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Since the moment one person began working for another, the boss wanted to figure out how to increase productivity. No matter the trade or business involved, the higher-ups want everything done faster, and better (and most likely cheaper).
Indeed, if you want to increase office productivity, what you need to do is rethink your relationship with your employees. Below are some tips on how to do just that.
Encourage autonomy – don’t get in the way
One of the worst things managers and bosses do is hover constantly over their employees’ heads. It sends a very clear signal to your people – you don’t trust them to do their jobs properly. While this is completely OK when you’re working with a new hire, people who have been with you for a while will feel annoyed and disrespected.
What you want to do is decentralize, you want to teach them to be as autonomous as possible. This will allow you to focus on guiding the company better, on getting better deals and more business partners. By decentralizing your command, your people will be able to make better decisions. If they’re used to having you acting like a helicopter parent, they won’t be able to react properly in times of crisis, at times where you won’t be able to be there.
Breaks are important
One of the worst mistakes companies make is thinking that working their employees until they drop is good for productivity. Sure, for the short-term long hours and no breaks are very effective. However, for the long term, it’s one of the dumbest things you can do. They will get tired, they will get sick, they will either quit or their productivity and motivation will diminish substantially after a short while. And of course, this all without even getting into the actual morality of your actions.
However, on the flips side, you often have highly motivated and energetic employees who actually want to push for more hours, and who refuse to take breaks. If you are fortunate to have employees like these, you should still encourage them to take breaks. Burn-out is a very real issue, even for the most motivated of employees. So let them know that taking a break is ok. Set up your recreation room properly, make it inviting. For example, getting a good coffee maker from a professional company, like Lavazza Office Coffee, will do wonders. Maybe a foosball table, or a couple of nice chairs and sofas will do the trick.
Praise in public, scold in private
If you want to have your employees give their absolute best, you should encourage them as much as you can. When you see someone absolutely dominate a project, or fix a mistake quickly, or simply work hard, you should acknowledge that immediately. Not only that, but you should do so in public. They will get an extra boost when all their co-workers notice how good they are doing. You will also show to the rest of your staff that your respect and acknowledge when somebody does a good job.
On the flip side, the worst thing you can do is scold someone for a mistake in public. This will make people be afraid of making mistakes, and morale will plummet. Mistake happen, and you should let that person know that they made an error. But don’t torment this person, simply explain what he or she did wrong, and let them know how to improve.
Provide, and ask for, feedback
Give clear and precise feedback to your people. Let them know where they are making mistakes, and how they can improve. If you let any grievance or issue be, it will just fester. Of course, try to communicate effectively and softly any issues you have, but don’t just ignore them. Let your people know they can do the same. You should receive as much feedback as you give out. This will increase productivity many times over.
Remember – increasing your office productivity is not some deep dark secret. The main issue here is creating a relationship with your employees, being honest and direct. Reward good performance, ask for feedback, and try to make your people as autonomous as possible.
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