In the modern workplace, the idea of working “smarter, not harder” is a resonant one. Today’s modern offices are all computer driven and computer equipped, but they are still filled with people who must communicate effectively with each other in order to be truly productive.

One huge factor in increasing overall productivity is in realizing that no matter how modern we are and how much the world evolves, we are still all ultimately just people. Yes, it’s that simple.

People are the ones who get the work done during the day. They are the ones who show up, interact with clients, customers and other employees, and ultimately it’s there service that makes a business fail or succeed. Computer systems and ever changing and ever faster systems of communication all enhance the ways we work and communicate, but they are only as good as the people they serve.

So, having said all that, what innovations are coming up now that will help the people in the workplace be more productive?

  1. Establish an employee recognition program.

You can’t go wrong by giving great employees the recognition they deserve. Offices that want to retain great employees and to motivate them to stay loyal and at the top of their game at work should institute programs that give recognition for outstanding service. An employee recognition program could involve an incentive like a cash prize or vacation package, but the key is in letting it be known that the special employee is doing a fantastic job. The programs are very meaningful to employees, and they give back to a company hugely.

  1. Streamline meetings to enhance communication and use time well.

Meetings, whether via skype, Facebook live streaming or actually in person, are the bugaboo of the modern office. Yes, meetings are needed because that’s how people talk to each other, The program in many offices is that poorly managed meetings use up a lot of precious time, often forcing key employees to stay late just to make up on other work.

Managers need to establish a clear work process when planning meetings, with key points in place for discussion and clear goals in mind. Good planning along with establishing a talent management system will avoid those endless conversations about issues that don’t ultimately provide any real results. Meeting members should also be tasked with keeping meeting on point and flowing towards accomplishing real goals.

  1. Make the workplace a happy place.

Study after study, including a study on workplace stress by Willis Towers Watson, has found that stressed out, unhappy workers are the least productive workers of all. Stressed out workers often suffer from being caught in poorly managed offices that waste workers time with disorganization and a lack of structure that impedes work flow. Workers in these situations are often forced to work long hours to compensate for disorganization. The result is a workforce that feels little loyalty and little reason to work dynamically to change things for the better.

All of this points to the critical importance of establishing a workplace where employees feel they are appreciated and recognized for solid accomplishments. One of the most important factors in keeping the workplace happy is for managers to have a communication structure that flows. When employees understand what their expected tasks are, and feel they are being heard, the stress level lowers dramatically.

Special perks like employee group lunches, bonuses, employee recognition programs and social activities like happy hour or a team bowling night all help to build a healthy team feeling in an employee group. Ultimately, a strong employee group that has loyalty to a company never goes out of style.

Malcolm Rowlings – Business Management & Staffing Consultant

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