Coronavirus pandemic has created a series of problems for businesses across the world. Most business aspects are beyond your control as a manager. However, the efficiency and productivity of your employees don’t have to be. Like other companies, yours isn’t used to working from home. If you want to survive and stay competitive, you have to take matters into your hands. This means, do what you can to enhance corporate factors that are under your control. Those are your employees. To help you get started, here are some tips on how to improve employee efficiency and productivity during the COVID-19 crisis.
Don’t Stop Communicating
The importance of employee communication is never stressed enough. Now more than ever, it is important to communicate on all levels within the organization. Only by communicating, will everyone be on the same page. However, communication when working from home differs from the one taking place in the office. While working remotely, you and your employees have to make use of all the communicative technology you can get. When it comes to selecting proper tools, you can choose from a wide range of tools and apps. Most companies like to combine several tools instead of using only one. This way, they use Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Team for audio and video conferencing, while Slack, Instant Messaging (IM) or Google Hangouts are reserved for texts and updates. Others like to connect their employees through one tool such as the improved and updated version of the old fashioned .
These tools share more or less similar features which allow your employees to have a non-stop communication with everyone in the company. The communication is well organized since you can text individuals, departments, or management. You can reach every employee and share news, information, and project progress. When everyone communicates well, there’s no room for low productivity and inefficiency.
Encourage Exchange of Information
Now that you have provided all the necessary means for communication, you can move to the next step. As a manager, you have to strongly and positively encourage the exchange of information. Most organizations have departmental silos as a growing pain. This is a common problem regardless of working remotely or not. Departments keep important information to themselves which ruins operations and organization in the company. It also decreases all productivity and efficiency. It’s your responsibility to put an end to it right from the start. By encouraging your employees to share their knowledge and information, you create a transparent and open work environment. Employees can use information shared to complete their tasks more efficiently which is exactly what your business needs during a crisis.
Despite working from home, you can still stimulate and hold discussion sessions. Whenever a good opportunity for debates and discussions arises, use it. Schedule a meeting in advance and ask employees to brainstorm, come up with ideas, suggestions, and feedback. Only good things can come out of these sessions. As a part of the management, you will be left with the necessary feedback to act on it and introduce desired improvements and changes. It’s crucial to do something with the provided feedback or discussions lose all-purpose. Holding discussions is a great chance for employee engagement as well. It allows them to express their opinions freely. When their voice is heard, they are immediately more motivated and ready to contribute to organizational success.
Make Division of Labor
Another way in which you can improve efficiency is through the division of labor. Generally, this means you should divide bigger tasks into various smaller steps which lead to its completion as a whole. Great managers raise task management to the next level. They add employees’ abilities into the equation. As a result, employees are given parts of an important task that suits their experience and skills. Therefore, it takes less time to complete the assignments. The same goes for setting daily, weekly, or monthly goals. When you separate them into smaller parts, everyone unites as a team and works together on reaching the set goals. These smart methods not only keep the team spirit up but also enhance their .
The best way to increase employee productivity is to remove all distractions and let them focus on their work. If you keep them busy with meetings all day, it consumes their energy and shifts focus away from tasks. For this reason, consult them and decide to have one team meeting a day if necessary. During the meeting, be concise and direct. Assign tasks, check how projects progress, and resolve any issues they may have. Don’t forget to leave some time for an informal chat with employees. They are also human and now more than ever need interaction with others. Also, make sure you send a short recap of the meeting which they can use later as a reference.
Pause to Reflect
This crisis period is the ideal time for pausing and reflecting on organizational progress up to now. In between tasks and meetings, you can take some time and think about your business. Where it was when you first started, how it developed over time, which goals to reach in the future, how to survive the crisis, etc. This reflection will give you a fresh and unbiased perspective. You will recognize mistakes you made and do what you can not to repeat them. When you see how far you’ve come, it will motivate you and your employees to keep pushing forward. With high motivation, there’s no obstacle you or your team can’t overcome.