| Mar 31, 2017 | | 10 min read

10 Tips to Increase Employee Productivity


Employee productivity refers to how efficiently workers perform and complete tasks in the workplace as individuals or as teams. At my first desk job with Vendasta, I discovered that maximizing employee productivity can be an incredibly challenging task. This is especially true in the tech industry, where priorities and deadlines can change in the blink of an eye.

Luckily for Vendastians, efforts are made by management each and every day to maximize employee productivity. Each of these managerial steps are designed to help steer employees in the right direction, boost morale and make our jobs as simple as possible. These tips can be implemented in any workplace, and will help make working environments more productive and enjoyable for employees and management alike!

Sneak a peek at Vendasta's essential leadership principles!

10 Tips for Employee Productivity

1.  A is for attitude

While it may sound cliché, an employee’s attitude is a huge contributing factor to their level of productivity. Employees who tackle their tasks sporting a consistently positive attitude will do so with more energy and confidence than their doom and gloom co-workers. Maintaining a positive outlook also helps employees feel more fulfilled in their work, resulting in motivation to finish tasks and taking the initiative to start new ones.

To maximize the benefits of a positive attitude in the workplace, management must make sure to consider a candidate’s attitude during the hiring process, and foster a culture of positive vibes and encouragement for all employees.

How Vendasta does it

The corporate culture is one of a kind at Vendasta, which is why attitude and personality are important factors in the company’s recruitment process. New employees have to be able to keep up with Vendasta’s impressive growth rate, as the wrong attitude can bring down an entire team. Rolling with the punches and regularly taking on new challenges are essential to surviving in the tech industry, which is why a good attitude is the best strategy you can have. Vendasta has a “culture fit” portion during the interview process, where employees are assessed on their attitude and ability to adjust to a constantly changing environment.

2.  Provide training, facilitate development

To maximize employee productivity, newly hired workers should be provided with sufficient training before being fully immersed into their roles. While on-the-job learning can be beneficial at times, setting aside dedicated training time for new employees will ensure they feel supported in their new environment and understand what is expected of them. Providing employees with adequate training sets them up for success in their roles rather than frustration.

Training and development shouldn’t stop after the first week of employment, either. Providing opportunities for long-term employee development will show workers they are valued, and encourage them to acquire new knowledge and skills to help further their careers. Intellectually satisfied, well-trained employees will contribute higher quality work to an organization, resulting in a win-win for everyone involved!

How Vendasta does it

All new Vendastians undergo a full week of introductory training, known as Vendasta University, before becoming a full-functioning member of their departmental teams. In fact, most of the first day of training is dedicated to helping new hires understand what Vendasta does (yes, really). Vendasta’s training provides employees with the opportunity to engage with the company’s products, creating familiarity with the tools they will use in their new positions. Once an employee becomes a full-fledged member of the team, Vendasta facilitates employee development by paying for professional development, conferences, trainings and other learning opportunities!

3.  Quality tools are essential

Even the most optimistic, well-trained employee can’t be productive without access to the appropriate tools. In today’s digitally geared world, the appropriate tools for many workplaces are quality hardware and up-to-date software. Providing employees with technology that operates as it is supposed to ensures that their time will not be wasted troubleshooting the equipment that is necessary to perform their daily tasks.

Technology aside, working environments should also be carefully arranged to maximize employee productivity. Ergonomic furniture will ensure employees are comfortable while performing their tasks, and arranging the office so that it is conducive to multiple working styles and comfort will up productivity by 64%.

How Vendasta does it

Vendasta does everything in its power to provide employees with the tools they need to succeed. All employees have access to the high quality hardware and software they need to perform their jobs, and depending on preferences or needs, different operating systems are available. Workstations are designed to maximize employee productivity, incorporating dual monitors so that employees don’t even have to waste time flipping between tabs (and we open A LOT of tabs). The furniture is ergonomic, and nearly every employee has a standing desk so they can stretch their legs without sacrificing valuable time at their desk. As for the working environment itself, Vendasta has created a space that offers options for multiple types of working styles. If you thrive in an open space, the atrium might be for you, but if you prefer to work in a quiet space, there are smaller breakout rooms available.

4.  Communication is key

Effective communication is absolutely essential for an organization to succeed. In order to maximize productivity, employees must first have a clear understanding of what is expected of them in their role. Workers also need to receive constructive forms of feedback for their efforts regularly, making it possible for employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses as time passes.

It is equally important to provide workers with a means to communicate their experiences and needs back to the organization’s leadership team. If employees are encouraged to approach leaders with their opinions or concerns, issues or misunderstandings that arise in the workplace will be dealt with far more efficiently than if the matter were to become water-cooler gossip. Creating an open line for dialogue builds trust and increases organizational transparency, allowing employees to focus on their work and receive meaningful feedback for their performance.

How Vendasta does it

Communication occurs in many forms at Vendasta. The incorporation of online tools like Slack have simplified outreach efforts between different team members and telecommuters. Slack is also used to gather feedback about employee satisfaction in the form of an Officevibe survey, the results of which can be used to improve the working environment and corporate culture for all employees at Vendasta. In-person communication begins with a team-wide “Stand-Up” meeting each day, which provides each employee and team leader with the opportunity to communicate their goals and needs for the day with their team members. In terms of personal development, Vendasta requires all team leaders to meet with team members for weekly one-on-one sessions. These sessions serve as an opportunity for a focused discussion about an employee’s work, the provision of constructive feedback and mentoring to help outline an employee’s career growth with the company. Weekly one-on-ones ensure that feedback is consistently given and received, and that employees can build trusting relationships with their superiors.

5.  Introduce flexibility to office life

Another way to increase employee productivity is by providing workers with the option to telecommute or work remotely. Today it is relatively easy to connect to the internet wherever you are, and communication platforms like Slack provide an instant means of two-way communication for all employees. Employees that elect to work remotely are 13% more productive than their in-office colleagues, and are also likely to log more hours due to lack of distractions.

If working remotely is not feasible, implementing flexible office hours is also an option that can increase productivity. The times of day when employee productivity is highest are unique to each individual worker, and allowing employees some control over their schedule will also serve as a positive contribution towards their work-life balance. A balanced employee is a productive employee!

[clickToTweet tweet="Flexible hours can help maintain a healthy work-life balance, and balanced employees are productive!" quote="Flexible office hours can help maintain a healthy work-life balance, and balanced employees are more productive!"]

How Vendasta does it

Vendasta has satellite offices scattered all across North America, so telecommuting is a way of life for some of our employees. There are also options for employees who work from home base (about 95% of Vendastians work at HQ, as we put an emphasis on in-person communication) to introduce elements of flexibility into their working lives. All employees receive a bank of flex days at the beginning of the year, allowing them to work out of the office several days a year as they see fit. Employees are also able to manipulate their working hours, within reason, to accommodate their personal lives, meaning running to the bank during the fifteen minutes it’s open is a possibility!

6.  Take a break and mingle

Providing employees with the opportunity to take a break and bond will help boost employee productivity. Encouraging employees to take the occasional break to socialize can serve as a reminder that sometimes a brief hiatus from daily tasks is necessary, and breaks can actually help improve productivity. Secondly, company social events serve as opportunities for employees to get to know their colleagues. If employees are familiar with one another and believe they are a part of a group, they will be more likely to work harder and collaborate with one another, leading to an increase in the office’s overall productivity.

How Vendasta does it

Vendasta’s common spaces have been known to ring with the cheers of foosball champions, and many a friendship has been formed waiting in line for lunch on Fridays. In addition to socializing during breaks, there is also a dedicated Social Committee at Vendasta, whose purpose is to organize fun social events for employees to attend and get to know one another better. Building camaraderie outside of business hours helps make coming to work fun, meaning it is even easier for employees to sport their positive attitudes and get things done.

7.  Promote wellness in the workplace

One of the best ways to maximize employee productivity is promoting a healthy work-life balance. By incorporating wellness in the workplace, the overall physical and mental health of employees will improve, leading workers to feel less run down and take fewer sick days throughout the year.

Workplace wellness can be anything from additional benefits in the company’s health plan to unique perks employees can take advantage of every day at work. By facilitating means for employees to make their well-being a priority, they will be better equipped to handle stressful situations and make the most of their working hours.

How Vendasta does it

Facilitating a work-life balance for employees is one of the main goals behind Vendasta’s unique corporate culture. Vendasta offers its employees exclusive perks to make life easier and help minimize stress. Discounted gym memberships,lunchtime yoga, ready-made meals and snacks and office massage chairs are available to all employees to help them relax and make the most of their work day.

8. Company goals should be crystal clear

An effective way to increase employee productivity for an entire organization is by clearly communicating the company’s direction and goals. Discussing the bigger picture with employees will remind them that their role is significant, and that what they do is integral to the company’s success. Employees that are kept in the loop will feel higher levels of satisfaction in their roles, motivating them to produce high quality work and take on new challenges to help the organization reach its goals.

How Vendasta does it

Employees are consistently made aware of what direction Vendasta is headed, and facilitating growth is always on the agenda. Regular announcements via Slack help keep employees up to date on office happenings and internal job opportunities. Every Friday, Vendastians gather together in the atrium for a catered lunch and All-Hands meeting, which involves an update from the leadership team about various department’s structure and goals. Immediately after the weekly All-Hands meeting, the research and development teams update the organization on their recent projects, demonstrating tangible growth in Vendasta’s products, and setting the course for future developments.

9.  Take a victory lap

When the productivity dust settles, it is important to express your appreciation to employees for their contributions and hard work. When it comes to rewards, simply recognizing an employee for their efforts can be more motivating than money, and the sooner they are recognized the better. Celebrating accomplishments immediately will reinforce an employee’s efforts, and communicate their value to the organization.

How Vendasta does it

Whether it’s thanking someone for their hard work in the #kudos Slack channel, ordering cakes at the end of every month to celebrate work anniversaries, or a good old fashioned champagne toast at lunch to celebrate winning Business of the Year, there’s no shortage of celebration at Vendasta. We know how to party.

10.  Lead by example

The aforementioned methods to increase employee productivity are proven tactics that encourage efficiency in the workplace. These tips also have one important concept in common: the role leaders play in maximizing productivity. Employee morale and productivity levels are directly influenced by the type of leadership they receive in their role, so it is important that leaders walk the walk when it comes to increasing employee productivity.

Leaders set the tone for their departments and teams. Their ambition and winning attitude should shine through and inspire employees to strive for greatness, too. Leaders who take the time to cultivate trusting relationships with their employees will be viewed as more approachable and be highly respected in their role. This will lead to employees that are motivated to take on new challenges, and leaders that consider employee skills and goals when delegating tasks will facilitate employee productivity.

How Vendasta does it

In addition to all of the other measures Vendasta takes to maximize employee productivity, leading by example is also crucial to the company’s success. Vendasta’s leadership team consists of the best and brightest. Each of the company’s leaders strive to embody the traits described by the organization’s leadership principles. These principles, which explore the themes of personal, team, thought and results leadership, serve as specific calls to action that are crucial to finding success at Vendasta. These leadership principles influence the decisions made by our management team every single day, and their effect on Vendasta’s productivity and success is tangible.

BONUS: Do it like Vendasta

Incorporate the skills outlined in Vendasta’s killer Leadership Principles to create a culture of success in your organization.

Go forth and be productive

These tips are sure to help employees feel more motivated.

About the Author

Jordan is an MBA student at the University of Saskatchewan who had formerly been brought on by the Vendasta marketing team for an eight month internship. She enjoys colour coding spreadsheets and Canadian spelling rules. As a child, Jordan always wanted to be a writer, it just took some time to get there!

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