There’s a startling statistic that you’ve probably read about before: close to two-thirds of employees are not actively engaged at work.
This ranges from around 50% who are satisfied with simply getting a paycheck, but not that connected to the company and would bolt for a better opportunity, to around 13% of people who are—in a word—miserable.
If two-thirds of employees are disengaged from their jobs and simply going through the motions, it has a dramatic effect on productivity and the bottom line. If they are miserable, chances are they are making others miserable too.
So what can your company do to ensure that your team members feel connected to more than just their paycheck and increase their quality of work?
Not surprisingly, the answer starts with the leader.
HOW TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY
A leader’s job is to engage and inspire his or her team to produce. This requires a blend of intentionality, integration, and execution. A leader must be authentic and focused on the objective, but relational and able to bring out the best in the team.
It’s a delicate balance, but here are some ways you can improve workplace productivity to ensure your employees feel connected and engaged:
SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS.
One of the biggest issues workers face is unclear expectations. A job description may satisfy human resources, but it can’t capture every nuance of a particular job.
If you are a leader, you must set the expectations for the people you lead and communicate them clearly. Then communicate with them again. And again.
Most people want to know your target and will work hard to achieve it.
The disconnect comes when the leader (who understandably has many things going on) fails to communicate. The team members are left to figure things out on their own and that leads to a decrease in productivity and loss of time.
Set clear expectations and then adjust them as needed. When you engage with your team, it creates a strong sense of connection. One word of caution: beware the tendency to micromanage. Put people in the right seats on the bus and trust them to execute on expectations.
HELP PEOPLE SERVE IN THEIR AREA OF PASSION.
Every person in your organization is wired a little differently. Sure, you can break them into more relationship-focused or results-focused. And some will be more introverted and others more extroverted.
But there is much more to a person than that. They have hopes and dreams and goals of their own. They have things they like to do in their job and things they do but don’t enjoy.
When you use a combination of a tool like the RightPath Resources Path4 and Path6 behavioral assessments and one-on-one conversation, you can quickly discover where their passion lies and use it to engage them.
When people are empowered to serve where they are passionate, it boosts their productivity. Work feels less like work and more like a connection to their calling.
UNDERSTAND THEIR STRENGTHS AND STRUGGLES.
There are no perfect employees. Even the best of the best have blind spots and areas of weakness. If you expect someone to work in that area of weakness, don’t be surprised if they struggle.
When you work to understand your team member’s strengths, you can position them for success and that leads to greater productivity. One person’s struggle may be another person’s strength. When you discover how your team members are wired, it allows you to position them for their greatest success.
When each person is operating out of their area of strength, it increases the productivity of the entire team.
OPERATE WITH TRUST, INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY.
Employees give most of their waking hours to their jobs. They deserve an organization—and a leader—who operates with trust, integrity, and authenticity.
Nothing turns employees off faster than a feeling that their leader cannot be trusted or that they themselves are not trusted.
Leading with integrity and authenticity creates a culture where employee productivity is a natural by-product. Trust means an employee feels safe to bring up problems and to talk openly with leaders and other team members.
When you lead this way, you create a workforce who wants to produce because they want you to succeed.
COMMUNICATE A CLEAR PLAN FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.
What’s your plan for growing and developing your employees? Do they know and understand it?
Few people go to work at an organization simply to remain in the same job for life. People want to grow and thrive in their role. They want to move up and take on more responsibility. They want to challenge themselves to try new things and learn what it takes to succeed.
If you don’t have a clear plan for employee growth and development, don’t be surprised when people start to drift. On the other hand, let them know they are valued and there’s a future for them and they’ll remain fully engaged.
INTEGRATE THEIR ROLE WITH THE BIG PICTURE.
One of the largest culprits behind a lack of employee productivity is a failure to see beyond the silo of their role or team. Every organization has multiple departments to keep it running, and they should be interconnected.
Help people see how their role impacts other parts of the organization. It can introduce organizational pride and boost productivity.
When project managers, team leaders, and front-line workers see how their quality of work impacts others in the organization, it underscores the importance of employee productivity.
TEACH THEM HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICT.
As long as you have employees, you’ll have conflict. It’s inevitable. Good leaders monitor the health of their team and its culture to ensure that conflict doesn’t become detrimental.
Sometimes this means dealing with a toxic employee who is poisoning the group. Other times it’s teaching people how to handle conflict creatively through some sort of conflict resolution training .
Conflict, when properly handled, can actually boost productivity and bring out better ideas and new solutions to old problems. Sometimes this can change the entire trajectory of the organization.
THE ART OF EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY
Getting the most out of your employees is an art and a science. It’s more than just making demands or handing out punishment. It requires constant connection and continued adjustment.
Great leaders set clear expectations. They understand their team’s strengths and struggles. They put people in a position to serve out of their passion. They are authentic and trustworthy. They put people first and give them a plan for growth and development. They help people see the big picture and they teach them to manage conflict.
Master these things and you’ll boost employee productivity and impact the culture of your organization. Need help? We can coach you and inspire your team to engage with purpose and passion. We help leaders like you build high-performance teams all day, everyday. Just contact us here to get started.