Time is not only the building block of your life but of your business, too. Unless you can manage your own time and that of your employees, you will not be able to achieve much.
The secret to managing time is not what you might think—a strict schedule. Instead, it’s something else—a productive workforce. More important than starting the day or a project on time is the ability to do it well, to produce measurable results.
Productivity, then, is the lever with which you move the world. It’s the way to achieve business success. And, interestingly enough, it’s also the way to build a happy team—because people love to be productive, to be fulfilling a purpose at work, to be reaching a clearly defined business goal, to be following an overarching business vision.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can inspire more productivity in the workplace:
Host an Employee Awards Night
It’s fine to give out Employee of the Month Awards but if you want to energize your entire workforce, then a gala event in a rented-out hotel ballroom is the way to go. Make it a Hollywood-style event, with a master of ceremonies, elegant invitation cards, and an insistence on formal dress code. Hand out attractive acrylic awards that spell out the recipient’s full name, their achievement, and the year. Make your Employee Awards Night a night to remember—something that your employees look forward to each year and something that they talk about for weeks after it’s over.
Words can make or break your business. Specifically, the words that are spoken by executives to managers, by managers to staff, and by supervisors to workers.
Words can be encouraging, inspiring, or empowering. They can also be discouraging, dispiriting, and disempowering. Naturally, your business should focus on using words that hearten others rather than words that humiliate individuals and teams.
For positive words to be effective they have to be spoken in context. First of all, they have to be relevant. Merely praising someone for showing up on time is absurd. Instead, catch employees doing something right. Without context, positive words sound hollow and meaningless and not a genuine expression of admiration.
What about criticism? It, too, is necessary. After all, without them no course correction is possible. Here tone plays a part. If the criticism is delivered in the right tone, it’s perceived as constructive criticism, as necessary feedback. If the criticism is delivered with anger, then it’s similar to a parent-child criticism, a one-way conversation that only breeds resentment and stirs up passive resistance.
Train your executive, managers, and supervisors how to use words wisely.
Focus on Employee Happiness
Happy employees are productive employees. But how do you make sure employees are happy?
While, of course, one way is to provide them with plenty of perks, benefits, and spiffs, this is a rather superficial way of approaching the idea of employee happiness. This is not to say that you should refrain from offering employees rewards and opportunities, but it should not be the main focus of your efforts.
Employees feel happy when they are efficient and can see how much their work matters to the organization. You can encourage efficiency in three ways:
- In-house mentoring.When employees don’t do a task well, it’s usually because they don’t know how to do it properly. By assigning a new employee or an employee that has been given new responsibilities to someone who is experienced in the work, you will be able to groom skills throughout the organization.
- Formal training.Sometimes it’s not enough for a more experienced person to share their knowledge. Certain work, especially technical work, requires an understanding of fundamental principles. For this, you will need to offer formal training, either inviting subject matter experts to offer in-house classes or sending your employees out to classes. You can also sign employees up for online third-party training.
- Tools, equipment, and environment.It’s not enough to just have people know how to do a good job, you also have to create the right conditions for them to deploy their knowledge and skills. Giving your employees good computer hardware and machines, giving them high-end software, and providing them with a clean, well-lit, pleasant environment will help them do their jobs well.
In conclusion, you can make the best use of time in your organization by encouraging productivity through various practical means that are easy to implement.