What is the best practice for managing workforce to increase productivity? Most businesses would like to increase their workforce’s productivity levels to some degree. What you may not want to hear is that it really, probably, when it comes right down to it, is not necessarily the fault of the workforce itself but more in the way that it is being managed.

Managing your workforce, the time that they spend within your establishment, and the way that they are trained can and will affect their productivity. What you have to do is get it so that that effect is to the positive rather than to the negative. There are some positive steps that can be taken and relatively swiftly, too, should you want to, and they are discussed within this article.

Introduce the 5s system

One of the easiest ways you can improve your working environment for your workers is to introduce the 5s system. This system is proven to help workforces from all industries and sectors improve performance, safety, and workplace environment.

The 5s system is a simple enough system to put in place and upkeep, but you will have to give your employees time at the end of the day, whether it is 5 or 10 minutes, so that they can upkeep the system and keep it going.

So, the 5s system is this;

1. Sort. Sort the area so that all unnecessary items are removed from the workstation. This will improve employee focus and cut down on the number of distractions that are available.

2. Set in Order. Organize the working area so that everything has its right place. This makes sure that items can be found easily, so less time is wasted with employees wandering around looking for things or interrupting other workers that are trying to concentrate.

3. Shine. Clean the workstation down at the end of the shift or working day. It should come as no surprise that employees work much better in a clean environment, and in this day and age, with the epidemic still raging on, there should be heavy focus put on hygiene and cleanliness.

4. Standardize. Putting in place procedures to make sure that everyone is working the same way – the best way so that work gets completed quickly and efficiently.

5. Sustain. The other four stages must be sustainable. This is where the 5 or 10 minutes at the end of each day will come in. To ensure that there are no unnecessary items at workstations, that everything is put away in its correct place, that the working areas are cleaned down either ready for the next shift or the next working day and that all procedures have been followed correctly.

Provide the correct software for overstretched departments

You may find on close inspection of your business that some if not many of your departments are overstretched and probably have been for a while. You may even find that you have one or two that could be quietly struggling.

In most businesses, the department that has the most issues is the HR department. This is not a bad mark against any employee that happens to work within the HR department, but merely because of the sheer volume of work, information, and process that HR in general deals with on a day-to-day basis, and even more so within a large business.

In order to relieve the stresses and the issues that your HR department may have, it is highly prudent to invest in superior HR software. Giving your HR team access to software that covers every part of their role and integrates all the information will make their jobs a lot easier and a lot less stressful.

You may also find that your business runs a lot smoother too as any HR department is at the heart of any business as they deal with the hiring, firing, retiring, payroll, taxes, holidays, sickness, pensions, and many more areas besides.

By supporting your HR department, you will not only be alleviating stress in that department but also any attributed stress throughout your business and your employees and therefore increasing the productivity of your overall workforce. This is one of the important way for managing workforce to increase productivity.

Train your employees

It is important to train your employees to not only carry out their roles but also to use the equipment and software that you are providing them with. Where necessary, it is also important to provide them with the correct levels of support so that when things go wrong, which they do in any business from time to time, they have a calm and knowledgeable professional on the end of the phone or accessible via email to sort the issue out and get them back up and working as quickly as possible.

By training your employees to use their equipment and their software, you will be installing confidence within your team so that they can wholly concentrate on the job at hand rather than wasting their time trying to work out how to do a simple procedure or interrupting others so that they can be shown.

Obviously, training your new members of staff on how to carry out their job roles is a no-brainer, well it is to most anyway. However, there are still those businesses that seem to think that it is OK to throw new members of staff straight in at the deep end and then wonder why their new recruit is either struggling, not meeting targets, unhappy or despite their resume and qualifications do not seem to know what they are doing. In this scenario, you need to give your newbie a break and train them, nurture them and give them a buddy to show them the ropes for longer than just a few minutes or even a day. It takes time to settle into a new place of work, let alone a new job role with new people.

Manage workloads

One of the areas that most businesses have a problem with is in managing workloads accurately. The best way to address this is to invest in good quality scheduling software and make sure that everyone within your business that will have their work uploaded onto this software has access to it so that they can change it in real-time. This is not to say that they will unwittingly sabotage, but that they can add notes to certain areas of the project or job, such as certain parts completed, the client has service or product issues, etc. Your employee will also be able to move the project or job on or close it off as finished or on hold.

This will mean that any manager or person looking for a specific job or project will be able to see at a glance whereabouts in proceedings that it is and, more importantly, whether it will hit the specified deadlines it needs to or if there will need to be a discussion with the client for a new date.

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