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Six ways to make staff more productive

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By Steve Hancock, spokesperson for Kit Out My Office 

Running a small company is difficult, and time and resources are often in short supply as a result. In a small firm you want to make sure you get the most out of everything, as you have little to waste, and this includes your employees. The following tips will help you raise the productivity in your team:

Give regular breaks

Working for a long period of time without any breaks can cause you to lose focus and therefore productivity. By offering your employees regular breaks, allowing them to make hot drinks, have a cigarette, or just relax for five minutes, you will keep them focused and their productivity should increase as a result. It doesn’t even necessarily mean you have to lose working hours, as the time out could be supplemented from lunch breaks.

Give incentives

Incentivising your workers is a great way to raise morale and improve productivity. Incentives don’t even have to be in the form of pay rises or bonuses; by offering quirks such as casual Fridays or team days and meals out, you can show that you care about your workers without having to offer pay rises. Most workers, especially those in a small company, will appreciate the effort that goes in to these incentives, more so than they would a small pay rise for the sake of it.

Train and coach

It might go without saying that having well trained employees will increase productivity in the office, but the way you approach this is equally as important. For example, there’s no use in handing out a textbook and expecting your workforce to go away and learn it off by heart in their own time. 

Train your workers through seminars, conferences and other mediums, but don’t expect them to pay for it, and don’t expect them to do it in their own time. Allowing them to do it in work time and giving them an allowance for travel will show them that you care while also training them to be more efficient at the job.

Create a good atmosphere

First of all, make sure that you don’t distance yourself from your workers, as this will create an apathy among them and might cause productivity to drop. Make yourself known to your employees, talk to them, and just show that you’re there. 

You don’t have to become their best friend, but treat everyone in the office as an equal, and this will go a long way to raising morale and camaraderie among the team. And with an increase in happiness and togetherness comes an increase in productivity, as everyone will want to do well for the company. 

Be flexible

Recognise that every employee has different needs, and from time to time may need to work away from the office, or have some time off. Whether it be due to health, parenthood, studies or appointments, offering an element of flexibility in the office will reduce the stress of your workers and should increase productivity as a result. Allow workers the chance to work remotely if they need to, or even consider introducing flexible hours, where they can start at any time within a three-hour window and finish accordingly. 

Take a backseat

By taking a step back and allowing your employees the opportunity to micromanage, you’re showing them that you trust them enough to not be on their back and that in turn will increase their respect for you. You can still oversee what goes on in the office but try not to schedule workers’ weeks for them, and let them create their own plan instead.