Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show output in the UK fell in 2012, while the other G7 countries saw a rise in productivity. Last year’s output per worker was 19% lower than the average for the other nations and output per hour was 16% lower – the biggest gap in productivity since 1994.
The 2012 figure is 2% lower than the national output in 2007, before the country was plunged into an economic crisis. According to the ONS, the statistics give an idea of how the UK has performed compared to Japan, the US, Canada, Italy, France and Germany – the other G7 countries.
So what can business owners do to boost staff productivity?
Offer incentives to staff at all levels
It is common for senior staff to be offered bonuses and financial incentives for performing well, but more junior employees need to be motivated too. If budgets are too tight to offer cash bonuses, think of other ways of rewarding staff if they hit targets and achieve goals. This could be anything from holding a party to offering prizes to those who do well.
Give constructive feedback
If there are areas which need improvement, make sure your employees are aware. But criticism can be very demoralising, so try to make sure feedback is positive, encouraging and constructive. Offer advice on how things can be improved and highlight areas where your workers are doing well, as well as pointing out failings.
Respect employees as individuals
Taking the time to get to know your employees as people can help raise staff morale and motivate them to work hard for your company. If people feel they are respected and valued by management, they are more likely to go the extra mile to help promote business growth and achieve success.
Training can help staff learn better and more efficient ways of doing their job, helping to boost productivity. Allowing employees to take courses to increase their skills will also help them to feel they are able to progress within your company and increase motivation. General courses in time management can also be useful for making sure everyone is making the most of their working day.
Support your staff
There are many ways you can offer your team support, from making sure they have the right equipment to do their jobs properly, to offering emotional support when there are problems. Carefully considering staff requests for flexible working or changes in their hours can help workers feel valued and inspire loyalty.
If someone does something well, make sure you tell them and thank them for their hard work. It sounds incredibly simple, but it can often be forgotten when everyone is busy going about their days. Recognising good work is more likely to inspire people to work harder than criticising poor performance.