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7 Cost-Free Ways to Increase Employee Productivity

7 Cost-Free Ways to Increase Employee Productivity

Whether you’re a new start-up or you’ve been happily serving clients for over one-hundred years, one thing is certain – the productivity of your employees can make or break your business success. Although hiring experienced and enthusiastic people is the first step to taking your company to higher levels, keeping them productive is the next thing you must do as an employer if you want to experience profits that are off the charts.

How do you do that without shelling out a fortune and going beyond your anticipated wage budget? Here are seven ideas that are absolutely free to implement, but almost guarantee a high rate of return when it comes to worker productivity:

Give Recognition When It Is Due

No one likes to bust their behind for someone that is not willing to say “Job well done!” or “Great job! I’m impressed!” Therefore, the number one thing you can do to get your employees to go the extra mile for you is to give them recognition when it is due.

Tell them that you notice when they’ve went above and beyond and they’ll be more likely to work for more positive recognition in the future. Just make sure your praise is genuine or they’ll see right through you and it will have the opposite effect, lowering their motivation as well as their respect for you.

Acknowledge Their Efforts

Even if your employees aren’t hitting a mark spectacular enough for you to give them the ultimate compliment, you can at least acknowledge their efforts to bolster their spirit and keep them forging ahead. If they’re working longer than normal hours, for instance, thank them for spending extra time on the project. A little bit of appreciation can go a long way in creating employees that will continue to do what it takes to get the job done.

Offer Non-Raise Incentives

Certainly, it would be nice to be able to pay your employees more, but when you have a bottom line to keep, it isn’t always an option. However, you can always offer incentives to motivate your workers to do the best they can without having to give them a higher salary or hourly wage.

Some ideas to consider that won’t lower your bottom line include giving them a paid day off if they meet specific goals for the quarter, letting them have your parking spot for a week if they’ve completed a project before deadline, or allowing them to dress as they wish when they come in after hours or on weekends. These are all relatively minor concessions that could inspire your employees to work harder.

Have an Open Door Policy

Sometimes employee productivity is reduced not because they don’t care about their job, but because they are struggling with a task or project which they are assigned. Maybe they feel like it is over their head or perhaps they don’t understand truly what is expected of them.

You can minimize the impact of these types of issues by having an open door policy so that they feel free to approach you if this occurs. This will allow you to come up with a solution that keeps the work process flowing smoothly without having to miss deadlines or upset important clients.

Get Involved with Charities

When you can incorporate a charity that your staff feels passionate about into your work environment, you will automatically increase productivity. By creating a spirit of giving, they’ll be more inclined to give to the company as well.

See which charities motivate your workers most and then find ways to help them as a group. For example, maybe you could all sign up to take part in a cancer Relay for Life or you could pick a local family who is facing financial hardships and all buy their children Christmas gifts this year.

Schedule Regular Potlucks

Your business is strongest when everyone works together as a team, so you’ll want to help build a bond between all of your employees to increase your productivity as a whole. One way to do this is to have regular potlucks.

Everyone must pull their weight and bring a dish to pass in order for the meal to be a success. Plus, having this type of meal every so often gives them time to get to know each other more and people work harder when they know, like, and trust their co-workers.

Be Family Friendly

The final cost-free way to increase employee productivity is to be a family friendly employer. When you show a little bit of interest and compassion for your employee’s family situation, it will come back to you via their work effort.

If you see a photo of their child in their work station, for instance, ask about their little pride and joy. Or, if you’re aware that their parent or spouse has been ill lately, show a little compassion and inquire as to how they are doing. If they don’t feel like they’re “just another employee” and that you actually care, they’ll see you as more of a person and work harder for you as a result.

Increasing workplace productivity (and your levels of profit) doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Try these seven ideas and it won’t!



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by Christina DeBusk // Freelance writer, author, and small business consultant committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.