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Could Your Employees Work Harder? The Answer Will Surprise You

Employers. Wouldn't it be great if you could increase your employee productivity rate – basically get them working harder – without spending any money or upsetting them? Sounds almost impossible? Actually, it is easier than you think. Here's how it's done

Formally Boost Self Esteem

One thing that is universally true; people work harder when they feel appreciated and respected. But all too often that is something that employers forget or fail to realize the positive impact that building self-esteem incentives in the workplace can have. However, companies that do take the time to formally use employee recognition as an incentive tend to reap big rewards in terms of increased employee productivity rate, leading, of course to a nice boost for their bottom line.

When starting to implement a formal incentive program, do consider the fact that everyone is different. Some people love the idea of being praised in front of a room full of their peers while others would appreciate a quiet word of personal thanks from their supervisors far more. Some would love the chance to lead a presentation. Others would like the chance to cross train in a different department.

Every job has some latitude–make sure you fully exploit that latitude, so your employees can feel better about themselves, both as an employee and as a person.

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Get Rid of the Stupid Stuff

Every company – and every job within that company – tends to have a number of worthless tasks and policies. Often, they are things that were useful at one point, but now that time has passed they are no longer needed or relevant. However, they are allowed to live on because "that's the way we've always done things'. Lengthy written reports are created that no one ever reads. Daily meetings are scheduled, even though half the time no one really has that much to say because everything that needed to be said has been taken care of via email.

If you eliminate time wasters like these it will free your employees to focus on the aspects of their job that really are important.

Streamline Expectations

This point directly relates to the last one. How many times have you assigned a project, only to finish your explanation of it by saying to the employee assigned to it "hey, while you're at it, wouldn't it be great if you also…"

Deciding what must be done is crucial to the success of any project, but deciding what does not need to be done is every bit as important. By adding these afterthought extra tasks, will you be distracting the employee's focus from the real task at hand? If so you will be both frustrating the employee and lessening the chances of a successful project outcome. Eliminate the ancillary stuff and you'll be allowing your employee to focus on what's really important, which will almost always result in better outcomes for everyone.

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Ask How You Can Help

If you want to help make someone's job more satisfying, and therefore make them more productive as an employee then there is one simple question that you, as a manager, can ask; "what one thing could I do that would make your job easier?"

Once the question is asked you can bet that the employee will tell you. And if you then act on their feedback – even if it is something as simple as helping them mail out packages on a busy Friday rather than watch them struggle to get everything out from the comfort of your office – their appreciation – and feeling of being respected and valued – will reap you, and the company you work for, more goodwill and increased loyalty than you imagine such a small gesture ever could.

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