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Coach Darin: How leaders can boost employee and productivity

For many years, Darin Myers oversaw the operations of Plant Vogtle I and II. He is the local franchisee of TAB serving the CSRA. If you’d like more information on the peer-to-peer advisory boards that he leads, email or call 706.755.0606

These days, business leaders are more focused than ever on finding ways to promote employee engagement and productivity. Although circumstances differ from one business to another, certain key principles apply in most cases.

An effective starting point is looking closely at exactly how things get done within your organization. There’s far more complexity than ever before (with respect to innovations in technology, processes, and produces), so it’s increasingly critical that you do all you can to help employees do their jobs.

Find time to step back and evaluate how things get done in your business. By assessing workflow and processes, “you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of those operational areas where complexity serves as an obstacle to production, rather than benefiting it.”

Here are other action steps to keep in mind:

Examine the quality of your workplace environment.

Employees will likely be more productive in a work environment that feels comfortable and clean. Take a fresh look at conditions in your workplace. Make an investment in maintaining proper lighting, appropriate room temperature, and the use of ergonomic chairs, while also encouraging workers to practice good “office hygiene” by keeping their workstations clean and orderly.

Communicate your expectations to employees.

Employees usually get more work done if they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Make sure managers regularly check in with team members, both on-site and off-site, and that they take care of any bureaucratic difficulties getting in their team’s way.

As Insperity notes, “If a manager’s expectations aren’t clear, employees may become confused, bored or resentful, and more focused on their own survival than how they can help the business succeed.”

Match skills with tasks.

It should be obvious: people do better when the tasks they’re assigned grow out of their individual skill set. Entrepreneur suggests dividing parts of a large-scale project “so that specific employees get to lead teams performing tasks they are best at.” This can help managers avoid “performing multiple processes and effectively manage business processes across the organization.”

Set goals and foster employee growth.

With clear-cut goals, employees can move more efficiently towards the kind of productivity you’re looking for. Engage for Success recommends that business leaders “set challenging but achievable goals for your employees and give clear directions to the supervisors so that they can clarify your message and expectations.” Clarity around company objectives helps employees stay focused on what’s most important to the organization.

As goals are attained and the company moves forward, take every opportunity to highlight how these goals support your employees’ career advancement plans. As we have noted before, “An in-depth conversation about where the employee wants to be (in a year, five years, etc.), and what added skills are needed to get there” can boost his or her sense of engagement and lead to greater enthusiasm about the company in general.

Make employee recognition a key part of your culture.

Greater productivity grows out of a sense of pride and value employees have within the organization. People naturally want to be recognized for the work they do, particularly if they go above and beyond their job responsibilities. Look for ways to recognize these individuals, as well as project teams that generate major results for the company.

Formal recognition programs emphasize hard work, creative problem-solving, and alignment with company values. Implementation of such a program will enrich your culture and serve two key objectives: engaging the workforce you already have, while hopefully attracting a new crop of prospective employees in the months and years to come.

Greater employee productivity is always possible, if it remains a top priority within the company.

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