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Improving Employee Productivity: Tips for Effective Discussions

Want a secret? Discussing productivity with employees is beneficial. Not just spirits. Business success depends on employee productivity. Gallup called productivity “the world’s $7.8 trillion workplace problem.” It’s hard work. Administrators and leaders must set standards. That’s hard when your staff is already depleted exhausted. Good news? Productivity experts have proven management methods to boost output. These tips can help you handle difficult conversations or improve teamwork.

Preparing for productivity talks

Start with: Get ready. Before scheduling a performance meeting, try to pinpoint the issue. Consider all possible reasons for a missed date: Do your coworkers help your employee? Too many tasks? They tired? If a performance issue has a clear cause and solution, you may be able to skip the productivity conversation and take action. Performance issues sometimes require further investigation.

A workforce analytics application can answer questions like:

– How much time do people spend on distractions versus work?

– People work best during which hours?

– Do people approach the same goals differently?

– Are all workers equally burdened?

These findings enable efficient employee discussions.

Talking productivity with employees

Remember that discussing employee performance should inspire and motivate, not demoralize. Five ways to do that.

  1. Set rules.

First, while it’s important to learn the above, it’s only a start. Trust and transparency are essential. Thus, when discussing productivity with an employee, be open-minded. Check for explicit expectations first. Do they grasp your goals? They plausible? Which part needs clarification? Using the SMART framework, check each goal:

– Describe output precisely.

– Measurable: Provide a deadline or percentage.

– Set realistic productivity goals before setting them.

– Relevant: Make sure individual productivity boosts team productivity.

– Timely: Set a realistic goal deadline.

  1. Respect and gratitude

Would a five-minute conversation boost staff productivity? Wharton professor Adam Grant says yes. Respect and gratitude work. Explaining why a job matters can improve employee performance by as much as 142%. This “task significance” gives employees respect for their work and helps them understand its impact.

  1. Avoid shaming.

Avoid “productivity paranoia” when discussing productivity with staff. Despite 87% of surveyed employees saying the opposite, many leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made them question how effective remote workers are. Unmanaged uncertainty can cause productivity theater. Team members appear productive but waste time on pointless meetings and multitasking. Instead, celebrate small wins. One study of 238 knowledge workers found that completing daily tasks can motivate. Recognizing successes, however small, will lessen the impact of poor performance. It also motivates top employees.

  1. Let staff lead.

Listen and ask to understand performance issues. Avoid waiting for problems. Include employee-led talks in one-on-ones and team-building exercises. This can help you understand people and make your employees feel appreciated.

  1. Help and answer

Employees often need your permission to boost output. Do they feel pressured to answer every email and ping? Are pointless meetings required? Are they slower to flow? After identifying issues, brainstorm solutions. Share a timeboxing schedule if needed. Schedule time for in-depth work and ignore emails and alerts. Accurately assist. For instance, you might advise a worker to decline invitations to unneeded events and to contact you with any concerns.

To sum up, discussing productivity with employees can have a positive impact on business success, and there are proven management methods to boost output. It’s important to prepare for productivity talks by pinpointing the issue and using workforce analytics to gather data. When discussing productivity with employees, it’s crucial to be open-minded, set clear rules and expectations, show respect and gratitude, avoid shaming, let staff lead, and offer help and answers. To learn more about productivity, read more articles or books on the subject, attend seminars or webinars, and seek advice from experts. By prioritizing employee productivity and well-being, businesses can achieve their goals and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.