You Don’t Need a Bundle To Boost Productivity

Do more for less. In less time. With fewer people. With bare bone operational expenses. Hey, that’s what all business owners want. Increased productivity.

You don’t need a lot of money to get your work team motivated – even enthusiastic. Possible?

You bet it is and it doesn’t cost a lot, either.

Your employees will work harder for you, with greater focus, if they enjoy their jobs. Now, that’s where you come in.

Provide incentives for excellent performance. It doesn’t have to be an expensive watch or a big salary bonus. Award excellence on the job with a day off. That’s all.

Give your best and brightest an unscheduled day off to show the company’s appreciation for a job done well.

If your company can afford the expense, send your top salesperson and spouse on a week-long vacation. It works, but you really don’t have to spend the money on travel and accommodations, especially if every penny counts.

A special day off is an incentive, and knowing that each employee could “win” that extra day off for excellent performance, chances are productivity goes up, and it only costs you the expense of a day off for an employee.

Make it fun to come to work. How many offices have you been in with neutral paint, industrial “designer” furniture, and a carpet that can be cleaned quickly? Most offices are total yawn fests.

Add some colour. Bring in plants – lots and lots of plants. Encourage employees to turn their workspaces into their own with pictures of family, funny pictures – the kinds of things that make a cubicle a little more personal.

“Celebrate good times, come on!” Have your HR department track birthdays. Learn what each employee enjoys and plan a birthday party customized for each team mate.

If the head accountant enjoys sailing, rent a boat and have a ball. Sure, it might be expensive but could you price out the boost in employee productivity.

Task one person to track b-day parties and the “likes” of employees to create the perfect occasion for that perfect employee.

Show your appreciation loudly and a lot. I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Praise loudly. Criticize softly.

Good on-the-job-performance is worthy of a pat on the back in front of co-workers. Sometimes, a simple show of appreciation is all it takes to boost the morale and productivity of your entire staff.

Cost? $0.00

Not a bad return on investment, eh?

Conversely, never criticize an employee in front of other employees. This is a morale buster guaranteed to lower productivity and increase employee turnover. No one likes criticism, but it’s a lot easier to take in the privacy of your office.

And don’t just criticize. Provide steps the employee can take to improve on-the-job performance.

Promote from within. This is HUGE! If employees recognize the business’ policy of promoting from within existing ranks, each employee has the opportunity to move up.

Some hard work, some insightful insight, a few cost-cutters, and your entry-level employee finds herself the head of the department. If employees believe that they can (and will) grow in their jobs, they’ll stick around longer, lowering recruitment costs.

Increase salaries without a promotion. Some companies have tiered pay scales. If an employee gets a promotion, salary goes up to that new level.

However, not every employee will get promoted. Make it clear that employees don’t have to be promoted to receive an increase in pay. In fact, those employees who’ve been with you for years will be happy with annual salary increases and some sincere praise from you.

Add exercise to the work day. The health of employees has an impact on productivity. Employee absenteeism, recruitment, hiring and training, “asleep at the switch” – any of these will drag down company productivity.

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Pay for gym memberships. Add a walking path around your office building. Add gym equipment in the basement. Bring in a yoga instructor.

And while you’re at it, toss the junk food you have in the vending machine in the break room. Instead, provide FREE fruit. An orange has nutrients. A candy bar has calories.

Small changes can make a big difference in your company’s productivity. Start by talking to employees. Not just department heads who’ll give you stock answers. Talk to the people doing the job.

What do they need? What do they want? How can you help them be more efficient?

Productivity doesn’t cost a bundle when you create a corporate culture that puts employees first. These are the men and women who add value to your business every day.

Return the favour. Every day.

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