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10 Ways to Rapidly Kickstart Your Productivity in the Workplace

The average worker spends too much time on social media sites. A 2011 survey conducted by Nielsen found that Americans spent almost 1 in every 5 minutes on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By last year, that number grew substantially to 1 in every 4.3 minutes. Simply put, we have too much time on our hands.

If you think about it, you can probably account for the loss in productivity in the workplace if you don’t have certain websites blocked. There are a number of software and mobile applications available designed to track time. If you’re wary about installing apps on computers and mobile devices in the workplace, there are some ways to promote productivity without “spying” on your work force.

Here are 10 ideas that will help kickstart productivity in the workplace:

  1. Keep distractions to a minimum. If your small business gets a lot of foot traffic, consider creating a reception area to receive visitors. This will keep them from distracting your employees and will ensure that they are directed to the appropriate department quickly.
  2. Use incentives to eliminate wastefulness. You shouldn’t have to bribe your employees to get things done. Praise and small rewards, however, boost self-confidence and encourage productivity. Look into starting an employee recognition award program in the workplace and cut out time wasters once and for all.
  3. Hold each employee accountable by following up regularly. Performance reviews are fine if they’re used properly. You can’t expect an employee to perform to your expectations if you haven’t clearly defined what those expectations are. Write an accurate job description for each employee. Assign tasks according to your business’ needs and make sure that everything is being completed on time and satisfactorily.
  4. Refrain from micromanaging. You hired managers for a reason. If you don’t feel like they’re doing a good enough job to keep your employees on task, that’s when you step in. Do not look over their shoulders each and every time that they do something. This will create an atmosphere of distrust and will halt productivity. Trust that your managers have your best interests in mind. If they’ve demonstrated that they don’t, then it’s time to educate or counsel them.
  5. Make goals targeted and attainable. If your goals are unrealistic, your employees will not be able to reach them. It’s ok to inflate numbers and expect more than average from your workers. It is not ok, however, to set them up for failure. Make sure each goal has a target so that achieving success is attainable.
  6. Encourage teamwork. We can get more done together than we can separately. Stress the importance of working as a team. Encourage your employees to collaborate, delegate, and help out wherever needed. There is no “I” in team. Make sure that your staff understands how important it is to work as a cohesive unit.
  7. Create a calm, comfortable work environment. When employees feel good, they perform well. They don’t dread coming into work and are committed to getting the job done quickly and effectively because they want to please those around them. Something as simple as adopting a casual dress code can help employees relax and focus on the task at hand. So does subtle things like allowing your workers to listen to music throughout their workday and having lunch catered in once a month as a treat for everyone working that day.
  8. Don’t let monotony kill the culture. Keep things fresh by switching up tasks and responsibilities from time to time. If you’re not sure of who is capable of doing what, discuss the possibility of different projects with your employees. Ask who feels capable of doing something new and then delegate the workload accordingly.
  9. Spend less time in meetings and more time working. Stop meeting unnecessarily. Keep small talk to a minimum. Follow up on projects regularly so you don’t have to call a meeting to get a progress report from everyone involved. Google Hangouts is a great way to keep on top of things virtually.
  10. Offer ongoing learning opportunities. Give your employees the tools that they need to succeed. This might seem like a no-brainer but very few companies offer ongoing training as part of their employee perks. Provide audio and visual materials as well as classes that help your people do their jobs better. You’ll see how it benefits you in the increase of productivity you see in the workplace after a training session.

Productivity drives business. The better able a company is at handling growing customer demands, a larger client base, and the technologically-evolving world we live in, the more successful it will be. With so many factors threatening to slow down productivity in the workplace, it’s important to evaluate and reevaluate whether or not a strategy is working or adding to the workload in a negative way.

Lost hours add up and cost companies money. Rather than ignore the problem, face it by finding new ways to streamline tasks and improve efficiency. It’s your job as a small business owner to set expectations and to follow up to ensure all tasks are being done in a timely manner. This will allow you to perform better as a team and profit handsomely from the increase in productivity in the workplace.


Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood