower your employees, and provide great feedback.
Set tasks and let your staff work out the best way to achieve them. Involve your employees in decisions about their work. They are professionals, they must good at what they do otherwise you wouldn’t have hired them. Motivation comes from the expectation that people are competent to make their own decisions about their work every single day. If you give them the space to come to you with project updates and issues rather than constantly monitoring and checking up on them, your employees will want to get your approval and your input will be valuable to them.
You will be time poor and have other priorities but providing feedback to your staff should be of great importance to you. It is easy to sweep things aside, to ignore an email or two, to keep rescheduling a review meeting, or fail to acknowledge a report. Demotivation creeps up very quickly when you don’t receive feedback for time and effort spent on something. Everyone wants to be relevant, it’s a big motivating factor. By providing regular feedback, both positive and constructive, you will increase your employees’ feelings of relevancy and this will in turn improve the performance and loyalty of your staff.
A great team is a great motivation.
Let employees feed off each other, both in the workplace and through the opportunity for staff activities. As mentioned above, you staff are professionals and talented at what they do. How much can you learn from your employees and how much can they learn from each other? Encourage socialisation and mentoring, if one staff member is particularly strong in one area, how can they be used to bring on others in the team. People respond well to others on their level, and if you can build respect among team members by recognising success and utilising skill sets, your employees will be motivated by those they work with.
Encourage competition, if used correctly it can stimulate and increase productivity. If the performance of staff members is made common knowledge, this can positively affect weaker performers. Use this method with caution however, because it can depend on the demographics of your employees. A 2009 study by Bellemare, Lepage and Shearer found that the productivity of men in particular was significantly affected by the awareness of another colleague's productivity and performance. However, women did not respond in the same way.
According to Gallup, only 13% of employers worldwide are engaged at work.
If you are one of those many companies where the majority of your staff lack engagement and you don't know what to do, ask yourself this:
Employers should create the expectation for employee involvement and give employees control over decisions that affect their work without turning the workplace into a free-for-all.
If you can identify and then remove the barriers that discourage workplace motivation and low employee engagement, the consequent actions and inspiration displayed by ordinary people will surprise and delight you!
Productivity and profits will increase and your business will blossom as a result.
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The Abtrac team are writers, designers, engineers, consultants and analysts. Together we dream, build and deliver an amazing software solution for professional services.