If it seems that your team can never meet production goals or is continually lagging behind, it’s time to look for the roadblocks that are bringing your employees’ efforts to a screeching halt. What may surprise you, however, is that these are not roadblocks so much as voids — what hurts productivity most is not what is in the way, but what’s not there at all.
No Expectations, No Feedback
It’s easy for managers to assume that employees know exactly what the team’s goals are, and what it takes to achieve them, but if your employees’ productivity seems to be suffering, you’d be surprised how much of a difference simply stating your needs and expectations can be. State your expectations for each position as clearly and concisely as possible, and take the time to discuss expectations with the employees. Likewise, doing the post-mortem after the fact is important. Providing your team with feedback when they fall short of the expectations for their job, or more important still, providing positive reinforcement when they achieve the goals set for them, can improve productivity enormously.
When it comes to setting those goals for your team, the best way to ensure they are met is to allow employees some say in the goal-setting process. Listen to — and act upon — their suggestions regarding tools or training they need to perform their duties, how they will reach the productivity goals you wish to set, and realistic timelines for achieving goals. Just incorporating your team’s input into the process makes a world of difference in achieving their buy-in in the process; this is team building at the most basic (and most effective) level, and creates serious employee motivation while offering managers an important window into what makes employees productive.
Speaking of motivation, never underestimate its importance to productivity. Managers often view employee motivation as some impossible-to-define concept with little real-world importance, but giving employees a solid reason to make productivity important will have measurable and lasting effects on productivity. The secret to motivation isn’t what you do as a manager, but what you don’t do. Don’t dismiss employee concerns about safety or working conditions. Don’t dictate to employees without listening to their suggestions. Don’t neglect their professional development, and, perhaps most importantly, don’t neglect them. Take every opportunity you can to have conversations with your team in which you listen to what they have to say and respond by letting them know you appreciate their efforts.
Doing everything right but still struggling with productivity? Staffing Partners’ staffing experts can help you recruit the very best employees for your team. Give them a call today and let them work with you toward your goals.