The importance of productivity for your business cannot be overemphasized. A business with low productivity levels is most likely to have lower profitability. This is because employees use more time to produce fewer outputs and are less motivated. It also causes a lack of innovation, causing the business to lose its competitive edge. Additionally, low productivity levels also cause sub-optimal and over-utilization of employees. There are several unsuspecting factors that can negatively affect your business’s productivity. Here are a few small factors causing big problems to your productivity you should be aware of.
- Overtasking your employees
The problem of multitasking has led business owners to make decisions that could either make or break their businesses. On the one hand, multitasking ensures you can complete several tasks simultaneously. On the other hand, it may not be an ideal strategy. Several studies have shown that multitasking is an ineffective means of getting a lot done. Experts noted that multitasking could reduce efficiency and productivity as it causes distractions and make you prone to avoidable mistakes. Therefore, piling your employees’ plates with several tasks at a time may not be ideal for ensuring productivity. Additionally, you may cause them to feel overwhelmed, further decreasing productivity. Instead, it would be better to give tasks with dedicated deadlines to ensure these tasks are completed efficiently and on time— effectively increasing productivity.
- Lack of effective leadership
Leaders have the task of ensuring the smooth running of daily activities and ensuring employees complete tasks correctly and on time. However, this can lead to negative effects if the right steps are not taken. For instance, micromanaging. Constantly controlling employees makes them uncomfortable and creates distrust in your workers. This decreases morale and productivity. A weak or ineffective leader also lacks the vision of the bigger picture, often making it difficult to give effective directions and guidance to workers.
An ineffective leader would also have trouble delegating, which is vital in increasing productivity. By delegating tasks to capable subordinates, leaders are able to focus on more pressing tasks. Without an effective delegation strategy, leaders would be overwhelmed, leading to poor decisions, errors, and delays.
- Poor communication
Closely linked to leadership is communication. In the workplace, effective communication is an important element. Effective communication boosts employee morale and increases productivity. This is because such practice ensures information is delivered accurately to your employees, giving them the direction and guidance they need to complete a given task. It also allows for feedback, making it easy for your employees to ask for clarification and offer their opinions when needed. Poor communication often means employees do not receive clear instructions for tasks they have been given. Therefore, valuable time is spent figuring out the task instead of actually completing it! Also, poor communication is not a two-way street, because employees barely have a say. This makes employees feel undervalued and unappreciated, causing a decrease in productivity and an increase in employee turnover rate. It would be best to avoid this by encouraging effective communication between leadership and employees. You can do this by giving clear and concise instructions that are unambiguous and easy to understand. It would be best to practice active listening and not passive listening. You should also use team meetings to encourage feedback or opinions from your employees to better communicate with them.
- Inappropriate and inadequate tools
The truth is, the quality of work of your employees is as good as the tools made available to them. For example, if you run a design company, various design software tools such as Adobe Lightroom could help employees achieve innovative design at a much more reasonable time than if they did not have the software. Broken and unreliable tools and equipment reduce productivity as they cannot get the task done efficiently or even put your employees at risk. Therefore, it is vital to select durable tools and implement the right solutions that best suit your business and employees. You should also ensure that you conduct regular checks and audits on your equipment to stay ahead of any issues. For instance, you should always ensure there are sufficient Brother toner cartridges for the appropriate printers. You should also ensure you use licensed software applications to avoid issues concerning bootleg or third-party copies.
- No training sessions
Although you hired a competent team, your staff needs occasional training sessions to improve their skills and acquire new ones. A workplace that doesn’t train its staff regularly would see a decline in productivity as employees take longer time and resources to complete tasks. The lack of employee training sessions would also lower their confidence and independence in completing tasks. This is because they would constantly need the approval or opinion of their supervisor before they go ahead to complete various tasks. You can resolve this problem by providing a series of short training sessions for employees, such as time-management training or report writing. This empowers employees, making them eager and confident in completing tasks.
- Toxic workplace culture
The culture you encourage in the workplace directly affects its overall productivity levels. A workplace that prioritizes a healthy work-life balance for employees, for example, would find that employees are dedicated to completing tasks within the dedicated timeframe. Likewise, a workplace that ensures the healthy well-being of employees would have its workers feeling appreciated and respected, increasing morale and productivity. Employees working in a toxic workplace are uncomfortable and stressed. A toxic work environment only fosters negative emotions and attitudes, whether it’s a lack of comfortable office furniture or inflexibility in the work schedule. These manifest in the spread of rumors, lack of team effort, and disputes among workers. These, in turn, hinder productivity and workflow, causing the company to suffer greatly.
Many businesses worldwide fail within their first year, and the decrease in productivity levels plays a role in this regard. Be sure to be mindful of the factors mentioned above and put up measures to eradicate these factors to ensure your business’s success in the long run.