Improving the productivity of your workforce

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Improve the productivity of your workforce 290X217If there are 3 key things to take away from this blog to improve productivity of your workforce they are the following

1. Have a strategy and vision; set clear goals and objectives to encourage better performance

These need to be understood by everyone and employees should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Ensure the individual’s and the team’s efforts are aligned to the direction of the business and enable a positively affect to the entire organisation. 

2. Invest in the workforce 

Train and develop employees to their full potential, to bridge skills gaps and to enhance their performance in their role. Coach and mentor them so that they increase in confidence, perform well and feel motivated and valued.

3. Communicate well and often

This is crucial for successful business performance. There needs to be an effective communication process in place, from communicating team targets and business performance, to sharing good news, success stories and general organisational updates. There are a number of tools to do this – you may have a ‘staff meeting’ every Friday morning, or a weekly email, or conference call. 

Let’s dig deeper to understand how to translate these key things into action.

Engaging the workforce

While we feel we have the procedures and processes in place to manage performance, our workforce can sometimes be disengaged, unmotivated and uninspired. How can we develop our skills and approach to improve this? Here are some examples of where you can start:

Leadership training

Leadership training will address all of the key areas of good leadership. Leading, managing and engaging people requires knowledge, skills and competence. New team leaders will need a strong foundation of knowledge in order to be able to manage their team well, which includes learning good communication skills, how to give feedback without damaging the employment relationship, team development, recruitment, performance management and other essential management skills.

More experienced leaders and more senior managers can also benefit from learning new and more advanced tools and skills to improve take their leadership and management style and help them face their workplace challenges, including improving work team performance, understanding how to motivate to perform, problem solving and decision making.

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Delegation and assigning tasks

Delegation is very important. Stretching employees and trusting them to carry out their role when they are capable of doing so is just one motivator. Employees will never trust you until you trust them first.

Employees who show willingness to develop or who are over performing can be assigned more tasks (and more advanced or strategic tasks) to develop them further, enable them to learn new skills, and also serve as acknowledgement of their effort, dedication and capabilities.

Delegation is important for the employee as well as the employer.

Good communication skills

Tackle the sensitive conversations around why employees may be demotivated – a difficult conversation handled sensitively can manage any trustbusters the employee feels may have occurred and helps address performance moving forward.

Factors that affect good and bad performance

The good factors

The following factors help to produce a positive effect on performance 

  • When there is good investment in the training and development of managers and employees to carry out their role effectively.
  • Team targets are very visual – change and success is celebrated
  • There are initiatives such as suggestion schemes and employee forums that are run well.
  • Health and wellbeing initiatives for the workforce that make employees feel valued.
  • Team building events; fun health initiatives as simple as fruit at reception and in areas of the shop floor and nicely decorated facilities make a big motivational difference. 

The not-so good factors

But what doesn’t work so well and can create negative performance is when;

  • Forums have been put in place but break down because they are seen as one way and employees see no improvements. 
  • Promises of training and development that don’t come to fruition. 
  • Managers aren’t trained and handle poor performance matters inappropriately 
  • Fair and robust processes aren’t followed. 
  • Dignity and respect in the workplace is important and breaches are not handled seriously. 
  • Managers who aren’t trained to manage who sometimes come across as weak or aggressive. 

What’s next for newly promoted members of staff?

You have a few members of staff that have recently been promoted and will need to learn skills to manage and lead a team of people, what are the recommend next steps? 

The best start would be new team leader and essential management skills training. 

We can tailor training to your needs, combining course material to suit your bespoke requirements. This training covers topics such as how to be an effective manager and leader, what factors make up an effective team, managing team and individual performance and setting motivational incentives. 

Essential management skills covers nipping grievances in the bud, managing formal performance, discipline and grievances effectively and key areas of recruitment and selection and absence management.

In addition, we offer formal accredited leadership management certificates, diplomas and apprenticeships aimed at newly recruited team leaders, supervisors, managers and senior managers.

Author

L&D Consultant – HR & Legal Specialist

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