To create and maintain a high productivity work environment, you need to show that you’re adaptable and willing to make changes when necessary.
Nothing diminishes productivity faster than a stagnating workplace that’s rigid in its ways of working and makes little effort to accommodate the employees that work there.
If you want to stay on top of your game and ensure your employees do the same, it’s worth regularly reflecting on the way that you work to see if there’s scope for positive change. Part of this is knowing how to track employee performance effectively and manage dips in productivity with proactive change.
In this guide, we’ll present four of the best ways to get the most out of your team and create a work environment that encourages productivity.
Allow Your Team to Work When Most Productive
If there’s one thing many people realized when they were made to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that there are many alternative ways to work. Those who were able to enjoy more flexibility and autonomy could set their own schedules and march to their own tune.
A key benefit of empowering employees in this way and giving them full autonomy to determine how they tackle their work is improved engagement. If you give an employee more power to make their own decisions, they have an opportunity to tap into their own strengths and work when they feel most productive.
Here’s what you might find when giving employees more autonomy:
- ‘Morning people’ have the opportunity to tackle their workload head-on first thing in the morning.
- Employees who are typically slow-starters can get a good night’s rest and do their best work after lunch on a full stomach.
- Some team members may take frequent breaks to keep their concentration levels topped up and reduce the risk of employee burnout.
Even if this strategy may sound risky as you’re giving up power and placing a lot of trust in your team, it’s easy enough to measure whether or not it’s effective. The best employee tracking software solutions let you verify whether your team members really do thrive when they say they do.
Key Takeaway: Let your team members decide how they tackle their workload, and carry out regular employee reviews with employee monitoring software like Insightful to make sure nobody takes advantage of their increased autonomy.
Enable Effective Cross-Functional Collaboration
Being able to collaborate effectively with different teams and departments is a key skill in the modern world of work. As such, if you can enable effective ways of working as part of small and larger cross-functional teams, you can streamline operations and minimize friction throughout the workday.
One of the most important elements in cross-functional collaboration is the apps team members use. Some may find it easiest to communicate and provide status updates though a channel-based chat platform such as Slack, while others might prefer a project management platform where they can leave comments and labels for their colleagues.
To make sure you’re using the right tools for collaboration, you need to know how your employees spend their time in each app. A common misconception about productivity is that it has to be tied to the number of tasks or projects completed.
Yet what if your employees are spending an excessive amount of time using certain apps or are barely using them at all?
Time data is an effective metric to measure productivity, and if you’ve ever wondered ‘does employee monitoring increase productivity?’ the answer is a resounding yes.
Insightful, for instance, lets you track the time individuals spend on certain apps. With this valuable information you can identify lost productivity or if you’re using the wrong apps for collaboration, which can become unnecessary time sinks.
Key Takeaway: Boost collaboration by analyzing the apps you currently use for communication and project management with an employee monitoring tool. Trim the fat where necessary to cut costs, and determine which apps provide value and which lead to lost time.
Promote Healthy Work-Life Balance
The quiet quitting phenomenon of late threatens to leave many companies out to dry as employees are dissatisfied with their workloads or management practices and quit unexpectedly.
Be proactive and promote a healthy work-life balance to ensure your employees feel engaged with their work and the chances of burnout are low. After all, employee burnout is one of the hidden causes behind quiet quitting.
It isn’t that employees are leaving to spite their employers, it’s that over time they’ve become less engaged with their work which could be the result of various factors. To keep tabs on burnout risk you can track employees' computer usage to identify concerning trends.
Not sure how to monitor computer usage?
With a tool like Insightful, you won’t have to worry about how to track employees working from home because you’ll have a system in place to do it for you. The software lets you pinpoint trends with the employee timeline, showing you the most and least active times of the day, and revealing crucial information about dipping engagement levels.
Here are a few common reasons for disengagement:
- Too much work which eventually results in burnout
- A lack of communication which breeds resentment and makes employees feel as if they aren’t valued
- Lofty expectations that aren’t realistic and lead employees to believe they aren’t good enough for the position
To remedy low levels of engagement, try to restore healthy work-life balance for your employees by setting clear boundaries and offering personalized support.
Show empathy by listening to your team members and discussing any issues they might have and use regular check-ins as opportunities to assess where their headspace and well-being.
Key Takeaway: Increase engagement and reduce the risk of quiet quitting by showing empathy towards your employees. Track employee time to identify when there are dips in productivity so you can step in and better understand what’s behind the perceived lack of effort rather than assuming the worst.
Many employees struggle with prioritizing their workload and staying on top of their responsibilities. When you step in and help your team understand the benefits of effective prioritization, you can create a well-oiled machine that’s always moving forward and making progress.
One way to bring your team’s focus to prioritization is to employ the Eisenhower Matrix. A system for managing your time, the Eisenhower Matrix has you organize tasks into four categories in a grid:
- Not Urgent
- Not Important
The idea is that you put each task into the corresponding category. For example, an email to the sales team might be an important task but not urgent, so that’s where it would go. Alternatively, a client project might have an approaching deadline so it could be deemed both urgent and important.
When your team starts to see tasks in terms of urgency and importance, they can understand what the most logical next step is for optimal productivity.
You can back this up with employee monitoring system software like Insightful which lets you set up screenshots at regular intervals showing you a glimpse of what your team members are working on. That way, you can see whether they are prioritizing effectively or whether they’re spending time on less important activities.
Key Takeaway: Help team members prioritize their workload so that they can check off the most important and urgent tasks first, ensuring smooth project progress throughout.