Getting employees to be productive in this day and age can be somewhat, a hurdle. Poor attitudes, laziness, a report in 2010 showed that Ugandans were the laziest East Africans and distractions in the form of new technologies and social media have not helped the matter.
Salma, who is a work supervisor at one of the firms in Kampala complains that her supervisees are forever facebooking. “Every time I take a walk around these offices, I find that each one of you is facebooking? When do you work?” she often asks her supervisees. Many supervisors elsewhere are frustrated like her. Social media, coupled with other factors are working to ensure that employees are producing under their capacity.
So, how do employers change this so that they can get the best out of their employees? By undertaking a study to determine the productivity of each employee and finding out why the employees are being unproductive. www.workawesome.com advocates for this principle, saying that you cannot deal with a problem unless you know what the problem is.
Salma, who has used this method says that after finding out the problem is, employers should look for solutions to increase productivity. “Talking to employees and finding out why they are under performing is one step in the right direction to addressing the problem,” she says and adds, “Engaging them for solutions is also helpful as they might know better how they can best remedy the problem”.
Employers do not have to leave all the work of solution finding to the employees. Some tips on how they can improve productivity include, giving recognition and awards. This tip is tried and tested. People work towards a tangible achievement and an award is one tangible achievement they would work towards. Isaac Mulindwa, founder of the Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM) project has on occasion said that the purpose of the awards was to encourage musicians to produce quality music. When musicians have been interviewed, they have said that they are working towards getting a PAM Award showing that giving of recognition and awards helps boost productivity.
Promotions are another way to incite employees to work at their full capacity. Again, when you give employees an incentive to work towards, they work much harder.
Giving employees breaks also, may increases productivity, Deborah, a human resource manager at one of the local banks says: “It is important for people to rest. I’ve noticed that when my people come back from breaks, they are refreshed and more productive”.
And last but not least, respecting employees, caring about their welfare and making them feel that they matter are some of the other ways that will boost productivity. Damalie says that she loves her work because her bosses treat her well. “The pay is not that great but my bosses treat me well so I work hard,” she says.
When you couple humane treatment of employees, involving them in finding solutions to the problem, giving them incentives to work towards and reducing on internet time, you will boost productivity.