This post was originally featured in Direct Employers: “Best ways to increase employee productivity in the New Year” by Shama Kabani
In the New Year of 2013, every company will be faced with doing more with less as cutbacks in people and hours is fast becoming the new normal. So the question is — how do we improve employee productivity to keep delivery schedules, maintain high customer service, and stay profitable. Last week, I sat down with five CEOs and they each give me their top tip to keep employees motivated, customers happy, and profits strong.
1. Implement Employee Wellness Program. Nothings says an employer cares better than showing that you do! And even the government agrees as the new healthcare roll-out includes incentives for companies who have preventative wellness programs in place. According to Hiran Perera, CEO of Walkingspree, the leading provider of employee walking programs, 70% of healthcare claims are from preventable diseases. An employee who walks regularly can cut as much as $2,000/year from your benefit costs. Studies show an overweight employee who slims down can mean added savings, reduced blood pressure or cholesterol readings can save on pharmacy expenses and regular physical activity can slow future health claims for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. When your employees feel well — they work well! Start them walking in the New Year.
2. Help teams access tools and resources. No one wants to spend money and waste time — but many companies do when they don’t efficiently optimize their marketing and sales outreach initiatives. One example is trade show participation for both attendees as well as exhibitors. “When there is a free app that will help all sides of the event get more out of it — share that info with your staff,” says Anthony Krumeich, CEO of Bloodhound.com, the world’s first free trade show app which helps organizers, exhibitors and attendees generate more ROI in leads, information, and purpose. “There is so much out there,” says Krumeich. “Do the homework and make sure everyone knows about it!”
3. Appreciate, Recognize & Reward. Running an IT company that focuses on app development — keeping employees inspired and motivated in a rapidly changing environment is key to success. Dallas-based Sean Yalamanchi, CEO of InfoVision, believes the answer to high employee productivity is making everyone feel special and valued. “Our management teams shows appreciation on a day to day basis from regularly taking teams out for lunch, coffee, or even rewarding them with small gifts from gift cards to an extra day hour when extended hours have been required for deliverables,” says Yalamanchi. He reminds us to know who the overachievers are but also zero in on underachievers — try to find out their strengths, then guide them in that direction to help them succeed.
4. Get employee feedback. Whether you use surveys, monitor social media or sit down with your employees in an inviting setting — find out what they think and listen to their ideas to improve your operations and the workplace culture. “Leaders lead while your workforce works so to get them motivated it is important to listen and learn,” says Mohsin Momin, Co-Founder of BenjiFrank.com, an e-commerce eyeglass & sunglass boutique. “Either through in-person meetings or posting questions on Twitter — give your employees a chance to share their views.
5. Act on what you learn. “The whole point of finding out what your employees think is to gain the clarity to be a more effective decision-maker,” says Edwin Miller, CEO of 9Lenses, a social enterprise performance platform. According to Miller, because business leaders are now able to act with unprecedented clarity, it is essential for them to establish a baseline—a foundation for comparison. “Data is the means to clarity; social discovery the method to get it quickly and in a structured and engaging way.”