I ran across a great article from Inc.com. All successful business owners can benefit from these 5 tips on increasing employee productivity:
1. Create self-esteem incentives
Every employee is different, so think about the type of praise and recognition that has meaning to each person who works for you. For example, some people like to be praised publicly; others prefer a quiet private word.
Then build incentives based on what makes the most impact. Have an employee lead a presentation to upper management. Place an employee in charge of an important project. Give an employee the opportunity to train in another department.
2. Eliminate stupid stuff
Every company and every job has a number of once meaningful but now worthless tasks.
Think about all the “that’s how we’ve always done things” stuff. If a task doesn’t directly impact sales, quality, productivity, or safety, get rid of it and free up that time.
3. Ask for 1 simple thing you could do to make someone’s job easier
If you want to make someone’s job easier–and therefore more productive–ask and you shall receive input. Just say, “What is one thing I could do to make your job easier?”
Never force your employees to settle for a “same stuff, different day” work life: Status quo is a motivation and productivity killer.
4. Help out, and use the time to engage
Managing by walking around is fine, but managing by pitching in is a lot better.
Helping out accomplishes two goals: You provide assistance, which is good, and you get to interact in a more natural and unforced way, which is awesome.
Just ask if you can help out. Your employees will appreciate the gesture–and if you pick your spots correctly, you can also learn a lot.
5. Steamline Expectations
Deciding what to do is important, but often deciding what not to do is even more important. Every position, every project, every initiative has a primary goal, and 90% of the effort of those involved should go to accomplishing that primary goal.