I‘ve been reading “The 4 Pillar Plan” by Dr Rangan Chatterjee and he advocates making sure that whilst at work you make sure you go for a walk and take 20 minutes away from your desk.
I think the idea of that sounds amazing, but I couldn’t work out how I’d make it a reality. Unless one of the dogs is in the office for the day (what, you think we run a business called Dalmatian and don’t openly welcome dogs into the office?) It can be rare that apart from nipping to the loo or making a brew, some days it feels like I’m so busy I don’t have time to think.
BUT, I’m totally in the wrong and Dr Rangan Chatterjee is right! Office workers who take short frequent breaks during the workday actually perform a lot better. They have more stamina and fewer aches and pains! Breaks are re-energizing and increase productivity.
Here’s our suggestions as to how you can encourage your staff to be more productive.
- Show Staff You Appreciate Them.
“Thank you” is a powerful word and I think that it’s not used enough in the workplace.
I’ve heard some bosses say, “I pay them, it’s thanks enough”, and I guess to a certain extent they’re right, but never underestimate just how much that simple phrase can motivate someone.
- Ask for Opinions
If you want to know what drives and motivates your staff, ask them! Don’t assume you know what they want.
Study your highest performing teams and see if there are any patterns or try and glean insights that you might be able to use to motivate other teams in your business.
Try and hold regular staff and team meetings so you can keep staff updated on things that are happening within the business and get their views. Doing this helps staff really feel a part of the business and the vision of moving it forward.
- Be Flexible
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned and occasionally things crop up that throw things off course.
This might be a poorly child, a burst boiler or snow. Because of how the world has evolved working from home if needed should be possible. If you know that we are in for snow, why not work with your staff to make sure they have the technology and knowledge to be able to work from wherever they are.
It might be that allowing staff to start and finish earlier might save them hours stuck in traffic, which ultimately will help with their productivity and maybe stop them leaving for a job closer to home.
- Encourage Breaks
It’s so tempting to let staff sit at their desks and just work non-stop, but actually you’re not doing your staff or your business any favours.
If you can, try and have a separate area where staff can eat their lunch or encourage them to go out at lunchtime.
People who take a break during the day end up being far more productive in the long run.
Wouldn’t you rather have a staff member who got more done in a shorter time period, than one who sat there for hours and achieved nothing?
- Coach and Train
Encourage your staff to take training courses and provide coaching. If you’re a large business it might be that you provide in-house coaching and training sessions.
If you’re a smaller business or have limited resources then have a look what courses your local chamber provide, very often these are free.
Have a look at what resources you have in-house, can your staff train other members of staff? You could look at a mentoring system for some staff members too.
Providing training can help motivate your staff, which can also help make them more productive.
The more productive and motivated your staff are then the more likely they are to stay working for your business and invest in the vision of what you’re trying to create.