13 ways to increase productivity

As a leader, you may think it’s your job to tell everybody what to do. Sometimes it is, but mostly, it’s your job to find ways to motivate employees and increase employee productivity. This guide will help you learn how to increase productivity in the workplace, bring people together, and inspire your team.

Factors and Activities That Impact Productivity

If you know the why, the how becomes easy to see. Motivation is an important aspect of the productivity factor. Once you can empower the individuals in your organization, it’s easy to find ways to increase productivity and improve the working environment

Physical, Mental, and Emotional Health

Combat burnout and stress by making room for wellness at your company. Employees who are overwhelmed by stress are often unproductive. On the other hand, happy employees are resilient, confident, perform better, and more satisfied with their jobs. 

Our physical and mental well-being profoundly impacts our happiness and our performance. One of the best ways an employee can improve performance is to stay physically and mentally resilient.  

Skills and Access to Knowledge

Soft skills are just as much of a productivity factor as technical skills. Dependability and strong organizational skills are better indicators of long-term success than technical skills alone. Provide soft skills training to help your team increase their productivity.

To help everyone stay on the same page, relevant information needs to be readily accessible to each team member:

  • Does everyone have access to information on processes and procedures?
  • Do employees have access to all the data they need to make informed decisions?

Workflows and Processes

An effective set of processes and procedures is just as important as the work itself. In optimal conditions, your company runs like a well-oiled machine. But an inefficient workflow can throw a wrench in the process. 

Employees end up spending more time confused about how to do their work than they do working. A shared knowledge base accessible by everyone can enhance communication, answer questions, and speed up delivery. Automation is a key productivity factor when it comes to managing workflow. 

Work Environment

The shift toward remote work has reached a tipping point as new developments have us all rethinking the way we do business. For most of us, much of our work is online. 

Yet, different personalities thrive under different conditions and it’s important to balance their needs. Some people are more productive at home and others work better in the office. 

Whether you are building a virtual team, a co-located team, or a hybrid team, it’s important to make sure your employees are comfortable and healthy, especially if they sit at a desk for hours on end. 

Your Company’s Goals

Business motivational speakers and leadership keynote speakers are often brought in to help organizations reinforce goals, discuss important developments, and inspire the workforce. When you set company goals, think about how the goals can align with people’s individual goals as well.  Whenever you communicate the company’s goals, you want to create anticipation, optimism, and excitement around their contribution. To give your team something to make progress towards together for shared achievement.  

Proven Ways to Motivate Employees and Increase Productivity 

Outdated guides on how to make employees more productive suggest that productivity is a factor of sheer managerial skill. In reality, it’s about the people in your organization. Even though you are in charge, you need to serve their needs. 

These 13 tactics will give you tips on ways to bring people together, promote productivity, prevent problems, and overcome productivity challenges. 

1. Set Clear Expectations 

Do employees have a clear, detailed understanding of their responsibilities? It may not always be easy to communicate expectations but it’s important to make sure that employees understand their roles and responsibilities. Otherwise, it can cause resentment and anger on both sides.  

2. Don’t Micromanage and Multitasking

More often than not, micromanagement drains morale and destroys productivity. Working for an overbearing boss can cause employees to lose motivation and underperform.

Release the grip. Let go a little and trust your best performers to help keep things on track. Give people guidance, delegate, and distribute tasks effectively. 

3. Encourage Deep Work

Multitasking and distractions are like kryptonite for high performance. Encourage employees to create a distraction-free environment and work uninterrupted for large chunks of time.  

Research shows that it can take up to 23 minutes to regain focus after an interruption. That number can add up quickly after multiple interruptions from emails, phone calls, team members wanting to chat, the smell of the Italian food restaurant across the street, etc.  

4. Foster a Positive Work Environment

Create a comfortable yet productive setting for your team members and always look for ways to improve the working environment. Simple, honest communication is the backbone of a power team and foundation of trust.
Prioritize onboarding to kick things off right. After all, new employees are hired because they are potential assets to the company. Take the time to make sure they get acclimated and feel welcome.  

5. Encourage Self-Care

Promote positive energy and lots of it! This subtle yet powerful idea is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and promote excellence.
Recovery routines and self-care should be branded into the company culture. It’s better for the community, it’s better for business, and it’s our responsibility as leaders.

  • Allow extra breaks for people who are overwhelmed. 
  • Encourage the use of health insurance benefits and paid time off. 
  • Offer stress relief management courses.
  • Offer personal development courses.
  • Motivational speakers can ignite their passion and ways to self-care routines.

6. Recognize Team Members’ Achievements

Good communication shows appreciation. Show the people you value how important they are. Whether it’s for their hard work or their expertise, everyone likes to feel appreciated. There are endless ways to reward people in your organization. 

Offer monetary rewards like bonuses, paid time off, and profit-sharing to show praise for a job well done. Vacations, awards ceremonies, and extra vacation time are also good ways to motivate your employees to perform.

7. Provide Good Feedback

While feedback isn’t as easy to swallow as praise and recognition, 82% of employees appreciate it. But giving good feedback takes some finesse; 62% of those employees also stated their manager’s feedback could have been more helpful.

Provide feedback as soon as possible to avoid issues from festering. Generic comments like “good job,” or “I like it,” aren’t enough. Be specific about what you liked or didn’t like about their performance. Incorporate actionable ways an employee can improve performance in your feedback.  

8. Let Your Team Work a Flexible Schedule

One of the best ways to motivate employees and increase productivity is to implement more flexibility into your employee schedule. For example, you can mix up the traditional work hours to break up the monotony of their routine. 

For example, try letting people work from home some days. Or, instead of a traditional 9-5, allow them to come in from 8-2 and pick up the rest from home from 6-8. 

9. Provide Team Members With the Right Tools

Make sure that everyone has the tools they need to do their job effectively. Try to minimize the time your employees spend learning how to use tools. If you are using a paid tool, make sure to test it out with your employee first to make sure it’s worth the investment. 

10. Take Care of Your Employees’ Health

It’s been reported that US businesses spend between $80 and $100 billion a year on mental health-related costs. Invest some time to think about what you can do to help your people stay healthy both physically and mentally. 

If you aren’t sure what people need, ask. I’m sure your employees have some great ideas on how you can help them manage their health. There are some fantastic resources you can provide to promote healthy eating, exercise, and general well-being. 

11. Being Transparent to Build Genuine Relationships

A lack of transparency can lead to a lack of efficiency when team members don’t have access to everything they need to do their job effectively.

But transparency is about more than giving people resources to get their work done. 

Transparency is about trust. It’s about building genuine relationships. This helps create an environment where everybody can grow together around a single cause. It also allows everyone to understand the importance of their role in the company’s mission. 

12. Provide Better Employee Training and Self Development

When you are training for a race, you can’t control how fast or how strong your opponent is. What you can control is how much training you put in. Set your employees up for success with enhanced training and provide them access to classes where they can increase their skills. 

Most people have long-term career plans that involve multiple stages. This requires reskilling, ongoing training, and more experience. Motivate employees to perform better while they increase their earning potential with better training. 

13. Hire a Business Motivational Speaker to Increase Team Productivity

The first step in applying these techniques is opening up the lines of communication. A great leadership keynote speaker can help you jumpstart the process with practical, proven methods on how to increase productivity and unite your workforce. 

Adam Markel is dedicated to helping leaders and individuals find their passion, take action, and reach higher levels of personal and professional success. Book Adam today to empower the people in your organization and give your company the momentum you need to keep moving forward, success upon success.