Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 tips for improving your employees’ productivity in 2016

Productivity 3Human resource professionals deal with a lot of different micro-challenges on a daily basis, but at the root of it, the primary big-picture goal they’re focusing on is to maintain a high level of employee retention and productivity

This can be tough. Tell me if this sounds like you: As you wind down toward the end of 2015, you find yourself looking back on the year that was, and while your organization made some progress in certain areas, you’re still not satisfied. You think your organization can do better.

If you’re in this boat, you’re absolutely not alone. According to, there are human capital managers everywhere searching for ways to make their organizations more productive in 2016. Jean Martin, talent solutions architect at CEB, says that from speaking with thousands of executives this year, she’s realized part of the problem involves speed. Companies are striving every day to work faster, but they also don’t want to sacrifice quality of work. The tradeoff is difficult.

“CEB staff hear some version of the same refrain again and again – ‘It seems more difficult to get stuff done, we just feel really slow,'” Martin noted. “The size and complexity of firms, and the need for managers to collaborate with so many people, has slowed everything down. A lot of managers think that if they want to speed up decision-making they must be prepared to make worse decisions. In short they must trade ‘fast’ for ‘right.'”

The real question, though, is how to do work “right” in 2016. The following tips from Martin should help with ramping up productivity:

Gather more workforce data
If you’re not sure whether your staff is achieving enough, gather some data and figure it out. Find out what your people are capable of and how close they are to maximum potential. Use analytics to solve the puzzle.

Empower leaders to achieve more
The managers on your staff are the key to your company’s success. Each team leader should be acting in the best interests of the company, and that means pushing employees to achieve more. Make sure everyone is on the same page in this regard.

Nurture your employees’ potential
If you have some high-achieving employees that you’ve identified, you especially want to focus on getting the most possible productivity out of them. Develop them, identify their greatest strengths and put them in positions that maximize their value.

Sharpen your learning and development focus
Every organization wants to invest in learning and development to help employees get better, but you also don’t want to waste time on overteaching. Find the right balance by teaching people only the essentials and nothing more.

Address employee needs with EAPs
If your employees are battling issues with anxiety, stress or any other aspect of health and wellness, you can improve the situation by providing resources to help them. Investing in employee assistance programs is a great way to to do this.

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