Improving employee productivity is one of the biggest challenges facing UK businesses. Despite having all-time high working hours UK productivity is still low. In fact, according to the latest Office for National Statistics report, Britain’s productivity gap with other nations is at its widest since estimates began in 1991. It is no surprise that poor workforce productivity is causing anxiety to many business owners and management teams.
While all parts of the organisation are worth reviewing to improve your business, your staff are your key asset – they are essential to success and growth. It’s clear that getting the most from your staff is an important route to improving the overall efficiency of your business.
10 steps to getting the most out of your staff:
- Share your goals
Make sure staff understand your goals and those of the business. This will encourage them to be better motivated and develop some ‘buy-in’ from them.
- Put the right people in the right job
Have effective planning and rostering to ensure that staff with the right skills are employed in the right jobs. Supervisors should be confident their staff have the necessary skills – if not, provide training or move them on to another more suitable role.
- Be clear about their role
Ensure that staff are clear about what you want them to do and how they should be doing it. Be realistic though and avoid setting overwhelming targets.
- Train your supervisors
Make sure your supervisors and managers are trained to get the best out of staff. Give them the right tools to encourage staff to achieve better results. Competent and stress-free managers will themselves perform better and help to boost the organisation’s output.
- Improve staff recruitment
Review your recruitment processes and focus on hiring positive and willing employees with the skillset that you need.
- Hold on to good staff
It hurts a company every time a skilled and trained member of staff leaves. Keep an eye on whether you are paying them the right level of remuneration and are being motivated or else you may find them leaving to work for a competitor.
- Build a team
Managers in sectors such as cleaning, hospitality and construction are often supervising groups of people doing similar tasks. It pays to encourage a team spirit so that staff can share good practice and enjoy working together. This will keep up morale and increase the chances of improved productivity.
- Improve the working environment
Providing staff with a pleasant a work environment as possible really helps towards a sense of well-being and it will increase their appreciation of the company – for example, do staff have a clean, well-lit and welcoming environment? Do they have lockers and coffee-making facilities? This can be a challenge for businesses with a remote or mobile workforce but there are often some improvements which can be made. It all adds up to happier and more productive staff.
- Trust your staff
If you’ve made good recruitment choices then your hard-working employees deserve to be trusted. Avoid micro-managing them and if they need emergency time off then trust them. If staff pick up on negative feelings from managers they are not going to go the extra mile.
- Don’t hold back on reward and recognition
Celebrate any extra achievement or effort by your staff. Research shows that a little reward or recognition for excellent work goes a long way – this could be something tangible such as a small gift or a mention in a company newsletter. It also helps to keep your staff motivated.
Focus on improving employee management, skills and engagement to get the best out of your staff.
Managers should regularly review any business data available including the data gathered by automated time and attendance systems which can provide easily accessible information so that you can understand and address workforce resourcing and motivation. This data shows who has turned up for work, who is late regularly and can pick up on absence trends. The staff attendance data not only keeps track of the day-to-day staffing of the business but can be one of the measures that tracks the overall wellbeing of a company through its staff morale.