Productivity is the be-all and end-all of any business. If your employees aren’t working as well as they should, it is going to lead to serious issues – it might even be the end of your business. It’s a problem for every company out there, whatever line of business they are in. And, there are recurring issues that seem to raise their ugly heads all the time. In today’s guide for business owners, we’re going to identify some of the things causing productivity dips. And, suggest some ways to solve them. Let’s get started right away.
If your workforce isn’t happy, they won’t perform at their best – it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t take long for negative thoughts to start spreading, either. And, they can go from person to person like wildfire. If your workers are feeling down, or they are under too much pressure, it’s vital to deal with things quickly. Unhappiness at work can stem from many different things. Your employees could feel stale, and that they aren’t progressing. There might be external factors affecting them from their private lives.
Identify the main issues, and speak to your staff about what they need to make things better. Target bad attitudes, too, as they can often be the cause of dragging others into the mud. Think about encouraging staff with training opportunities. You can also look at introducing benefit schemes to tempt them to up their output and overall performance.
How are your operations looking? Every business should have a logical way of working in place, underlined by operational policy. However, it can cause a significant issue with regards to dips in productivity. Meetings are a big problem, of course – particularly if you find yourself in meetings about arranging meetings. Permissions are another factor – how long does it take for an employee to request to do a task and for them to get sign off from superiors? If your process and operations practices are out of control, it’s going to have an enormous impact on your productivity levels.
The answer is simple enough – but it can take a while to put into practice. Make sure you prioritize correctly – and start delegating more efficiently. Break up major tasks into smaller, more achievable chunks. As long as they tie into a larger goal, it should help give people a lot more focus. It might be time to take a more top-down view of your company, too. If you find yourself micromanaging everyone, when are you going to get the time to turn in a profit for your own business? Make sure your management team are all singing from the same hymn sheet, and you will see a significant lift in productivity levels.
Unhealthy employees can’t work as hard or fast as healthy staff members. It’s an obvious point. But, given that so much productivity occurs from ill health, it seems many employers are oblivious. There are well over 400 million work days lost to illness every year, and there are many factors involved. Fatigue is a big issue these days, with many employees suffering from burnout. Mental health problems are another core issue to consider. Plus, of course, employees don’t have to stay away from work to have a negative impact on productivity. Presenteeism – when people show up but don’t work enough – is a big factor for causing dips in output.
There are a few things you can do to improve the health of your team as an employer. First of all, make sure you building is safe and healthy. Office air conditioning, for example, can spread many nasty bugs and illnesses. You should also encourage exercise and healthy eating. Try swapping the vending machine snacks for fruit bowls on work desks, for example. Finally, try to be aware when you are asking too much of your team. If you push them too hard and expect a lot, it will impact their health.
Drugs and alcohol
Substance abuse in the workplace is a lot more common than you might think. For example, there are nearly 15 million regular users of illegal drugs in America, and 70 percent of them work in jobs. And, given that almost a quarter of workers report they drink alcohol during the workday, it’s not the only issue. If you don’t think that drug and alcohol problems could affect your business, you are very much mistaken. People will be less productive, and will have increased rates of absence. There will be a rise in accidents – which could even result in premature death. Substance abusers tend to be less efficient, and they can also impact on the morale of others.
To solve the problem, make sure you are aware of the signs of drug use in the workplace. You might want to consider running a drug testing program, too. You can hire a company to perform a saliva drug test on random subjects. It might be enough to stop regular abusers taking illicit substances. However, by far the most important thing to do is set up an Employee Assistance Program. It will help you give your employees a far broader range of services to access. Don’t forget; substance abuse tends to be a by-product of other problems in people’s lives. It could be sorrow at home, marital issues, or many other personal problems. An EAP program will give your staff the opportunity to get the help they need to solve those problems.
Finally, if you don’t have a clear vision in place, it’s going to filter down to your workers. Sure, they might get a paycheck every month, but it’s just not enough for enthusiastic employees. Good workers want to know they are making a difference, and achieving results. Without proper targets and vision from their employer, they won’t be able to judge how well they are doing.
Make sure you have a vision for your company – and make it clear what your expectations are. It could be something as simple as; “we want to be the best ‘x’ company in the world’. Make sure your message has meaning, too. It’s so much easier for employees to buy into than another piece of samey business jargon.