Increasing Employee Productivity Without Sacrificing Happiness

Several pillars support any business' success. Two of these components are employee productivity and happiness, which share a precarious balance.

It's crucial to set goals and attempt to motivate employees. However, if you go too far, you can negatively impact happiness, which will ultimately lead to disaster. While employees under pressure perform at first, in the long term, their productivity will wane and they might even quit.

If you want to increase employee productivity without sacrificing happiness, follow the seven tips below.


1. Encourage Remote Work

Do your employees want to work remotely? Let them. Many managers or business owners believe those who work from home slack off and don't produce. One study revealed 77% of remote workers are more productive due to fewer distractions from noisy co-workers, meetings and conversations. Cloud-based collaboration and video conferencing software make it easy for team members to communicate all over the world.


2. Track Time and Performance

It can be challenging to assess employee productivity. Time and performance-tracking software help you analyze employee engagement levels. Engaged and happy workers are more likely to meet deadlines and produce a high-quality product. An online business management center can also help connect with potential recruits and onboard new employees.


3. Offer Training Opportunities

No one wants to feel stuck in their career. Boredom and repetition are significant contributors to employee unhappiness. People want a challenge. According to one 2016 study, bored employees are twice as likely to leave, and morale and productivity both take a hit. Training boosts confidence in struggling employees while allowing thriving ones to learn new skills.


4. Improve Communication Methods

It can be hard for employees to feel comfortable and satisfied in the workplace when they feel they can't ask questions, bring up concerns or receive feedback. An environment conducive to productivity fosters open and easy lines of communication among the corporate hierarchy. With modern technology, it's easier than ever to communicate with employees effectively. Email has long been a favorite, but instant chat software like Slack and Skype are also popular.


5. Follow the ISO 9001 Standard

ISO 9001 is an accepted way to operate and improve your company. This standard focuses on your quality management system, or the processes that impact your final product or service. This type of measure can even make it easier to manage operations unrelated to product or service quality, such as accounting, groundskeeping, employee party planning and more. To achieve ISO 9001 certification, an outside auditor will have to define, control and improve processes within your company.


6. Establish a Set Schedule

Employees want to plan their weeks and vacations. However, some businesses release schedules only days ahead, with shifts varying wildly. A set schedule issued in advance will help workers feel more in control over their day-to-day lives. It will also allow them to schedule and commit to outside obligations. Reliable scheduling software will allow you to create schedules and communicate with employees easily.


7. Understand Your Employees

A happy employee is one who feels heard. If you don't understand your workers, how can you provide an environment that will inspire them to stay motivated? Listen to what employees have to say. Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, advises you can avoid setbacks by regularly asking, "How's it going?" Listen to what people say, even if it contains criticism. New online polling software also allows employees to provide feedback anonymously, which many are more willing to do.

For a successful business, employee happiness and productivity are equally important. If employees are unhappy, whether due to the environment, lack of training or strict quotas, they will ultimately underperform. From encouraging remote work to improving communication, there are plenty of ways you can increase productivity without sacrificing employee happiness.

About the author

Nathan Sykes enjoys writing about the latest in business technology on his site, Finding an Outlet and is a regular contributor to Simple Programmer, Best Techie and KDnuggets.


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