The Great Resignation is continuing to shake up the workforce, and it’s driving a surge in growth and interest in anti-work online communities. Buzzwords like ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘act your wage’ have caught on, picketing has never been more popular, and it’s now officially cool to hate your job.
This is unwelcome news for business owners who are already grappling with low levels of productivity. “Employees are working more and producing less, and [at] a time when their financial stress is the highest it has been since 2008,” points out CNBC. Low productivity creates a domino effect of problems, including lower staff morale, reduced business profitability, and stifled creativity.
In today’s fast-paced world, productivity is paramount, so it’s essential to tackle the underlying issues that can prevent it. By providing employees with the necessary time off to attend to personal matters and maintain a healthy work-life balance, employers can improve productivity, reduce burnout, and increase employee satisfaction. You can make this process super easy by streamlining your leave management process. This article offers three effective strategies to create a happier, more productive workforce.
Incentivizing employees to be more autonomous is a proven way to boost workplace productivity. When individuals feel a sense of independence and control over their work, they become more motivated and in turn more productive.
Encouraging autonomy in the workplace can take many forms, such as granting employees the freedom to set their own deadlines or allowing them to work on a schedule that aligns with their lifestyle. Another approach is to provide employees with the modern tools and resources they need to work independently. This can include project management software, high-end laptops for remote work, or access to communication platforms.
A more specific example is end-user computing (EUC), which can help non-programmers create tailored business applications. According to EASA, a low-code application company: “EUC frees up specialists to focus on more complicated tasks while democratizing the process of application-building and enabling enterprises to operate software that caters to their individual needs, enhancing overall productivity and efficiency.” This is just one simple way that organizations can reduce outsourcing and bring more functions in-house, giving employees improved autonomy and control over their schedules.
Schedule meeting-free days
Have you ever questioned your purpose for being in a meeting? You are not alone. Excessive meetings have been criticized for being unproductive, disorganized, and mentally draining. Today, they’ve become so synonymous with wasting time that they’re often the butt of internet jokes (although that’s not difficult these days).
Meetings are a necessary part of business, but they can consume valuable time that could be spent on deep work. According to Golden Steps, employees spend an average of 31 hours per month in meetings, and half of that time is considered wasted. It’s not just the meetings themselves that are the problem; it’s also the preparation, the small talk, and the time it takes to refocus on deep work afterward.
A viable solution to this issue is to introduce meeting-free workdays in your organization. Research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review suggests that this can lead to lower stress levels, increased autonomy, and better collaboration among employees, ultimately resulting in improved productivity.
While ‘No Meeting Friday’ is a popular choice, it’s crucial not to simply follow the norm and instead determine what works best for your business. For example, if your employees are swamped with work by mid-week, you might want to experiment with a ‘No Meeting Wednesday’ to give them a hump day break.
Employees are the bedrock of any successful business, yet studies indicate that one-third of UK employees feel undervalued in their workplaces. Low morale and motivation can diminish the performance of employees. However, the solution to this problem is simple yet powerful: appreciation.
According to a recent survey, 78% of employees claimed that recognition motivated them in their jobs. One effective strategy for fostering a happier and more motivated workforce is to establish an employee recognition program.
These programs are designed to recognize individual or team contributions and can take a variety of forms, such as verbal recognition, bonuses, or incentives like extra time off, flexible working hours, or access to training and development opportunities.
However, while everyone could do with a little extra money these days, you should be cautious of offering financial incentives. “These incentive programs may work well in the short term,” Hppy writes, “but they can encourage unhealthy competition, make some workers feel hopeless and resentful about ever earning an incentive. They also fail to address the main driving force behind productivity: internal motivation.”