Most employees only think about their work performance close to their annual performance evaluation. If you fall under this category, you have to think again. You should always ensure optimal productivity, whether it is time for an appraisal or not.
Research from Havard Business School shows that an average employee is only productive for 60% or less across industries. 40% of unproductivity may be attributed to distraction, lack of motivation, and other reasons.
Further studies show that the average employee displays a high productivity level for two hours and twenty-three minutes daily. It suggests that you may be unproductive for about five hours and thirty-seven minutes if you work for eight hours each day.
TeamStage’s statistic shows that only 15% of employees feel motivated by their companies. Low employee motivation leads to a reduction in the percentage of top employee performers. A study done by Forbes shows that only two to five per cent of employees are top performers in a company.
What Does It Mean for You?
All companies strive to be the Top Performers — report overall solid performance across all areas, but most importantly, show substantial financial growth over the years. What do they do to achieve the goal? They incentivise their top-performing employees! Any organisation must retain its top performers who have the most significant contribution to driving its results.
A study done by IRF shows that incentive flexibility represents a high priority for Top Performing companies to perpetuate these companies as Top Performers. They recognise incentive programs as performance enhancers rather than cost centres.
As only 3–5% of the organisation comprises exceptional performers, it is critical not to wait till you receive a query from your employer for low productivity before improving your performance. Set the standards of excellence within your organisation and receive bonuses, promotions and other incentives.
Ten Ways to Improve Workplace Productivity.
We put together eight ways to improve your productivity at the workplace.
1. Set clear milestones and always communicate them to your manager
It is critical to always set clear milestones that aid you in rating your work and tracking your progress. Setting milestones for yourself does not only mean appraising yourself after the end of a year — you can set milestones for every week or day. Whatever goal you set, it must be clear and achievable.
A Harvard Business report showed that employees who set goals for themselves are more likely to excel at work than those without goals. The report also revealed that employees with written plans are three times more likely to succeed than those without written goals.
2. Keep Deadlines
It is also critical to keep to a deadline when given a task at work. Always save all important dates for meetings and tasks. It is also important to treat every milestone you set as a learning experience. That way, you can continuously improve.
The essence of writing down your goals is always to remember them at all times. By dividing your goals into milestones, you can track each stage of your progress and stick to a deadline. You should also know whether you are on the right path or deviating.
3. Prioritise and Plan
It is critical to always plan your day before it begins. What is the first thing you plan to achieve when you start working? Is there outstanding work you have to finalise? What do you hope to accomplish at the end of today’s work? These are vital questions that may form the basis of your work plan.
One of the primary causes of poor employee productivity is improper prioritisation of tasks. After drafting your work plan, it is essential to highlight which activity has the highest priority and urgency — a healthy balance is necessary. Concentrate most of your energy on the top importance tasks and activities and build your success list.
4. Improve your Communication
About 86% of business executives and employees suggest that ineffective communication is the primary cause of poor productivity in a workplace. Research shows that teams who practice effective communication may increase their productivity by 25%.
Whether you are a team leader, a business executive, or a team member, it is critical to improve your communication skill and ensure effective communication among team members. Find a coach if your role includes negotiations and frequent viral interactions. Use tools to proofread your written communication. Also, find out which communication tools in your company are crucial to know and use to achieve your goals more efficiently.
5. Avoid Distractions
According to TeamStage’s statistics, about 40 million Americans have workplace anxiety. About 50% of people in the workplace are distracted by their mobile phones. It also shows that about 98% of employees get diverted three to four times daily. Distractions can make you commit twice as many errors. Therefore, it is advisable to turn off any distractions at work.
6. Know Your Limits
Although it’s great to test and enhance your productivity level, it is vital to know your limitations. Completing priority tasks first and doing only one task simultaneously will help you achieve more and appear more productive.
Also, avoid procrastination and committing to many tasks that you cannot deliver. It is essential to learn to say no and avoid being over-ambitious. Avoid burnout and know when you may be over pushing your productivity level.
7. Acknowledge Your Weakness and Strengths
While you may strive to improve your workplace productivity, it is vital to identify your strength and learn your weakness to work effectively. Consider what part of your work you excel most and which aspect is most challenging to complete.
While you want to improve your strength, it is also good to find ways to overcome your weakness. Write down how you respond to each situation at work that requires you to think, act or provide insights and work on improvements.
8. Complete What You Started With Quality
It is essential to complete a task and avoid leaving jobs unfinished if it is within your ability. Celebrate every completed milestone, which encourages you to complete tasks in the future. When completing a project or task, do not compromise on the quality because you want to meet a deadline.
9. Make use of the right tools
Oxford’s study shows that employees perform better if they have the right tools at their disposal. Don’t wait until your organisation brings something — embrace advanced technologies to improve productivity. Also, learn about new software and other work packages that help you accomplish tasks better.
10. Use Time or Task Boxing
Timeboxing, or task boxing, is a time management technique where you allocate a fixed time to planned activity and stop working on it once the time is up.
Timeboxing makes your day more productive and exhausting. At the same time, it can make you less efficient without breaks. So do not forget to schedule breaks on your calendar and be sure to utilise them.
Do you aim to get promoted or increase your salary or business output? Yet, it is critical to improve your productivity. Setting achievable milestones, avoiding distractions, enhancing your communication skills and knowing your limitations can help.
Here at Prdikt, we help you navigate your professional life and connect the dots between sleep, exercise, mindfulness, diet and their importance for your performance and productivity. Do the right things at the right time.
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Oxford University (2019). Happy workers are 13% more productive | University of Oxford. [online] www.ox.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-10-24-happy-workers-are-13-more-productive.
Prdikt. (2022). Stop Making To-do Lists. [online] Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6901586877137444864.
Seppälä, E. and Cameron, K. (2015). Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive.
TeamStage. (2021a). Astonishing Workplace Distractions Statistics. [online] Available at: https://teamstage.io/workplace-distractions-statistics/.
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