In order for businesses to succeed, management must keep a close eye on the bottom line. One of the many factors that directly affect a firm's profitability is employee productivity, so it makes sense to try to increase output whenever possible.
Here are some ideas to help get your workforce motivated to consistently perform at high levels.
- Implement a piecework compensation plan. One of the best ways to improve employee productivity is to create a direct link between output and pay by implementing a piecework compensation plan. In a piecework compensation plan, there are no hourly wages. Instead, employees get paid according to how many parts they assemble, how many sales they make, how many hours they bill, etc. This won't work for every industry, but if your employees' productivity can be easily quantified, then you might want to consider switching over to this kind of plan.
- Promote from within. When you show employees that you are committed to promoting from within, you'll be giving them even more incentive to increase their productivity and improve their overall performance. This is one of the best ways to increase employee motivation. Nobody likes to believe that they are stuck in a dead-end job or that their efforts will go unnoticed. If your employees can see that their hard work might pay off in the form of a promotion, they'll be more inclined to give it their all day in and day out.
- Ensure that your employees have good equipment. In many instances, employee productivity is limited by the equipment they are forced to use. If your plant is filled with 20-year-old machinery that constantly needs attention from the maintenance crew, or if your office contains slow, outdated computers, then you're not giving your employees a fair opportunity to be productive. Giving your workers the best supplies possible also shows employee appreciation because you're demonstrating that you understand what is needed for them to get the job done.
- Consider profit-sharing. In order to get employees to care about the direction your company is taking, it might be necessary to give them a personal stake in the outcome. This can be accomplished by introducing a profit-sharing plan in which employees receive a set percentage of any profits realized by the firm. The better the company does, the more money employees receive above and beyond their base salaries.
- Hand out achievement awards. In addition to financial incentives, many employees are motivated by the need for social recognition. That's why giving achievement awards to outstanding employees is an excellent way to improve productivity. Achievement awards typically take the form of plaques, jackets, certificates, prizes, or even special parking spaces, and are handed out to employees who meet certain performance standards. You can also make these employee rewards, such as allowing the employee who received the award to wear jeans one day or take a longer lunch break.
- Provide adequate breaks. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, providing employees with adequate breaks is essential for improving overall productivity. Break time not only gives employees something to look forward to, but also gives them a chance to recharge their batteries before diving back into work. More often than not, they'll come back refreshed and ready to focus for another couple of hours until the next break.
Now you know how to improve employee productivity. Start thinking about what employee incentives will work for your office and your workers. And don't worry, there are ways to motivate employees without spending money, so there should be no excuse why you can't implement some sort of employee incentive programs.