4 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement and Productivity

Spoken | August 9, 2016

Are you ready to increase productivity in your workplace?   

Every enterprise, from your local pet store to the Fortune 100, struggles with productivity on a daily basis. And in the contact center in particular, we apply a plethora of metrics with a razor sharp focus on maximizing agent productivity every day. But what happens when we take a step back from Average Handle Time, First Call Resolution and Net Promoter Score and look at the productivity big picture?

 

Happy-employees

INC. recently published an article with advice for increasing employee productivity. Having instituted most of these initiatives at Spoken, we can testify that these simple (but not easy) tips do indeed improve employee engagement and productivity:

Have social outings: Yes!  Who doesn’t like a fun outing now and then?  There is nothing that breaks up the monotony of a work day quite like a fun outing with colleagues. One of the greatest benefits of the workday outing is the friendship and camaraderie it facilitates among the staff. As camaraderie builds, so does productivity. Social outings can be anything from a quick lunch to something a bit more elaborate, like a friendly competition. A couple of years ago, our CEO Howard Lee, felt that the staff here at Spoken needed to focus on our health a bit more. We were in a growth phase and working long hours, so Howard gave the entire company Nike Fuel bands to foster a little friendly competition and to keep us moving (we tend to sit a lot here!). The competition proved to be a great way to build camaraderie and break the monotony of sitting so much. People found that being encouraged to take physical “walk breaks” allowed for mind-clearing, which ultimately resulted in getting more done during the work day.

Allow working from home:  There was a time when working from home was a non-existent concept, but not anymore. In fact, working from home is as commonplace now as commuting into the office used to be. We recently posted a couple of blogs on the benefits of work-from-home agents. Bosses of a bygone era used to fear that an employee working from home would be easily distracted and bring productivity down, but with modern technological advances and quick, easy access to everything and everyone, that fear is no longer valid. In fact, the call center industry has led the way in providing work-from-home opportunities and found that productivity increases for agents working from home.

Institute flexible hours:  The old 9-to-5 is just that…..OLD! In today’s global marketplace, many businesses have to be available 24/7, which means providing staff 24/7. Additionally, as we’ve moved into a 24/7 workday, it has become obvious that some people tend to be more productive in the mornings, while others are more productive in the latter part of the day. Instituting flexible work hours communicates to employees that you believe productivity trumps rigidity and that you’re more concerned about getting the work done than getting it done in a prescribed way.  Offering flexible work hours can go a long way in protecting your work force; when people know they have flexible hours, they’re not inclined to want to give that up.

Get rid of meetings:  Can we say that again?  GET RID OF MEETINGS!!  In the Inc. article “7 Ways to Increase Productivity for Your Employees,” Jayson Demers eschews meetings:

Meetings are productivity killers. While there are meetings that end up getting actual tasks completed, they are an exception to the rule. Most meetings are filled with updates, reiterations, and discussions, very few of which are used in any practical way. If you gather 12 employees together for a one-hour meeting, you’re essentially wasting 12 hours of cumulative company time. If you have something urgent to tell your workers, email it or talk to them individually as appropriate. Don’t waste time with overly formalized sit-downs; once you stop, you’ll notice your productivity begin to rise.”

In short, the old-fashioned idea of the 9-to-5 employee sitting in an office and attending meetings all day is the biggest productivity-killer of all. Giving team members the flexibility to choose their hours, workplace and even walk breaks while encouraging social interactions is the new approach to productivity that is proving effective, time and time again.

But these tips are just a start–what do YOU do to increase productivity in your workplace?

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