One of the biggest challenges managers face are the periodic productivity slumps that throw off averages. These productivity declines could result from all kinds of trends; back to school, daylight savings time, and summer vacation season. But it could also indicate there is something wrong with the team. Is there friction? Is this a blip on the radar? What’s going on?
Here are six tips for managers to assess and respond to employee productivity declines to get things back on track.
#1 Give employees more ownership
It may feel counterintuitive to back off when you’re feeling performance pressure. But giving employees the autonomy to own their work is actually more motivating than micromanagement. Giving ownership to the team sets up a system of accountability where the best employees can take pride in their work. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get out of a slump.
#2 Improve your communication
Ask yourself if you have properly communicated your sense of urgency around production numbers. Help the team understand the numbers and why they matter. Communicate transparently about the organization’s mission and how individual contributions matter to the whole. Are you sure your employees even understand their alignment in the organization or even the role they’re supposed to perform?
#3 Step back and identify team strengths and weaknesses
Where is the weakest link, and how can you shore it up? Are you playing to the strengths of your team? If your team likes to be creative, is the job turning ho-hum? If so, what can you do to spice things up?
#4 If there is team friction, consider team-building exercises
Sometimes stepping away from the work pressures can build camaraderie within the team and keep them rowing in the right direction. The idea is to build the entire team’s strength while taking a little break from the daily grind. This can build patience in teams that struggle to communicate effectively together.
#5 Create a better work environment
Now it’s time for you to take a step back and look at the kind of work environment you’ve built for the team. Toxic work cultures can be highly demotivating. Even the physical environment at work affects productivity. Are office politics impacting your team? Would a change to the physical environment, such as new desk chairs or ergonomic floor mats, change the workspace and give teams a boost?
#6 Reward your workers
This is another tip that may seem counterintuitive at first. Why would you reward workers who are lagging in productivity? Because a system of rewards motivates us to do better. Companies that empower their workforce with incentives drive productivity. What have you done lately to make the team want to work harder on your behalf?
Sometimes the issue isn’t an employee slump but instead not having the right people in the right seats on your bus. That’s where ADD STAFF can help.
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