As businesses assess fiscal ROI and strategically plan for future growth, employee engagement should be your top priority. Striving to improve employee performance is where employers invariably focus their energy, but what about employee productivity? These concepts may be related, but they’re not the same thing.
Your workplace may be filled with happy, engaged employees who, even if they love their jobs, aren’t highly productive or hard-working. Interestingly, the converse can also be true. Some work environments have productive employees with low morale and who are not engaged at all. Smart employers work to achieve that golden combination – an engaged workforce that is also highly productive.
Business leaders who are committed to improving employee productivity don’t necessarily have to approve big raises, give lavish gifts or promise new incentives. However, there are more practical and effective ways to generate greater productivity from your workforce. It all starts with employee engagement. Disengaged employees are a drain on companies. Engaged employees show up more often, stay longer, and are more productive overall.
According to a recent Gallup poll, only about 34% of the U.S. workforce feels engaged. A related survey found that the costs are high to companies for ignoring poor employee productivity and an unhealthy company culture. Furthermore, individual companies are not the only ones to suffer. Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.
Five strategies to increase productivity:
1. Encourage Learning Opportunities
Perhaps the #1 strategy for increasing employee productivity is providing opportunities to receive more education, according to the findings of a study by the National Center for Education Statistics. The study revealed a direct correlation between employers providing access to continuing education and an increase in employee productivity. On one end of the spectrum, this can include companies providing internal cross-training and employee development. Conversely, companies can offer tuition assistance for their employees to further their education by taking advantage of the expanding opportunities in online learning.
For example, a company employee holding a bachelor’s degree could decide to pursue a master’s online, such as Ottawa University’s Master of Business Administration offered in the university’s adult markets of Kansas City, Phoenix, and Milwaukee. The MBA curriculum provides real-world education and skills that in turn can help graduates impact an organization’s corporate strategy in a leadership or expert role. Furthermore, Ottawa’s business administration program features Leadership Development as one of eight concentrations that can be selected to enhance the degree and inspire graduates to take ownership in increasing their company’s productivity.
2. Provide Employees with Technology
Employees who do not have the right tools for the job are found to be increasingly frustrated and decreasingly productive. The aforementioned Gallup poll showed that less than half of U.S. employees believe that their company provides them with the technology needed to effectively perform in their role. The challenge of companies being able to afford advanced technologies and equipment is becoming less of an issue with the rise of Cloud computing and mobile devices, which eliminates capital costs and provides ready access to information and data. Providing employees with the tools they need to succeed is a great first step in increasing employee productivity.
3. Emphasize Company Culture
A company’s culture is comprised of several key elements, including work environment, company vision, ethics, and goals. Studies show that employee productivity increases in work environments that emphasize relationship building and reward teamwork, whereas companies that focus on hierarchies and individual success derail productivity. Achieving this begins when companies adjust their hiring practices, ensuring that new hires will work well with others to energize and motivate current employees.
4. Strengthen Communication Protocols
Businesses that lack open communication between managers and employees are inviting productivity issues in the workplace. Managers should be accessible to their employees and effectively communicate expectations and responsibilities. This business management approach helps with increasing employee productivity, as employees feel directly connected to the organization’s mission and goals. Ultimately, implementing effective communication protocols can foster efficiency and increase job satisfaction.
5. Identify and Align Goals with Performance
Employees will be more productive if they are put in a position to aim for achievable goals. Goal setting helps employees self-motivate and build confidence in their ability to succeed. With identified goals in place, employees can then be compelled to follow an established system of performance analysis and take ownership in it. Setting meaningful goals for your business and employees can drive better performance and higher productivity. It can also encourage employees to collaborate and work as a team. Company leaders should regularly check in with their employees about their goals and personal progress, and in turn offer rewards for a job well done.
If your focus is finding ways to inspire employees to take ownership in the company’s overall success by increasing their productivity, then encourage them to further their education with a degree like Ottawa University’s online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership Development. This will help them enhance and cultivate their skills in order to thrive in jobs. Ottawa University and its online programs rank near the top of the U.S. News & World Report’s best colleges in the institution’s adult markets of Kansas City, Phoenix, and Milwaukee.
Career advancement awaits with one of the best, fastest, and most affordable online Master of Business Administration degree programs. Why not take the first step toward furthering your education in business management now? To learn more about earning your online MBA at Ottawa University, click here to contact us today.