Common Workplace Productivity Issues (And What to Do About It)
Employees are, by far, the backbone of any company. When your employees are most productive, your clients/customers are able to receive quality products and/or services. When productivity is slowed, however, this negatively impacts your brand's reputation, employee morale, and capacity to generate profits. As high productivity equates to satisfied employees and overall company success, entrepreneurs should be on constant lookout for common problems and ways to maximize workplace productivity.
Poor Working Conditions
Whether your employees work in an office building or a warehouse, the conditions of their working environment impact their productivity levels. Things like poor lighting, damaged office furniture, extreme hot or cold temperatures, clutter, disorganization, or uncleanliness can cause a plethora of issues from eye strain and headaches to increased risk of illness or injuries.
Business owners can improve workplace productivity by ensuring that their staff has an efficient, clean, and safe space to work in. The work environment should be regularly cleaned, organized in a manner that reduces injuries, and designed in a manner that encourages creativity and improved mood.
Inefficient Work Processes
Workflow is essentially the process in which projects are completed from start to finish. There should be a clear understanding amongst your staff of how things are done. All too often, however, work processes are not clear and concise leaving room for human errors, communicate problems, and, of course, slowed productivity.
You can improve workflow processes by working with your employees to learn about the issues, developing strategies to resolve those issues, prioritizing tasks, delegating appropriately, utilizing resources like technical writing software to draft quality policies and procedures for each task, and investing in project management software that allows projects to be efficiently managed and accessed by all necessary parties.
No matter how well-organized your work processes are, if the equipment or technologies required to get tasks done is inefficient or outdated, it will slow down productivity. While smaller businesses with limited budgets may not be able to upgrade software or equipment as frequently as larger corporations, periodic investments are necessary to streamline processes that will save you time and money. Working with an accountant and/or an IT consultant can help you to find the most affordable technologies and digital resources to streamline company processes without breaking the bank.
As companies implement new policies and procedures or introduce new equipment and technologies, it is imperative for your staff to have a full understanding of how to use them efficiently. Failure to properly train your staff in these areas means they have to use trial and error to figure out how to complete their jobs. This leads to increased errors and mistakes which slows productivity and decreases customer satisfaction.
When new strategies, processes, or technologies are introduced, employers should also invest in adequate training for their staff. Whether it is in-house training from managers, online training courses, or training seminars, the more educated your team is on how to utilize these resources to their advantage, the better they become at their jobs.
Poor Work-Life Balance
Though employees are supposed to know how to best balance their personal lives with their careers, it isn't always easy to keep the two separate. Sometimes there are things in their personal lives that take place that spill into their ability to do their jobs accordingly. Sick children, for example, leaves a parent with no choice but to call out and be with them. A struggling marriage or divorce can distract an employee from putting their best foot forward in the office. Even mental or physical issues an employee is facing themselves can make it difficult for them to be productive.
Employers can help in this area by making the work-life balance a bit easier for their staff. Offering flexible working schedules, the opportunity for employees to work from home, wellness programs, mental health and/or personal days that won't eat into their regular sick or vacation time, and other incentives make it easier for them to handle their personal lives so they can come to work and kick butt.
Though there are things that employees can do to improve productivity in the workplace, it is often factors beyond their control that keep them from performing at their best. This is why it is essential for business owners to regularly evaluate productivity levels and come up with feasible solutions like those described above to maximize productivity in the workplace.