As a business owner, it’s up to you to make sure that your employees are always as productive as possible. Keeping your employees happy and making sure that they’re working hard is tough, but as long as you motivate them by being an effective leader, offering a good salary and great benefits, and praising their hard work, you shouldn’t have a problem with productivity. But what happens if you are doing all of that and your employees are still not very productive?
In a lot of cases, there are hidden problems that are affecting productivity and business owners don’t always realize it. Productivity suffers and unless you can find out why, your business will be in big trouble. If you are worried about the performance of your employees, look out for some of these hidden productivity killers in your business.
Stress is one of the most common reasons for lack of productivity, but it is not always immediately obvious when an employee is suffering. People tend to knuckle down and try to get on with it, but they are not very efficient because they are overworked and they are not getting enough time to relax outside of work.
It’s important that you keep an eye on your employees and help them to manage their stress. Making sure that you delegate work effectively so nobody has an excessive workload is important, and you should consider increasing the number of vacation days that you give people as well. Even though you might think that productivity will drop when people take more time off, that isn’t usually the case. A few extra days off helps them to beat stress and when they return to work well rested, they will work far more effectively than they would if they were incredibly stressed.
Issues With Interpersonal Relationships
Any problems between your employees can have a big impact on the workplace. If employees don’t get on but they have to work together, that can make them both less productive. Their disputes may also distract other employees and lead to a drop in productivity throughout the entire office. In some cases, sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace can cause a lot of distress for an employee, making it impossible for them to concentrate on their work. It’s important that you have procedures in place for employees to report any issues to HR, and you take them seriously. If you deal with issues right away, you can stop them from spiralling out of control and affecting productivity. In cases where sexual harassment and bullying are concerned, you should take a zero tolerance approach and seriously consider firing the perpetrator. If your employees feel unsafe in the workplace, you will see a big drop in productivity.
Although it is linked to the previous issue in a lot of cases, office gossip is a problem of its own. It’s very common for people to gossip in the office and it can have a huge impact on productivity. If you have an employee that is constantly leaning over everybody’s desks and gossiping with them, they’re distracting people from work all of the time. Gossip also leads to arguments between employees when people find out that their coworkers are spreading rumours about them. In a lot of cases, gossip about superiors can lead to bad relationships between management and those working under them, and when people don’t trust their superiors, they are far less likely to work productively.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that it’s not their place to get involved with office gossip, but if you want to avoid any productivity issues, you need to stay on top of it. Make it clear to your employees that gossip will not be tolerated and if you find that employees are engaging in gossip, take action right away.
A lot of business owners don’t put much thought into the temperature in their office, but you really should. Studies show that people are not productive when they are working in an uncomfortable temperature. If your office is boiling hot during the summer, people are not going to be able to concentrate, and the same is true if it’s freezing cold in the winter. You need to make sure that you have a commercial air conditioning system in place so you can regulate the temperature properly. The only issue is that there is no right answer when it comes to temperature and everybody likes it slightly different. The only way is to speak with your employees and try to find a happy medium that works for everybody. The way that you organize the office helps as well, for example, if people like a cooler temperature, they can sit nearer to the air conditioning unit. If people really struggle with the heat, let them sit next to an open window.
Meetings are an important part of running a business, but sometimes, people go overboard and it causes productivity issues. A lot of businesses host endless meetings that don’t really have a focus or purpose, and the employees don’t really get anything out of it. That’s an hour of their time wasted when they could have been doing something more productive. It’s important that you keep your employees up to date with anything important, but make sure that you don’t distract from work with pointless meetings.
When you are planning a meeting, you should always ask yourself what the purpose of the meeting is. If you can’t answer that question, you shouldn’t be having the meeting in the first place. Setting a clear schedule for the meeting will make sure that it runs smoothly and it doesn’t take longer than it needs to. When you are deciding who should attend the meeting, only invite people that absolutely need to be there.
If your business is having productivity issues and you can’t work out why you need to check for some of these hidden productivity killers.