There is no debating that employee productivity is the backbone of any successful business. It makes perfect business sense that companies constantly seek ways to make their employees more productive to optimise their operations, maximise resources, and achieve long-term growth.
However, in pushing for the business bottom line, the employer must remember that employees are not mere numbers on the payroll nor robots devoid of needs and wants. This means that you can’t simply push them to their limits and squeeze the productivity juice out of them.
As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. So, if you want your employees to be more productive, you need to play your part as a good employer.
What do employees need to be productive?
The Great Reshuffle phenomenon a few years ago has brought about a shift in the employment headwinds- workers today no longer perceive work as something that should be prioritised over all other aspects of life.
According to human resources agency, Randstad’s 2023 employer brand research, Singapore employees who participated in the survey ranked the lack of work-life balance as the number one reason for leaving a company (41%), followed by low compensation (38%) and lack of career growth opportunities (33%).
The numbers have spoken: Many workers today value work-life balance as the most important factor that would keep them happy and productive at work.
Boosting employee productivity: Money isn’t everything
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to boosting your employees’ productivity, but salary isn’t always the driving factor. Throwing more money at a burnout employee will certainly not make him less tired. But if you need some suggestions, here are three ways we’ve put together for your consideration as an employer.
1. Promoting work-life balance
Employees with a good work-life balance can better focus on work and be more productive. A survey conducted on 50,000 global workers by the Corporate Executive Board, representing over 80% of Fortune 500 companies, found that employees who believe they have good work-life balance worked 21% harder than those who don’t.
In providing work-life balance for your employees, tweaking your company’s prevailing HR policies may be a good starting point. LinkedIn’s VP of Product Management for Talent Solutions, Hari Srinivasan, said:
“For companies, it means being more open to change and creating flexible environments that work for your business — whether redesigning workspaces or rethinking culture and values to align with your employees’ changing needs.”
Here are some HR policies that companies can adopt to help employees achieve work-life balance:
2. Tapping on technology
Rather than working your employees to the bone, providing employees with the tools and resources they need to manage their workload effectively can greatly impact their productivity.
Below are three digital tools that you may want to incorporate into your company’s toolkit to help your employees in their daily tasks:
- Google Workspace – A digital platform that stores and shares files on Drive. Your employees can create important material using Docs (documents), Sheets (spreadsheets) and Slides (presentation slides); email vital instructions via Gmail; and schedule meetings on Calendar.
- Slack – An internal communications software app that gathers all internal communication in one platform to help you and your team keep track of conversations, even if one begins over email, is replied to via a text and is followed up with a tweet.
- Asana – A work management tool that helps your work teams coordinate and manage their projects, tasks, and deadlines. It offers features such as project workflows, agile management, team collaboration, and organising work. Asana also allows users to plan their day, share ideas, and update their team in real-time across web, phone, and desktop apps.
3. Creating a positive work culture
When employees feel valued, respected, and supported, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. Employers can create a positive work culture by promoting teamwork, recognising employee achievements, and fostering a supportive environment.
Bridget Wong, Accenture Singapore’s Head of Human Resources, shared with Workipedia by MyCareersFuture:
“Employees are recognised via a Recognition Programme, which celebrates their success via peer recognition as well as recognition points that can be redeemed for merchandise or charitable contributions.”
Furthermore, employers should encourage open and transparent communication channels, allowing employees to voice their concerns, provide feedback, and share ideas. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be committed to their work, leading to increased productivity.
Neelesh Bhatia, CEO and founder of Akadasia, a tech start-up that specialises in education technology, shared with Workipedia by MyCareersfuture:
“I make it a point to send a direct email to the employee once we have considered the feedback and acted upon it. The email thanks the employee and provides information on how we have acted upon it or why we decided not to.”
Embracing a new approach to productivity in the workplace
Remember, productivity is not solely about working longer hours or pushing employees to their limits. It is about finding the right balance, empowering employees, and creating an environment that supports their overall well-being.
If you’re looking to bring experienced personnel into your company’s ranks, tap on WSG’s Career Conversion Programme for Employers to reskill mid-career new hires or workers with up to 90% salary and course fee support.