There are seven management techniques that, when implemented, can significantly boost employee productivity.

One of my customers, who shall be referred to only as “Bill,” was the owner of a construction company and was having trouble managing his employees and figuring out how to increase employee efficiency. He appeared to devote a greater portion of his time on troubleshooting and problem-solving rather than exploring new business opportunities. After he “put out a fire,” another spark would ignite a new circumstance that he would need to deal with. This cycle would continue indefinitely. There were workers under Bill’s supervision who refused to report to work on time, who vanished from the job site, who took shortcuts (which ended up costing the company extra money just in repairs), and there were workers under his supervision who either stole from the company or mistreated the company’s materials and equipment. The situation had deteriorated to the point where he was prepared to give up and shut down his company.

Many of our small business counselling clients, including Bill, suffer with similar issues in maintaining control over their staff, let alone enhancing employee efficiency. Our company provides this service to a variety of clients. In point of fact, we have witnessed firsthand how issues with staff members can lead to a sizeable decline in a small company’s profits. When a company does not have good leadership, there is a far higher risk that it will suffer a devastating loss that we refer to as the “ten-thousand-dollar mistake.” It occurs when you have the wrong person in the right position at the worst possible time; that person then does something that results in a significant loss for your company. Unfortunately, Bill experienced numerous of them over the course of two years, which significantly cut into the profit his company made.

Because firefighting is such a prevalent issue in the world of small business, we have decided to incorporate a specific focus on it in the leadership skills training that we provide for managers and owners. The following is a list of the areas in which we assist our clients.

Advice on How to Boost the Productivity of Your Employees

If the foundation of your company is not founded on strong leadership, you may expect to engage in a never-ending power struggle with your staff in order to coerce them into doing quality work. You may enhance your productivity by putting these suggestions into practice, which will help you obtain the control you need.

1. Be Willing to Take on the Leadership Role

Your ability to lead the organization effectively will be evaluated on a regular basis. If you have employees that are not listening to your policies, it is most likely because they are testing you as a leader; they require a strong leader to follow. They need someone to follow who is authoritative. If this is the case, you will need to remain calm while accepting the challenge and making the necessary adjustments. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you will lose your leadership, and that will be expensive. Therefore, make sure you maintain your composure.

2. Set Firm Boundaries

If you don’t establish clear boundaries, your staff will fend for themselves, and the results won’t be beneficial to your business. As the leader, it is up to you to define what the operating procedures are, and then it is your responsibility to educate everyone else on those practices. Make this a regular practice and recognize and commend those workers who best exhibit the qualities that lead to increased employee productivity. You will be able to construct a powerful firm with the support of this.

3. Ensure that the Consequences Are Appropriate for the Offense

What if you try to teach them, but they continue to resist your efforts? You’re running late for work yet again, aren’t you? Let them reflect on what they have done incorrectly when they get home. It’s very uncommon for a company owner to have the mindset that they just can’t afford for one of their workers to be absent from work. In the event that the worker chooses to take advantage of this, they will attempt to get away with a wide variety of transgressions. Even though it will cause you more stress right now, there will be times when you will be required to let them feel the repercussions of their actions. It is time to act responsibly. Waiting to address behaviors that deviates from the norm established by the firm will result in many misunderstandings being directed toward the leadership. Employees may believe that they can get away with it if you are not addressing their pushback, and even worse, that what you say has no backbone to it if you are not addressing their pushback. It should come as no surprise that people have lost respect for the leadership that you provide when they believe things like this.

4. Always and in Every Way, Maintain Your Consistency

It is essential that you maintain coherence in your interactions with the other members of your team. Be consistent in your correction and direction, regardless of how important they are to the firm or how many other members of the team they have on their side. It is essential that everyone is aware that the new regulations are not intended to be taken on a personal level and are, rather, the most effective company productivity solution that you could have. The manner in which you discipline the behaviors of employees who are not adhering to the standards of acceptable business practices established by the company is a matter of a personal nature.

5. Make sure people are held responsible for the results they produce.

If you have ever approached a professional business coach or manager for advice on how to increase staff productivity, the majority of them will tell you that you need to have clear objectives and performance criteria, which must be followed by strong responsibility. Without accountability, nothing will get done in an efficient manner because it is the “glue” that holds the change process together. Make it a point to talk to them about what needs to happen, when you anticipate it will, and then get them to agree that this should be a top priority. There is no way that accountability can assist in the achievement of organizational goals if this communication cannot take place in both directions. Reduce the height of your expectations. When they hear what needs to change, very few people will actually act on it the first time they hear it. Expect that you will need to explain it to them anywhere from three to five times using a variety of approaches before they will understand. After the fourth or fifth repetition, you should interrupt them and inquire as to the reason they are unable to hear what you are saying. Are they getting it now? What are their thoughts regarding the modification? Are they intentionally putting up a fight? Be sure to communicate openly and honestly with one another when addressing the problems.

6. Establish Compatibility by Holding Weekly Meetings

Hold a meeting every week to go over how the previous week went, what kinds of improvements you would like the team to make, and to talk about the goals for the upcoming week. Holding regular meetings can be an effective way to develop a healthy culture at a firm and keep attitudes in control. Be sure to frame things in a favorable light, and if you feel the need to reprimand someone, do so in a non-public setting.

7. Make a Changes in Staffing Plan

Yes, it is reasonable to anticipate that those employees who are dissatisfied with the new direction the firm is taking under your leadership may quit and look for work elsewhere when you make changes to the way you manage the business and begin to improve employee productivity. It’s easy to figure out who it will be since they’ll start taking more sick days, they’ll start hanging around other people’s desks for no apparent reason, and they might even start speaking out in staff meetings. It is up to you to locate these individuals at an early stage and make preparations to have others at the ready to take their places in the event that a vacancy should occur. There is nothing more aggravating than when an important person uses unofficial vacation time (sometimes known as sick days) just to mess you up. If you are able to bring on additional personnel, you will have a business productivity solution at your disposal that will enable you to maintain a consistent level of production until things normalize.

We have assisted a number of small firms in modifying their management and leadership styles through our work with those companies. When I think back to that particular business, I recall that if the owner of that company spoke to one of his employees about cross training in another area at her slack time, that employee would call in ill for the following three days. When I started working for this company, the owner was afraid to talk with one of the employees because if he did, it would mean that he would have to put in extra hours on the nights or weekends to make up for the work that was being done by the absent employee. These kinds of challenges to leadership are exhausting on both a physical and an emotional level. Because of this, they require prompt and immediate attention; else, the situation will only become more terrible.

One of the most beneficial leadership skills training classes you could have taken would be running a small business of your own. Sadly, real life will always provide you with the test before it teaches you the lesson. The idea that everything that occurs in the administration of your company is the result of adhering to the principle of Cause and Effect is the most effective method to comprehend this idea. You have to ask yourself, “What did I do to make this happen?” if the effect or result of your leadership is not what you wanted it to be and you see it happening as a result of your leadership. Then you need to make the necessary adjustments to your leadership style in order to achieve the desired results.

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