Keeping productivity at its peak can be a challenge for businesses of all sizes, but especially challenging for small ones. Neo PR explains how to boost productivity.
If you are looking for ways to boost productivity in your business, consider the following: Is there a clear chain of progression, so the employees can see opportunities for career growth? Can the business afford to shell out for promotions, pay raises and bonuses? Are employees rewarded for a job well done?
All of these sorts of things are much more easily facilitated in larger corporates which often have bigger budgets than they are in a startup on a budget. So how can you make sure your business has an atmosphere conducive to productivity?
We caught up with Ashley Carr, the founder and MD of Neo PR, a public relations firm with a team of 14, to find out how he looks to boost productivity in the workplace.
The morale factor
The higher an employee’s morale, the more likely they are to be productive in the workplace – nobody will be keen to work flat out for a company they feel is treating them unfairly.
“Sadly, I think employee morale is directly affected by stress, usually due to the amount of work, lack of resources and client expectation. I think morale can also be affected by poor health and wellbeing, such as feeling unfit or not being given the opportunity to exercise and spend time during the day that is ‘body and wellbeing time’,” said Carr.
To help monitor this, Neo PR has implemented a system called TINYpulse, and online engagement service, to help improve the company culture.
“It is basically an employee survey offering weekly employee happiness surveys, which are completely anonymous.
“Our staff use this weekly email to provide us with regular honest feedback. It even includes features like “Cheer for Peers” which acts as an employee recognition tool and virtual suggestions to let colleagues know when they appreciate each other. A virtual pat on the back, so to speak,” said Carr.
The results from TINYpulse reveal that Neo PR is operating with above average levels of employee morale – this is a great sign for productivity. Opening up a communications channel for your employees to supply feedback can be a really simple, yet effective measure to help drive productivity.
Keeping tabs on stress
Carr believes that stress is one of the main things that affects productivity, and the company has made a lot of effort to combat it.
“We recently reorganised the company into a pod structure and different teams. These teams are all resource planned to support each other during stressful periods, holidays and maternity cover. But we do encourage our staff to remember our health and wellbeing culture and take time away from their desks. We also actively encourage our employees taking lunch breaks away from their desks or the office, rather than eating in front of their laptop,” he explained.
“When the stressful period dies down we think it is important to reward the hard work with early finishes, spa days or social events.”
Neo is also always looking out for potential signs of stress in its employees so it can keep an open dialogue and help out where necessary.
On a practical level, management looks to see if anyone is consistently taking work home or working late, and tries to spread the work accordingly.
As a small group, it is also easier to see when someone’s mood changes, and if someone seems lower than usual management will try to find ways to support them.
Paying attention to staff as part of a close-knit working environment doesn’t cost any money, and all smaller business owners should bare it in mind. Aside from the fact nobody wants to overwork their staff, it makes good business sense – a motivated employee is much more likely to work hard and be productive.
“I think a lot of businesses are at risk of overlooking the importance of health and wellbeing in a business environment, when actually it is proven to provide a positive impact on the business. There is a clear return on investment,” said Carr.
“Healthier, happier employees are more productive, take less time out of work due to illness and they offer more to the business and their clients. They are more engaged and have a longer employment tenure. There are so many benefits to implementing a new culture and the cost of doing so can be almost zero.
“It is all about a culture change more than anything else.”
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