Productivity in the workplace is one of the key components in keeping the business flowing. Now what do we do when we get the sense that this productivity is just slipping ever so slightly? What about when we have been so wrapped up in what we have been doing that there now seems to be a very blasé attitude to work? It once enthralled and excited your staff? A lack of productivity in a workplace has been proved to cause big issues within the business. It happens, so here’s what you can do about it!
Of course, first you need to check whether your staff are unproductive. You don’t want to rustle feathers when people are actually working as hard as they possibly can! Here at itas, we know that there are telltale signs when someone is feeling perhaps a little idle!
- Mindlessly scrolling through social media. It’s very easy when you feel like you have nothing on to just nip on. Have a nosy at what people were doing over the weekend. This seems harmless but when it’s taking up hours of your day then something has to give!
Studies suggest that around 77% of people use social media while at work
- Taking a Super Long Time to do Anything. A true sign of disengagement! If it is taking a member of your staff days to complete the simplest of tasks then something needs to be said as this could be seriously affecting your business – especially if this person is in charge of bringing in customers or sales!
- Being More Interested in Someone Else’s Work. Now, we all want good relationships in our business. You want your staff to interact well on a personal and a professional level – this makes for great collaboration! But when you notice that one staff member is spending an awful lot of time next to another staff member rather than at their own desk then you might just have yourself one unproductive member of staff!
- Lack of Intuition. Some people do need a little bit more help in the office and that’s fine. A problem may be on the horizon when you find that a member of staff who once was full of brilliant, innovative ideas is now struggling to come up with the easiest of fixes.
- Lack of OOMF. True to my last point, if a staff member is reluctant to engage with customers, or other staff members, or doesn’t feel like going out to do on-site work then productivity is your problem.
If you recognise any of the above symptoms in your workplace, please continue reading for some helpful ideas to banish productivity for once and all!
Big, bad boss
As with any big business discussions, a bit of tact must be had. If you are going to approach a member of your staff and bring up their possible lack of productivity then you’ll need to have thought through what you want to say. As a leader of people or even a concerned colleague, any number of reasons could be at fault here. People go through rubbish times at any stage of their life and it might be that your unproductive worker might need some moral support. The first place that you should look is at yourself and your workplace:
- Does it provide a stimulating and open work environment?
- Do you ensure that your staff feel as though they can come to you with a problem?
- Have you had regular meetings with your staff?
- Are you challenging your staff enough? Overloading your staff?
- Any number or combination of the above are super easy to fix.
It may be that the problem lies outside of work and in that case, you need to be understanding and offer assistance or just an ear. It is important that the staff member does understand however that this is a business environment therefore everyone else does need to keep going.
How can you fix it?
Fixing a lack of productivity is possible, without a doubt. If you recognise that your workplace has become snooze town, then you are already on your way!
itas endeavours to continue to challenge the realms of productivity and to find new and exciting ways to encourage it in the office.
- Hold a monthly (or weekly) meeting. Not with your whole staff, with individuals. Talk to your staff, figure out what’s going well for them, what they’re not too happy with and then you share the same. Come up with a template that could be shared between the two of you looking at targets that are achievable whilst still motivating!
- Everyone loves a prize! Why not set up a competition in the office, people tend to feel more engaged in their work when they feel that they are going to get some recognition for it. Even a game of office bingo can have people racing to go that extra mile.
- Make sure that they love what they are doing. It might be that you have a staff member who would rather be somewhere else within the business. Have they dropped hints around you or other members of staff? If they are in position that they no longer enjoy then they will not produce the level of work that you would expect from them. Where possible, shuffle staff about. Allow people to rotate in and out of sectors. If you can’t, express this to the staff member and endeavour to try and move them when a role does become available.
- Know your Staff. Self-explanatory – you know them, they know you, they talk to you, you talk to them. A productive relationship where everyone’s voices are heard without having to shout.
- Opportunities Galore! Loads of people are unproductive in their work because they feel as though they are stuck in a rut. Can you definitely say that you are giving your staff every opportunity that you come across? If a staff member wants to be challenged then don’t deprive them of that, or they might just leave. Training staff to take on more responsibility is a huge compliment, and everyone likes a compliment!
Measurement of productivity can be seen in the office. Just walking into an office can be enough to set people up for the day. Whether the mood is lax or lively can influence a whole team. So make sure that your office is the latter – make it buzz. One of the newest members of team itas has put together some thoughts about her first week here at itas, check it out!