No matter what your company does, how long you’ve been in operation, or how many employees you have on the payroll, there are many things you can do to motivate, encourage, and generally ramp up productivity. Here are some of the most effective methods to answer the question: Why has productivity increased?
If you are an entrepreneur and own a company that has employees, do you ever wonder how to bump up workplace productivity without resorting to financial bonuses? Most entrepreneurs have at least a few techniques that work but could use several more tried-and-true approaches that have worked for decades.
You might have an idea of what needs to be done. After all, you founded the organization. But people you hire look to you for direction and guidance. Don’t treat your employees as partners or co-founders, no matter how good your relationship is. You’re paying them to do a job that you created, so take time to tell them exactly what to do, how to do it, and how you intend to measure the results.
Want to test the validity of this technique? It’s easy. Ask those you know about their previous jobs and why they moved on. You’ll likely be surprised as how many don’t mention money but cite poor communication with their boss.
“I never knew what my boss wanted me to do” and “I thought I was doing great but kept getting poor reviews”
are two very common symptoms of faulty communication on the part of management.
In companies where the owner works from home and there’s no physical headquarters location, as is the case with many of today’s virtual accounting and law firms, it’s imperative for the employer to maintain an efficient and productive office.
That means having the latest equipment, a fully responsive phone system, video conferencing capability on a moment’s notice, fast connection speed, instant access to sub-contractors and freelancers, secure document storage, and a space where there are no interruptions. That’s what a professional home office looks like, but it costs money to increase your business productivity.
In fact, at startup and after, if you run a home-based company, it makes sense to take out a personal loan to acquire all the things you need to get up and running. For most entrepreneurs, a business line of credit is out of the question early on. That’s why so many turn to borrowing to not only get personal finances in order, but to get their companies going.
What is a realistic incentive vs. an unrealistic one? Consider some sales companies that pay only commission and offer massive, mostly unattainable cash bonuses for hitting high monthly targets. It’s no wonder such organizations find it hard to build a long-term workforce. The pay and the bonuses are both non-starters in a tight economy.
When you offer wages that are competitive or slightly better, pay well for over-time, and set monthly or quarterly bonuses that are actually realistic to earn, it’s much easier to keep a team of conscientious people together for many years. And, keep in mind that incentives don’t always have to be in the form of money. Some companies offer time off, weekend getaways, movie tickets, apparel, discount cards, and sports tickets.
Increasing wages may lead to a short term bump, but long term productivity will regress back to normal behavior. That is why it is important to be clear on desired results, ensure your office is using efficient practices, and to offer realistic incentives. Otherwise, your short term productivity increase may be illusionary.