Canada Business Owners: 5 Things You Should be Doing to Increase Employee Productivity

All companies are concerned about improving their employee’s productivity. There are many ways to enhance the job performance of employees. Here are five things all businesses can do to achieve this goal.

Start a Wellness Program


Image via Flickr by USAG-Humphreys

Healthy employees are productive employees. Starting a wellness program will benefit your company in several ways. Research published in the journal Population Health Management shows that:

  • Employees who eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables at least four times every week are 20 percent more likely to become more productive
  • Employees who eat a well-balanced diet are 25 percent more likely to show higher job performance
  • Employees who get at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week are 15 percent more likely to be more productive
  • Employees who lead healthy lifestyles are absent 27 percent less than obese coworkers

An engaging wellness program that rewards employees for following healthy habits will increase productivity without requiring the company to spend much extra money. Even distributing information about health habits could boost productivity. Of course, giving away prizes for successful employees offers even more motivation.

Start a Bring Your Own Device Program (BYOD)

Letting your employees bring their own devices to work can boost an employee’s productivity, essentially giving you an extra 37 minutes per week. Some companies get even higher levels of productivity when employees use their own devices. Others see more modest increases.

The way you approach BYOD has an effect on how much productivity increases. Companies with comprehensive programs that show employees how to use their devices properly at work usually get the best results. This is likely due to the fact that many smartphones and mobile devices have valuable untapped features that even experienced users aren’t sure how to use.

A viable strategy for companies to utilize when it comes to implementing BYOD programs is to try mobile device management. A reliable management system will give you added security that prevents information leaks and lets each user work with a variety of devices without lost productivity. These are two of the biggest challenges facing BYOD programs, so you want to tackle them as soon as possible.

A BYOD program will greatly increase the productivity levels of your IT department as well. It helps in the sense that it automates a lot of the security issues that come along with that many devices accessing company software and filed. This way your IT professionals can focus on other tech related issues, and put their knowledge and expertise to good use, which is a better implementation of company resources no matter how you slice it.

Create an Incentive Program

An incentive program can increase worker productivity, but only when you create a program that really works. Plenty of research in behaviorist theory shows that incentive programs only offer short-term increases in productivity. The problem isn’t that incentive programs don’t incentivize hard work; it’s that some programs work better than others.

Make sure that your program rewards behaviors that you actually want. If you give incentives for salespeople who reach a specific goal, then they may stop working as hard once they reach the goal. If you continue to reward them, they have a better reason to keep productivity higher. Focus incentives on continued improvement. This way not only are you raising the bar for excellence, you’re continually doing so, thus increasing productivity for the long term.

You might also want to consider an incentive program that rewards employees and managers with stock instead of cash payments. Owning stock gives employees reason to care about how well the company performs in the financial realm. They can’t just take the bonus and run; they have to keep working hard to make the bonus more valuable. This is an incentive that keeps giving too, since they can obviously take it with them when they leave the company, whereas cash bonuses are often spent quickly.

Also, don’t forget the importance of small rewards. A simple pizza day can boost morale during tough times and happy times alike. It doesn’t cost much, and it makes employees feel appreciated. Plus, it gives them a break from the office routine. Everyone could use that from time to time. Learn more about the importance of incentive programs and why they lead to company success by enrolling in an organizational leadership masters programs today.

Hire the Right Employees

If you don’t choose employees that fit in with the company culture, then you’ve set that person up for failure. Even strategically qualified applicants may not fit into the dynamic you’ve carefully built for your company. Perhaps they want more structure than your managers offer. Or maybe they need more independence than you usually give employees.

You also want to choose new employees who will work well with your existing team. Ideally, you want employees who motivate and challenge each other. They should get along and encourage each other to develop innovative ideas. Imagine how much more productivity you’ll get from employees who truly want to work with each other on challenging projects.

It’s crucial for your HR department to find the right person for the job. If your company doesn’t have an HR staff capable of this, then hire a consultant that can do it properly.

Build an Open Environment

Managers often miss opportunities because they have too much information about workplace performance. If you have pages and pages of data, you may not see that your business could save time just by switching to a new log-in system.

It’s the employees who figure out these simple solutions. They deal with those little problems daily, so they think about ways to solve them.

If you want to boost productivity, maintain an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas with managers. You have intelligent, problem-solving employees. You just have to give them a chance to help you help them.

These are just a few tried-and-true ways to boost employee productivity. What methods have you used to boost productivity at work? Do you find that some techniques work better than others?