Best Practices for employers and employees to achieve productivity
By Nnenna Joseph
Sixty-percent of youths of this generation are either employers or employees working with other people to earn income. No matter what your occupation is, somehow, you find yourself in a work environment. Even if you run a solo virtual store, you will find yourself working with delivery services and your suppliers. In life, we spend most of our time in our work place, we wake up in the morning and go to work and come back at night to sleep. It is pertinent that you realise work ethics that can guarantee a smooth sail in your work place.
As an employer, there are things you might be getting wrong that is slowing productivity at your work place without knowing. As an employee, there are indeliberate actions you are taking that might be hindering your growth at your work place. This article will highlight some of these and admonish you to take corrections
- Do not owe salaries
Your employees work with their minds. The mind is the one tool they bring to bear while at work. When the mind constantly keeps drifting to financial issues with no solutions to solve them, there would be decreased productivity at the work place. Research has shown that prompt payment of salaries increase productivity by 18%. As employers, business is not linear, sometimes it can go south and you are unable to raise salaries at the appropriate time, the ideal thing to do is to communicate with your staff, inform them of the state of things addressing their immediate needs. Some companies operate on percentage earnings, keep to your side of the bargain, once the target is met, pay accordingly as agreed.
- Do not compare staff
Comparing one staff to the other breeds unhealthy competition which is a wrong mindset to set your staff on. Create room for healthy competition, reward effort but never compare. Comparison kills productivity, never enhances it.
- Be mindful of gossips
There is always that staff that comes to tell the boss what everyone else is saying or doing, be careful, they might just be buying favor from you with intense exaggerations or false accusations. You might want to know how this is a problem, this immediately makes you dislike some staff above others, no matter how productive they are, it is never enough because they are in your black book. The mind is a very strong tool, when you dislike a staff, unconsciously you will show it and this leads to reduced productivity. He or she spends work hours thinking of what they did wrong and why the boss seems to hate them. Discourage gossip and backbiting by all means except on the occasions where you designate a trusted staff to find out information about other staff for you as an undercover job.
- Favouritism and Nepotism
This has killed many businesses and will kill more. Never show preference to a staff above others. If you have preference for a staff because they have put in more effort than the others, never show it openly. The others start to feel less and their efforts are not recognized. This decreases productivity and enhance conflict in the work space.
- Emotional entanglements
Getting emotional or sexual with a male or female staff hardly ends in praise. It ultimately breeds disrespect, incompetence and laxity. If you find any staff attractive, you might consider taking them to another office where you will see them less often. Out of sight, they say is out of mind. If you want to walk down the aisle with said person, keep your affairs as hidden as possible and as brief as it gets.
- Eye service
Eye service does not help you. It does not even make you look good. The employer knows the exact amount of productivity he is expecting, pretending to be busy when he is around and getting on the phone when he is not looking won’t help you grow at work and won’t help you earn good recommendations in the future. Avoid eye service, if you feel sleepy get some rest, if you feel tired, get coffee, take breaks but be sure you are delivering your target.
- Taking numerous excuses off work
A person paying you salary is paying you to sit down at a designated work space and do an assigned job. There was need for you to be there that is why you were employed abinitio. Taking so many excuses all the time for one reason or the other creates a disjoint from you and work first. Imagine being away for a while from work, you are bound to lose some pieces of details of work, and then you come back and try to settle in and pick up from where you stopped. Just when you are about to get into the work spirit, you have somewhere else to go. This does not help work; neither does it help you grow.
- Being at war with so many colleagues
To work together means to disagree, while the biblical rhetoric say- can two work together except they agree? I am sure work spaces would scream YES to that. The work place is legendary for conflict, there is hardly a work space of three and above where there aren’t people with conflicting interests, sometimes it boils down to enmity. As wrong as this is and should be discouraged, it is bound to happen. There are people you would never agree with. However, there should not be so many of them. It tells bad on you. Apologise when you are wrong, forgive when you are wronged. This collapses some of the hates you would have carried on and on. It also creates a peaceful working space for you where you can grow.
- Late coming
Being late to work is a major challenge every work space has to deal with, people have different lives and activities they have to attend to and still be in time to work. Many employers have devised various methods to curb late coming to no avail. This article speaks to the employee, running into work 10 minutes late, trying to keep your bag, get set and start the day’s activities is a mental exercise that slows down productivity. Here is how, Lisa and Julia both work at S&T. Julia is at work 10 minutes earlier, she drops her bag, clears her desk, plan her day and set to work at 9am. She sends 5 mails awaiting response to Lisa. Lisa jumps in by 9.10am, struggles through the back door so the employer does not see her, sits on her desk, stare at the 5 mails awaiting response, customers waiting at the other end, she just gets to work without a plan, she starts with attending to the customers on the other end while ignoring Julia’s mails!. This means Julia has to wait till she is done. This slows down Julia’s productivity as well as every other staff Julia is supposed to forward response to.
- Being un-teachable
Good to know that you graduated top of your class at Harvard, fantastic. Great, you have work experience at Wall Sreet! However, while working at a suburban accounting firm, you have to unwind and learn. Staying teachable allows you grow, no man is an island, no one knows it all. When a colleague points something out, listen and learn, and develop. Do not act and assume you all-knowing, staying teachable creates a friendly work space for not just you but everyone else.