When was the last time you monitored employee efficiency in your organization? Have you given it any thought at all? Employee efficiency is essential to overall business success and something that every manager and leader should invest some serious time in.
The Significance of Employee Efficiency
It’s pretty obvious when you say it out loud, but how often do you acknowledge the fact that employee efficiency and productivity have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line? Not only does the concept make logical sense, but there’s data to back it up.
When you look at high levels of employee engagement (which is almost always linked with optimal productivity), it becomes clear just how vital it is for businesses to put more energy and focus into this area of management. According to research gathered by Dynamic Signal, companies with highly engaged employees see three-year revenue growth numbers that are, on average, 2.3 times greater than organizations whose employees are engaged only at an 'average' level.
On an individual basis, increasing employee engagement by just 10% can raise profits by as much as $2,400 per employee. Customer retention rates are 18% higher, absenteeism and workplace accidents go down, and performance spikes.
In other words, employee engagement and efficiency aren’t merely HR issues. They need to be a focus of interest in the C-suite as well.
Four Steps to Improving Employee Productivity
When you’re a manager or business owner, one of your biggest focal points over the next few months ought to be on how you can improve employee engagement and expand productivity. Here are four specific ways to do this.
1. Ditch the 9-to-5 Schedule
The 9-to-5 routine has been the norm for decades. In fact, many retiring baby boomers have spent their entire career clocking in and out at the same time of day.
But if you study the numbers and analyze the shifting perceptions of the workforce today, it becomes clear that the rigidity of the 9-to-5 schedule is no longer practical for most companies. 'Our culture in the U.S. is rooted in what I call an hours mentality,' says Carol Sladek, a partner at a human resource consulting firm.
'And by that, I mean scheduling -- really driven by shift work -- that doesn't make sense in most of our service-based industries.' If you want your employees to be more engaged and productive, it’s better to offer some sort of flexible scheduling in which (assuming they get their basic work done) they can choose their own hours, within reason.
2. Encourage Healthier Eating Habits
There’s a saying that goes: 'You are what you eat.' In reality, this hyperbolic statement isn’t honestly that far from the truth.
If you eat greasy meals and processed foods at every meal, you’re going to feel groggy. If you eat lots of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re going to feel energetic and engaged.
Now, you obviously can’t control what your employees choose to eat, but you can encourage healthier habits. One option to try is the Nutrisystem plan: a meal delivery system that provides fresh, healthy meals on a weekly basis.
Persuade your employees to try something like this, as opposed to getting takeout every day, and you’re certain to witness some degree of improvement in worker energy, and most likely, productivity as well.
3. Require Short Breaks
There’s a common misconception that the more time you dedicate to a task, the more you’ll get done. In a perfect world this might be true, but the human brain has limitations and requires time-outs in order to continue operating at optimum levels.
If your employees tend to push straight through the workday, try slowing them down and requiring frequent breaks. Even a five-minute break every hour can make a noticeable difference.
4. Set Measurable Goals
One of the primary reasons people don’t live up to their potential is that they have no way to track their progress. This is definitely true when it comes to productivity and efficiency.
In order to help your employees get more done, you need to be sure they know what they’re aiming for. Setting measurable goals is one way to nudge your team in the right direction and help them self-correct when they get off course.
Not only do you need to set long-term goals, but checkpoint goals -- such as daily and weekly sales quotas -- can also be useful.
Give Your Employees a Chance to Thrive
Apart from all the time that goes into hiring talent, are you putting enough effort into talent development? It’s one thing to hire an employee who has a good resume and lots of potential.
It’s another to hire someone and make sure he or she lives up to the person’s apparent potential. By making individual and collective productivity a higher priority, you will not only make employees happier, but you can also increase the bottom line in a sustainable fashion.