A two-year study by Mental Health America (MHA) in collaboration with the Faas Foundation found that lost productivity costs businesses between $450 and $500 billion a year. Many employers don’t realize that their employees feel overloaded and unproductive.
The good news is that once you become aware of this issue, you can help encourage, motivate, and equip your employees to become more productive and overall happy. Improved communication and collaboration can increase productivity by as much as 25 percent. Discovering and tapping into the capabilities of productivity tools is an effective way to enable teamwork and foster interaction while helping team members clarify their duties and stay on task.
Learning about the different types of productivity tools available and knowing how to determine which ones meet your unique needs will help simplify the process of finding the best applications, platforms, and methods to move towards a more efficient, happy, and industrious workforce.
Basic Productivity Tools
No matter what business you are in, increasing employee productivity is always beneficial. Most workplaces have essential applications, such as a word processing program, a spreadsheet app, and perhaps a dedicated database platform. Determine whether new tools will integrate online and offline with existing tools.
Incorporating an integrated email and calendar program is advisable, as well. Ensuring that everyone has access to a centralized scheduling tool where they can create, append, and view essential calendar events such as meetings and appointments will help streamline day-to-day operations and keep your workforce on the same page.
Also, identifying your organization’s primary processes and, of course, your budget for software and support will help you select the best options in this and other categories.
Mobile Office Solutions
According to a 2018 study by the International Workplace Group, more than two-thirds of all employees work remotely at least once per week. As workplace flexibility increases, keeping employees connected is essential. Fortunately, there are numerous productivity tools available that can accommodate these goals.
Look for productivity tools that enable remote collaboration, messaging, and data sharing. A cloud-based storage system for collective files and folders makes it easy for everyone to access, share, and save important documents whether they are connected to your local network or not. Look for applications that support software and systems currently in use to simplify integration and ease of use.
Your business only runs as well as your weakest process. Finding one or more tools that can improve, modernize, and simplify methods or procedures can have a significant impact on your organization. Improving upon current workflow will increase productivity almost instantly.
Look for applications that assign tasks and responsibilities. These can alleviate confusion and increase focus by ensuring that all staff members are clear on their duties, rather than taking on too much by handling someone else’s assignments or overlooking crucial items. Seek tools that automate processes and procedures as much as possible, as well.
Any size organization can benefit from more efficient project management. The more people involved, the more regulation can be required. Organizing many different people, resources, and duties to create and manage a coherent, cohesive, successful project can be a daunting task. Choosing productivity tools that meet specific needs is a sound approach.
Seek tools that allow project managers to create projects, assign tasks and resources, and document progress. Consider apps that also help you manage and organize other types of undertakings and developments, from inter-office events to fundraisers to recruiting new talent.
The days of punching a real-time clock are mostly history, especially when you have staff that works remotely or employees whose time must be budgeted by different departments or divisions. Keeping track of performance is essential, as well, as this can help with employee reviews or pinpointing potential issues.
Applications that track time and performance can boost productivity. For instance, employees might not realize how much time is wasted on unnecessary activities. Look for apps that offer the metrics you need to record employees’ and contractors’ time effectively and efficiently.
Email is no longer the most effective route for interoffice communication. Fortunately, numerous productivity tools are designed for real-time communication. These applications can prevent stoppages caused when a request goes unanswered or unnoticed for some time.
Seek applications that limit distractions, are effortlessly implemented, and are easy to search so that if a common issue arises, staff members can easily find past conversations and resolutions. Consider allowing employees to experiment with different applications on a trial basis. This can help you determine which tool best fits your workplace’s needs.
Employees who are well-trained in their positions are inherently more productive. Effective and abundant training removes any time wasted looking for necessary information or seeking help from colleagues and management.
Be sure to provide continued education. Doing so ensures that employees are consistently up to date and have not fallen through the cracks during previous training sessions. Seek tools that deliver customized education tailored to your workforce. The ideal platform will also provide data security, make room for growth, and support your business’s mission, vision, and productivity goals, as well.
WestNet Learning is an all-in-one LMS solution to easily train employees, increase employee productivity, and address safety needs. Customized eCourses, analytics, reporting, and certification tracking to help manage staff and stay on top of what matters most.
To learn more about how you can utilize productivity tools for your employee training, feel free to reach out to WestNet today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough!