In 2020, UK workforce productivity fell by 2.5% due to the tumultuous, uncertain and worrying effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic.
Across the pond, in the United States, a further study led by healthcare conglomerate Ginger revealed that 70% of workers admitted they were significantly less productive due to the anxieties and stresses surrounding the pandemic. An additional 62% went so far as to say they had lost at least an hour a day of productivity due to pandemic related stresses.
These statements are not isolated to the United States. These will be sentiments echoed by workforces across the globe.
So, as the dawn breaks across a brand new year, employers are faced with a challenge: How to improve team productivity in the wake of one of the most stressful years on record, without furthering the aggrievances and stresses their workforce are already experiencing.
Thankfully, we can help. Below we’ve listed 5 methods that use awareness and communication to not only improve your team’s productivity, but that will improve their efficiency and teamwork throughout the year too.
1. Prioritise employee mental health
With the increased anxieties and stresses of the pandemic, employee mental health should be an issue prioritised by employers throughout 2021.
Ensure that your business is equipped to maintain good mental health resources by enrolling in a mental health first aid course, and where possible, expanding your team’s knowledge of the businesses health benefits.
Health benefits could include offering mental health days, incorporating flexible working hours, and encouraging a good work/life balance by asking employees to be unresponsive to emails or work calls after a certain hour.
If you meet the needs of your employees, they will feel understood and appreciated, resulting in them feeling more committed to your business and more focused and positive about their work.
Clearly communicate the business’s mental health resources and policies with your team, and then offer encouragement to take advantage of what is on offer.
2. Create a healthy workplace culture
Healthy workplaces are fast becoming the norm as employers resolve to place more emphasis on the wellbeing of their employees.
A healthy workplace is one that is open, communicative, and provides regular opportunities for employee check-ins as well as feedback.
Cultivating a healthy workplace becomes even more crucial in a time where employees are mostly unable to be physically present in their offices. Feelings of disconnect could isolate and demotivate employees, so holding regular meetings to check on their wellbeing becomes doubly important.
Employee surveys can also be used to encourage employee feedback which can be used to thoughtfully address and resolve any issues your team feels they are struggling with.
3. Communicate Frequently
The need for communication is exemplified as remote working becomes the temporary norm.
Employees will have faced changes not only in their professional lives but in their personal ones too. Ensure you acknowledge these changes by reestablishing your employees’ needs and expectations throughout the new year.
Speak with each individual and try to look for factors that drive employees. This could help to identify commonly shared themes that your organisation can use to modify its practices and boost employee morale, which naturally impacts and increases productivity.
Watch our 3 Written Communication Hacks here!
4. Recognise your employee wins
In times of decreased productivity, it’s even more vital to find and use employee wins.
Positive feedback and recognition can help give employees a much-needed boost, increasing their confidence and reminding them of the role they play in helping the business. This helps employees stay motivated and productive.
Reinforcing positive affirmations about the value of their work, i.e, how much it helps a client, can also kickstart employee productivity.
5. Be open to understanding.
Personal and professional lives have been turned upside down across the past year, which can result in employees feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
If your business has changed, either through things such as layoffs or furlough, or remote working or other new work practices, it’s important to explain these changes to your employees and show them the positives of each change.
Feelings of burnout can fester and lead to reduced work productivity, as well as higher levels of stress and mental ill-health.
Addressing burnout openly, without judgement and suggesting actionable resolutions to be followed through on can reinvigorate an employee’s confidence in your business, boosting their focus.
Throughout 2021 you can improve your team’s productivity just through creating an environment of open communication, prioritising employee well being and ensuring changing employee needs are being met.
At Growth Idea, we can assist you in implementing these initiatives throughout your business. Get in touch with us today to find out how.