January 28th, 2019
“What do we need to do to have a better workforce?” “How can we increase employee productivity?” Last week one of our important clients asked our advice on these important issues.
Productivity is fundamental for a business to remain vibrant and flourishing. But, what do you need to do to have a better workforce is usually not top-of-mind when your business is really solid. But when there are underlying workforce impediments, workforce operations lose their efficiency. Then, you need to look for ways to have a better workforce. But…
- What turns an under-performing workforce into one full of energy and productivity?
- How do you mold your workers into a more productive and better workforce?
So, here are 5 lessons we have learned about how to increase employee productivity and how to have a better workforce.
1. Hiring Approach
You first need to document a superior hiring procedure. One that is methodical ensures you have a better workforce:
- List the results you expect from each position. Takes some thought, but well worth it.
- Develop job descriptions that clearly outline the performance responsibilities for workers. This makes clear for recruiters exactly what they are looking for
- Build up your pool of qualified candidates
- Follow a careful candidate evaluation process including, testing, behavioral interview questions culture match, customer interviews, and a work area tour. These should reflect the job responsibilities
- Complete thorough background checks including employment history, employment references, education, criminal records, credit history and drug testing
- A written offer letter that spells out:
- Position – The title of the job and key functions. Reporting relationship is a useful clarification.
- Salary – Clearly state the salary, frequency of pay and pay method.
- Benefits – State any applicable benefits and when they become available to the employee.
- Dates – Mention when you want an answer, the expected start date and hours and days per week.
- Relevant Documents – Reference any documents the employee needs to sign before employment (e.g. Receipt of Employee Handbook, W-4, I-9, Non-compete agreements, Confidentiality Agreement, etc.)
2. Focus and Engagement
Define your organization’s goals so the workforce understands what they need to accomplish to support those goals. Straight-forward expectations about performance and behavior help employees accomplish what you want while achieving employee satisfaction.
- You should frequently review company direction, goals, values, and vision with your workforce in ways that they remember and adopt
- Train supervisors how to give clear, effective direction, provide feedback, and demonstrate their own commitment to team success. The days of allowing harassment or bias against an employee or set of workers by supervisors are gone!
- Provide a workplace where employees want to come to the job each day
- Your front-line supervisors are responsible for creating a work environment which encourages the ability and desire of workers to act in empowered ways.
3. Feedback for a Better Workforce
Regularly offer employee feedback to let them know how well they are doing:
- Supervisors need to embrace change if it means increasing productivity
- Effective supervisory feedback means that workers know how they are doing daily, via a posted measurement system, verbal or written feedback, and meetings
- Construct a process to help both supervisor and employee understand and deal with performance problems. It should include improvement areas in which workers are underperforming. The system needs to be written and include measurements and timelines. The bottom line of this process is to assist the employee improve performance with the supervisor’s help.
4. Employee Recognition for a Better Workforce
Provide a recognition system that rewards and recognizes people for real contributions:
- Offer competitive pay rates. Include performance-based methods such as incentives and bonuses for reaching certain results. Stay aware of market salaries to maintain fair pay. if necessary, pay above market for select, scarce positions
- Figure out how to thank employees regularly. Also, support periodic low cost recognition (e.g. work-related anniversaries, performance awards, and team recognition lunches)
- Provide a benefits package.
5. Ongoing Training
Provide training, development, and education to build a better workforce and supervisory group. It should start with new employee onboarding and continue from there.
To retain employees and achieve a high productivity workforce, begin with a positive employee orientation. Start by giving new hires a complete overview of the business, the makeup of the work, benefits, and how his job complements the entire company. This helps the new recruit carry out his job effectively as swiftly as possible.
- Offer regular technical, developmental, safety and managerial training and development. The type of training depends on the job. Dr. John Sullivan recommends each worker receive 40 or more hours of training annually
- Use cross-training for each position. Include employee skill testing and periodic, on-the-job training and demonstration of capability, for hands-on jobs
- Make available regular management and leadership training from both internal and external sources
- Make continuous learning a business goal. Build this into the company culture
- Identify the desired outcome of the training. Track and document the results. And remember to recognize workers and supervisors who join in these activities. That will encourage efforts toward a better workforce.
Interested in learning more about how to have a better workforce or increase productivity? Then you can find more information at www.flexicrew.com.