As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to constantly be on the lookout for new ways to improve the productivity and performance of your employees. Thanks to recent studies, it turns out that the most effective way to improve productivity is not what you might think.
Did you attend the Web Summit this year? There was one specific talk that we identified a lot with, and therefore, we would like to share with you the most interesting insights.
Alexi Robichaux, co-founder and CEO at BetterUp, the first leadership development platform to connect coaching to sustainable behaviour change. Widely recognised as a leadership and development innovator, Alexi leads BetterUp on its mission to enable all professionals to live with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. In this article we’ll be exploring leadership, productivity, and mental healthiness further.
From the global pandemic and collapsing economy, to the Russia-Ukrainian war, companies – and their employees – have suffered as a result. However, instead of piling on intense skill and leadership training, companies should really be encouraging the improvement and development of soft skills, practising employee resilience, self awareness and emotional regulation.
Heavy training programmes and intense learning groups are important to increase your employees’ technical skills, but should that be your company’s priority? It turns out that the biggest catalyst to improve focus and productivity at work is fostering a healthy working environment.
Our world is changing, and outdated methods of workplace training are no longer valid. As a company, you need to embrace the needs of your workforce by cultivating strong working relationships, and allowing more room for absorption and sense of purpose.
Here are Our Top Six Tips to Boosting the Productivity of Your Employees:
Coaching is number one on the list, as it can serve as a powerful elixir to the productivity of your employees. At KWAN, we have People Managers to help fill this role. As Eliana Almeida at KWAN says,
A People Manager is a person who is always available and prepared to help and make the employee’s professional path easier through recurring conversations about professional, and sometimes even personal topics.”
Be it solving a problem for an employee who is struggling at work, or helping them through a family emergency, a company that offers this kind of support will ultimately foster better psychological skills, mental fitness and productivity at work. The more an employee feels valued, respected, and understood in the workplace, the better they will perform.
2. Social Connection
The importance of connections at work is very overlooked, considering just how important it proves to be in recent studies. With social connection declining during covid, and loneliness ever on the rise in today’s society, the inverse of strong social bonds could have more harm to your business than you ever would have thought. Wildgoose Survey in the UK has found that 12% of people state they’re less likely to leave a company if they have a good friend there. The more friends someone has in the office, the more likely they are to flourish and perform well. If someone feels as though they have a healthy social life, not only outside of work but in the office too, they are more set up to be a high performer.
3. Remote Work
Luckily, these figures above are true of both remote and non-remote work, as the reports and their peers rate performance no different depending on the environment. While remote work can present some challenges with creating strong bonds with other employees, it is very easy as a company to facilitate social interactions. Through zoom meetings and video calls, to social events in person, by focusing on creating a sociable working environment, online and off, your workers will be more likely to invest themselves and their time into the company, which will ultimately improve productivity.
Take a look at our article on the benefits of team building for the wellbeing and performance of your team.
4. Reinventing Middle Management
The role of the manager today needs to change, and fortunately, there are many companies that have already picked up on this. Management should focus on increasing social connection and building psychological safety, in order to encourage more creative ideas and slowly foster a better overall performance in the workplace. By building a community where people can connect, employers move people into a state of flourishing, so they can absorb the job skills they want to teach them. Get clear on what needs to be done and how to go about it, and start to review your job as creating a local culture. Managers need to start radicalising themselves first before they even start to think about how best to manage their employees. If you, as a manager, aren’t taking care of yourself, with poor sleep and no lunch breaks becoming all too frequent, this is the worst kind of example to set for your employees. Alexi states the best thing to do is to lead by example. Think good hygiene, prioritising sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and spending time in nature. If you prioritise these things in your own day-to-day routine, and get your employees to follow suit, the whole team will be much more likely to get things done efficiently and to a high standard.
5. Understanding Energy Zones
Everyone works differently, and as a manager, understanding this is key to creating a productive workforce. By allowing your employees, yourself included, to structure their workload around their different energy zones throughout the day, this is undoubtedly a recipe for success. Perhaps some individuals are most productive in the morning, whereas others feel like they get a lot done after lunch. Whatever it is, allow flexibility and trust that your workers will get the job done in their own time. Funnily enough, Alexi states how vital it is to create space for mind wandering and daydreaming during working hours. So, if you see someone who looks as though they are in their own world one morning, glancing out the window, let it be. It will help out in the bigger picture!
6. Flow States
By improving the work environment, setting boundaries and space between colleagues and peers, work can be constructed in a way which allows more engagement, and more frequent flow states. Flow state is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. By creating more opportunities for employees to enter flow states at work, this will not only prompt productivity, but a great sense of work and life satisfaction, meaning there is less chance of quitting in the long-term.
The Biggest Indicator of Productivity: Resilience, Optimism, and Happiness – Final Thoughts
Overall, taking care of mental health is fundamental to the cultivation of a productive and healthy workforce. Mental fitness, including coaching, therapy, and team building, can go a long way in today’s working world, and we, at KWAN, suggest you try it! The feedback we receive about our People Managers proves just how important a little extra help and reassurance can be to anyone working in tech.
Work with KWAN to access our team of people Managers – specialist coaches who will make sure your team gets the best support out there. By leaving the managing with us, that will even leave you with extra free time on your hands to look after yourself too!