When looking to boost employee efficiency, it’s tempting to turn to technology to make your team accountable for their whereabouts and actions. While indispensable for most organisations, time and attendance software is only one, albeit crucial, part of the puzzle. To have a genuine lasting impact, you need to introduce strategies that address the reasons behind poor attendance and low productivity. The following five ideas are a great place to start:
1. Communication is key
For any of your other strategies to work, you need to have excellent workplace communication flows. In addition to being the key that unlocks all your other efficiency-boosting strategies, communication itself will have a powerfully positive impact.
Employees are happier when they know they can be honest with their manager and coworkers. Job satisfaction translates to a better work ethic, boosting their desire to get to work on time and put in maximum effort.
To effectively engage with your staff, make sure you have a two-way feedback system in place. Let them know how they are performing, and always be clear about your expectations of them. When they offer you feedback, make a point of showing that you’ve acknowledged and taken it on board.
2. Equip your employees with everything they need to succeed
You wouldn’t send a plumber into a messy job without tools or a soldier onto a battlefield without weapons. Yet as managers, we often fail to equip our team with the tools that will help them fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities.
Depending on your industry, this could mean offering customer service training sessions, allowing wait staff to sample menu items, or providing office workers with time management training and scheduling tools.
3. Identify and troubleshoot any problems
If you’ve identified a pattern of tardiness from a particular employee or perhaps a team-wide dip in productivity, there may be a problem you need to address before any of these other strategies will work.
To troubleshoot this issue, you’ll need to cycle back to strategy one and focus on communication. Talk to the employees involved. This may be a tricky conversation as you’ll need to be able to tell the between excuses and genuine reasons.
Once you know what’s causing the problem, you can work with your staff to address it. Points one and two above should help you with meeting your side of the equation. Be sure to track your employee’s progress and use the following two strategies to lock their new and improved habits into place.
4. Set a good example
No matter how clear you are in setting workplace expectations, if you’re not measuring up yourself, it may be hard to get the best out of your employees. It would be great if everyone was self-motivated. However, humans are tribal creatures and we look to our leaders to model appropriate behavior. With this in mind, you may need to give your own habits an overhaul to make sure you’re modeling the kind of attitude you want your staff members to take.
5. Offer perks to boost motivation
Once you’ve taken care of the core strategies above, you can get a little extra oomph out of your employees by offering incentives. This could be something simple and inexpensive, like corporate gifts for hitting certain benchmarks.
Alternatively, you may want to offer longer-term perks like a yoga room, gym memberships, educational opportunities, or dental cover. Try out any of the strategies listed above and you should see improvements in the efficiency of your team. Just remember, communication is the key to making all other strategies work.