Having just entered the new year, now is a great time to start thinking about employee productivity and how you can extract more value from your team. Whilst employees are increasingly spending long hours in the office plowing through work, this does not necessarily mean that they are being efficient and getting more work done. There are several factors at play including how you as a team leader handle project management, amongst other considerations.
So, as a leader how can you improve employee efficiency as quickly and easily as possible and save time doing it?
Increasing Employee Efficiency Through Better Project Management
Here are 5 different things you can try.
1. Match employees to tasks according to skill
You wouldn’t ask your accountant to re-design your website, would you? This principle carries over to your in-house employees, too. To maximize efficiency, it is essential that you understand your employees’ skills and know what their strengths and weaknesses are. As an example, an employee who is more creative is probably going to be better at meeting clients and pitching ideas to them than an employee who is better at handling tasks that are more detail-orientated or have specific rule sets.
You can’t expect your employees to be good at everything across the board—this is unrealistic and inefficient.
2. Use project management software
Although your employees’ skills are essential for business performance, the tools that they use throughout their workflows have a huge impact on their productivity and, ultimately, how much value you can extract from them. Choosing the right tools, such as comprehensive project management software, can make their work a whole lot quicker and easier.
From time tracking apps to collaboration tools and communications apps, there are so many digital solutions and tools available on the market that can have a serious impact so far as overall employee productivity is concerned.
3. Make sure team goals are clear and focused
If your employees haven’t been assigned clear goals that they can work towards (bonus points if these goals are broken down with milestones) then how can you expect them to be at all efficient? If employees do not have goals that have been clearly defined then it will be very difficult for them to be productive as, amongst other things, they won’t have anything to measure their performance against.
By making sure that goals are assigned and are SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely—before assigning tasks and work, you can massively boost efficiency and productivity. Clear and focussed goals form part of good project management.
4. Provide incentives
This is easily one of the best ways you can encourage your employees to work more efficiently. By recognizing your employees’ hard work and providing an incentive for them to reach or exceed their goals and targets, this will make them feel more appreciated and, in turn, they will work more efficiently.
Incentives don’t need to be expensive, outlandish, or over the top. Some examples of incentives could include:
- Team meals out once per week or month
- Allowances for arriving later to work every other Monday
- Additional paid leave
5. Think of the bigger picture
Although some of the things your employees do may seem inefficient use of their time, they may be advantageous in the long-term. It is important to think critically about employee performance… just because they aren’t churning out work like a machine and racing towards their goals does not mean they aren’t being efficient or productive.
Always ask yourself how what your employees are doing now could benefit the business in the long-term.
Project Management and Productivity Go Hand-in-Hand
Your employees are only going to be as productive as you allow them to be. If you are inefficiently managing projects, then your employees are going to be prevented from performing at their best.
Good leadership skills, an understanding of your employees, good project management software, and a willingness to reward hard work are just a few of the many things you can do to improve productivity.
It’s not rocket science—you get out what you put in! If your employees aren’t being very productive, the best starting point is yourself.