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5 Ways to Increase Productivity Without Stressing Your Employees

 5 Ways to Increase Productivity Without Stressing Your Employees You have already done the hardest part of staffing. You surveyed t...

 5 Ways to Increase Productivity Without Stressing Your Employees

You have already done the hardest part of staffing. You surveyed the vast landscape of humanity and found the perfect candidates for moving your business forward. Congratulations.
However, you still have a lot more to do. People are not machines. No one always performs at their peak capacity. If we did, we would quickly burn out. Employee productivity is a self-regulating affair.
The employee always thinks they are being pushed too hard. And the employer never thinks the worker is being pushed hard enough.
Trying to squeeze more productivity from employees who are working as hard as they can is a negative process that never ends well for either party. Maximizing productivity is a challenge for all managers. Doing so without the negativity is an art form. Here are a few suggestions for getting it done:

1. Use Tangible Awards

Sometimes, all it takes to reinforce good performance is a firm handshake, a pat on the back, and a bit of verbal recognition. But a congratulatory handshake will only get you so far. Intangible awards are quickly lost to memory. And the dopamine boost does not last.
A trophy, on the other hand, remains on the desk or in the case long after the handshake has worn off. Trophies, plaques, and certificates are tangible reminders of a proud moment. They are reminders of what you did to get the award, and what it takes to get more. 

2. Emphasize Smart Work over Hard Work

Unless all you care about is getting the most sweat out of your employees, emphasize working smart over working hard. Sweat doesn’t pay the bills, productivity does. So give them the tools of smart productivity such as automation for repetitive tasks.
There is also the matter of giving employees permission to go home on time and make the most of downtime with family and friends. When people are reminded of why it is they work in the first place, they are more likely to be energized when it is time for getting the job done. 

3. Lead by Example

Sales people do not respect sales managers who do not have a proven track record of top sales in that industry. Sales is a meritocracy. And salespeople respect those who lead by example. 
In many cultures, hypocrisy is the worst social crime. Telling employees to stay at their desk while you are always hanging around the water cooler sets a bad example. You will never get the best work from your employees.
Your workers will be motivated when they see you practicing the principles you lay out to them. They will be inspired by your success and trust that your instructions come from a good place. 

4. Don’t Overreact to Negatives

Humans are going to human. That means that even your best workers will have bad days, make silly mistakes, develop bad attitudes, get tired, inattentive, get the munchies, take too long of a break, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. 
What you can’t do is overreact every time a human does a human thing that does not result in maximum productivity. The moment you turn your back, they are going to check their Facebook and Twitter on company time. Make sure your rules, expectations, and reactions are in line with the realities of typical humans.
Your workers know when they have made a mistake. You will get a far better reaction from them when you don’t overreact.


If you want to cut the productivity of a Mac user, force them to use a cheap Windows box. This is not about which platform or device is better. It is about what is better for the employee. 
There are plenty of MDMs that are compatible with all popular devices. So if you are not able to provide the device or platform of choice, make it possible for them to bring their own. They are more proficient with their own system. There is no training necessary. And tech support is all but eliminated. 
You will find that negative reinforcement for productivity is unnecessary when you use tangible awards, emphasize working smart over working hard, lead by example, don’t overreact, and allow workers to use the tech that they know and love whenever possible.