7 Ways to Improve Employee Efficiency

As a class C level executive or the owner of an SMB, you may be curious where your employees’ time has gone. 

From the top-down, it would appear that your company’s numbers are dropping and you frequently see employees hanging around the office. It can be devastating to watch your ROI drop and to see negative trends in missed sales and customer retention. 

There are many reasons why employees become unproductive. As a business owner, it’s important that you address this lack of productivity head-on. Among a change in workplace culture, monitoring software can drastically improve employee efficiency. 

Improve Employee Efficiency

1. Delve into the employee experience

While many companies and marketing teams work hard to identify customer experience, what many companies don’t realize is that employee experience is just as important. 

Tamara Rosin at the WalkMe blog takes it a step further and suggests that employee frustration is causing higher levels of disengagement and lower levels of productivity. 

If you’re seeing a high turnover rate, and your employees don’t seem inclined to open up about workplace tensions, then your business may be lacking avenues for employees to make a change. 

This type of change will only improve the environment for those who come into your business every single day – your employees. If you are setting aside things like perks, vacation days, and insurance plans, then you must also consider what day-to-day life is like at your offices.

You can delve into the workplace culture internally, such as through HR, or externally through a business audit. Either way, you’ll want to collect some data on what your employees are regularly struggling with, whether they feel they can discuss these frustrations openly, and where they normally turn to. 

2. Set regular meetings for open discussions

No longer are workplaces closed off and secretive. Now, more than ever, businesses are finding that employees will vet a company to make sure that their time and emotional investment is worth it. 

When businesses shut off other employees from knowing the ins-and-outs of a company, such as what a company looks for when seeking revenue, or the targets that a company is trying to hit, then employees feel like they are a pawn and not worthy of being included. 

It’s okay to give your employees information about the successes of your company. After all, they want to know that your company is succeeding and that their job is secured. 

If they need to hit certain numbers for a certain reason, knowing the relationships between those numbers can help. If they don’t understand this relationship, then they aren’t going to believe that their efficiency plays a role in hitting targets or procuring overall company success. Instead, they’ll think that they can simply get the job done and move on. Show employees where efficiency pays off, and then reward them when it does.

One way to do this is to establish regular open-forum style meetings. These meetings can be a place for employees to vent, and it can also work to provide tangible reasons for why upper-level management wants employees to be more efficient. Perhaps your employees are frustrated by a software program. This could mean that they did not actually get enough training. In this instance, teaching the employees about why the software is beneficial, and securing more training time, can show employees that you don’t want them to feel frustrated and care about their efforts.

3. Provide avenues for employee’s to relay frustrations or roadblocks

By now you’ve established that employee efficiency has been dropping and that maybe there need to be some changes implemented. As the previous three points have detailed, it’s important to start to address some hard changes in your company. 

Establishing employee experience can be done through questionnaires, outside models, internal audits, and soft audits as with monitoring software. 

However, it might be crucial to have honest conversations about workplace culture If employees don’t feel like they can address a change in a company’s processes, then they may end up walking away. This can be especially frustrating when their voice needs to be heard, but they don’t know who to go to, or they don’t trust their team lead to approach them about it.

One way to mitigate this is to provide clear avenues for employees to relay frustrations or roadblocks. It is best that these avenues are anonymized in order to ensure that your employees feel like they can be candid.

4. Set up a system of peer accountability

There are a few ways in which peer accountability can help boost employee efficiency. One of the easiest ways to do this is through collective project tracking. If your peers are working together on a goal, then the expectation of hours can quite easily be established. And if a group is regularly working towards efficiency and accurately tracking their time together, then others will follow suit. If your company uses attendance tracking software, use it as a tool. 

Some employee time tracking software can allow administrators to set time limits so that employees understand how much time it should take to complete a task. So while time tracking software can measure time efficiency, it can also allow workers to step away from frustrating projects by limiting time. Time limits can be useful when there are a lot of people working on one project together, or if there is a particularly complex project that could suck up too much energy. Setting a time limit allows workers to hit reset and begin a new project.

5. Establish a culture that fosters work-life balance, health

If your CEO, CIO, CFO and other upper-level management are not balancing their work-life and their personal life, then it may speak to broader concerns that a business has yet to address. Of course, for SMBs, this can simply speak to the level at which your business is growing. In order to start a business, there is simply a sacrifice that needs to be made. 

Regardless of your business’s size, your management needs to acknowledge that life exists outside of work (regardless of whether or not you abide by that principle). 

Acknowledging that boundary-setting at the workplace is not only accepted but required can open up doors for more positive work expectations and personal work priorities. 

Additionally, if an employee understands that they need to leave work at a certain time and can’t take work home, then they may begin to seek more efficient means to finish a project.

6. Provide clear paths for employee development and learning

At the end of the day, your employees love learning and growing just as much as the next person. Show them that you not only want them to be happy, but you also want to invest in that happiness through employee development and dedicated learning sessions. This will not only show employees that you care, but that you also want them to do well at their job and their future endeavours.

7. Use employee monitoring software to collect hard-numbers

It can be difficult to establish where your deficits are coming from. Having hard numbers that show that employees are not being efficient is a necessary first step in establishing where your employees might be costing you money. 

One way to do this is with employee monitoring software. Employee monitoring software can silently track the amount of time that an employee spends on each application or software on their computer. It runs unbeknownst to the user and can act as a keylogger, time tracker, application tracker, and much more. 

Once you collect this data, you can map the trends, patterns, and behaviours of your employees and calculate the time deficit and how to improve it.

Using software to monitor employees is actually very common. Not only does monitoring workers keep them honest, but it also helps direct workflow, sets clear work expectations, and prevents unforeseeable losses and damages related to information theft or HR disturbances. 

By SoftActivity Team

February 17th, 2020