1. Run effective meetings
Meetings are an essential part of the work environment. But do you find yourself sitting in endless meetings that wind up unnecessary, time-consuming, and unproductive?
Before organising the next meeting, ask yourself, is it indispensable? Could you get the same information from an email, a short video chat, or a phone call? If the answer is yes, you know what to do.
If you genuinely need to schedule a meeting, implement an effective meeting strategy before you start. Creating an agenda and sticking to it is the key to a productive meeting. Define your goals and estimate how much time will be spent on each point. Share your list of issues well before the session starts to give employees time to make suggestions, think about questions, or rule themselves out if they believe the meeting is irrelevant to them.
2. Minimise distractions
It’s human nature to get distracted sometimes. But if distractions begin to impact productivity seriously, that’s a problem. A study by Rise discovered that a third of Australians are regularly distracted by their phones, and over half check their phones up to 10 times a day. The internet, social media, and idle office gossip follow closely behind.
If distractions like these are consuming your workplace productivity, take steps to minimise them. It’s not practical to ban phone use altogether. But keeping them on silent mode and encouraging employees to use their phones for personal means on their breaks instead can help.
3. Avoid micromanaging
It can be tempting to want to micromanage your employees. But from an employee’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than a manager who micromanages. It’s demoralising and displays a lack of trust in the employee’s ability to do an excellent job on their own. Micromanaging is not scalable. It’s difficult for employees to be productive if their work must be constantly double-checked. Managers lose efficiency hovering over workers’ shoulders or doing all the work themselves.
Signs of micromanagement range from resisting delegating work to an unusually high turnover of employees. Delegating effectively, setting clear expectations, letting go of perfectionism and asking employees how they prefer to be managed, shows you respect their opinions and increases trust. You’re more likely to micromanage someone who doesn’t have the right skillset or is inexperienced for the role. Making sure you’re hiring people with the right skills, judgement, and professionalism will automatically reduce your need to micromanage.
4. Promote workplace wellness
A recent report found that burnout is on the rise. 52% of workers felt burnt out, and more than two-thirds believe the feeling has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. Stressed employees are more likely to make mistakes and get sick. Then need time off because stress suppresses the immune system.
There’s a reason why so many companies now offer wellness programs for their employees. A study found that wellness initiatives can increase workplace productivity by up to 11%. Allowing employees to take time off and unplug from work is essential for promoting a healthy work-life balance. This can be achieved by having open conversations about flexible work arrangements and defining boundaries. Encouraging employees to take a 20-minute break each morning for exercise and setting company wellness goals and rewards for completing them are just some of the many methods for promoting workplace wellness.
5. Invest in training and development
As a manager, it’s in your best interest to ensure that your employees grow and develop their skills. Investing in training and development helps employees expand their skillset, feel more valued and invested in the company, and gives them more confidence in their role.
A Gallup study on strength-based management development practices found that it led to more engaging and productive workplaces, decreased turnover rates by 16%, and employees felt 15% more engaged at work. Personalising training and incorporating employees into the training brainstorm process keeps employees engaged and strengthens the likelihood your employee will respond positively to the training.
6. Allow flexibility in the workplace
Flexible workplaces have been shown to improve employee wellbeing. According to a study by the Australian Government, employees in flexible work environments report feeling more engaged, well-rested, and have a greater sense of wellbeing than office-based workers.
The time of the day people feel more productive varies from person to person. Use this to your advantage. Allow employees to work remotely. Even if it’s just one day a week, statistics show that employees are happier in a flexible work environment. Allowing flexibility establishes trust and gives them a feeling of independence. A happier employee leads to better physical and mental health, leading to increased productivity.
Email + Marketing Operations Specialist
Technical native with ninja-like project management skills. She drives technology like she built it and specialises in smoothing out the digital experience. Disorganisation is her nemesis. A beer aficionado, she can be found brewing (and sampling) craft beers.