The productivity of an entire company is entirely dependent on the productivity of each individual employee. Employers must understand that each individual operates uniquely to stay productive, so a universal approach to stimulate work may not always be effective.
While many employees, especially in corporate jobs, work the standard 9-5; a research study at the University of California Irvine shows that the average employee is interrupted every 3 minutes, followed by taking an additional 23 minutes to refocus. So, out of an eight-hour workday, only about 2 hours and 23 minutes are spent doing real work. These astonishing statistics point out inherent issues in the flow of work that are halting productivity for employees.
Distractions are present all around us, a text message notification, a sneeze down the hall, or a bird flying in the window. And while these are inevitable, there are certainly steps employees can take to stay engaged on a task once the distraction passes. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, employee productivity has completely changed as the traditional flow of work diminished. Interestingly enough, companies worldwide saw a noticeable increase in productivity since remote work began. 52% of employees have been less likely to take time off, 75% of employers saw increased productivity among workers, and corporate businesses worldwide forecasted growth of the company at large (Apollo Technical). While remote work has its own set of challenges for employees, it has certainly paved the way for new methods that stimulate productivity.
How the Flow of Work Relates to Employee Productivity
Employee productivity can best be understood using the domino effect. Each task that takes longer to complete takes longer to review and halts the ability to move onto a new assignment. There is an interrupted flow of work that begins with one employee that was distracted, but now impacts an entire team and their responsibilities. According to the same UC Irvine study, 86% of employees prefer to work alone for this reason. If an individual is unproductive and it only affects them, there is less accountability placed on the person. However, companies do not function on an individual basis as collaborative work is required to truly advance a business. Thus, employers are tasked with structuring their workflow to keep productivity high and the dominos up. Workflow consists of a systematic set of operations that involves each aspect of a business process. There is a unique hierarchy beginning with an initial task all the way up to a thorough output. In order to improve overall employee productivity, companies must begin at the very bottom of this pyramid, building up to optimal production step-by-step.
Key Components of Successful Employee Productivity
There are numerous reasons that could explain why an employee is being unproductive. They could be under personal stresses or have poor work ethic to begin with. There should certainly be some leniency for employees who are having an off-day, it happens to the best of us, however, the real issues arise when there is a lack of communication. If an employee is given a task they know they will not be able to efficiently complete, it is vital that they communicate this issue with their superior so they can account for the additional time required. There is a healthy way to discuss individual needs that will not disrupt workflow, but this can only be achieved if both the employer and employee are openly speaking about it. Employers should have consistent check-ins with workers about their well-being and how they are handling their current tasks. On the other hand, employees should fulfill their responsibilities but be transparent if an issue arises.
Leverage Unique Skills
It is very difficult to stay productive when you don’t feel like a task fits your particular skill set. Each person has unique strengths and weaknesses that play a huge role in their ability to complete a task efficiently and effectively. Employers should work to understand these strengths and weaknesses, and leverage them to their advantage. An employee will feel more motivated and engaged with a task if they are confident that it can be completed well. For this reason tasks should be assigned meticulously so they are not haphazardly completed. If it is a smaller company with fewer employees, then colleagues should work together and communicate where they may need more help.
Each task should also be assigned for a targeted purpose. If an employee explicitly understands why they are being asked to complete a project, they will feel greater accountability to complete it effectively. Work that is assigned just for the sake of staying busy diminishes productivity because employees understand it is not impactful. The goal of each project should be distinct, and employers should respect their colleagues' time and energy with substantive tasks.
Incentivizing employees can be accomplished in a variety of ways. It can come from positive feedback, greater responsibilities, or more trust, all that matters is that it is evident. Human beings thrive when their actions are reinforced and their hard work is noticed. If employees understand that the completion of a set of tasks will yield a desired outcome, they will be incentivized to apply that same productivity for the next project.
In any workflow model, each process should always end in feedback. Feedback should occur between employees, employers, clients, and supervisors. This is the most valuable step in transforming how people work with each other and advancing a company forward in the right direction. Feedback should be constructive, transparent, and respectful; but also straight to the point. Most importantly, feedback should be given consistently so that employees expect it after each task.
Improvements Seen in Employee Productivity Using myQuest Connect
myQuest Connect is a revolutionary platform created by myQuest that brings together employees with more experienced colleagues within a company. myQuest Connect eliminates the pressure of asking for help as it is an accessible platform that stimulates a supportive community. The algorithm of this platform allows an employee to ask for help on a specific task using the mobile app and automatically connects them with the right person that will offer productive guidance. This technology encompasses the factors that yield employee productivity through stimulating collaboration, unique strengths, incentivization, and feedback all in a one-step method. myQuest Connect can be personalized for any company, strengthening productivity across all boards.
How myQuest Connect Works
Any employee, regardless of the stage in their career, can benefit from myQuest Connect. When any challenge or question arises, all an employee needs to do is anonymously submit their needs to the myQuest Connect app and begin the conversation.
Then, myQuest Connect’s AI algorithm will identify the best person within the company to help the employee with their issue. The algorithm will automatically connect the two employees via Microsoft Teams to communicate through the issue. If the colleague feels they are not best to help in a particular situation, myQuest Connect is also able to reconnect the employee with a different colleague.
Feedback is an integral part of this platform as managers receive reports and analytics about the types of issues employees are facing and the key employees that have guided them through those challenges.
This platform has become a key component of upholding productivity as individuals within the company are incentivized to help their colleagues succeed. Once a challenge is resolved, the employee that was connected to help is given positive recognition, and the employee that needed help has received the necessary clarity!