Running Your Business

How to Increase Productivity at Work During the Slow Season


  • Slow periods allow HR leaders to review people metrics and plan for a more productive year ahead

  • Employees who are actively engaged at work are 21 percent more likely to be productive

  • It's important to budget for technology upgrades, as this could address more than half of all productivity issues (and employee frustrations)

Posted by February 21, 2019

The first few months of the year provide the perfect time for HR departments to design programs that aim to increase productivity at work. During this period, things are often slow, allowing leaders to work on annual budgets, review last year’s financials and reflect on what processes were the most efficient in the preceding year.

So, how can you help your organization make the most of these quieter months? Follow this guide to increase productivity at work, so your colleagues and company can have a profitable year ahead.

What Kind of Tasks Can Be Completed or Planned For?

At the very least, a brief slow-down period can give leaders a chance to review various aspects of the business that may increase profits and productivity levels. Managers and directors can meet with HR to discuss plans for the new year, such as expansion, hiring and adding new products and services.

One way to make the most of this time is to review operating procedures and make changes that will help the organization be more productive and profitable. This can include cross-selling, trying a relationship-based customer approach and outsourcing some routine administrative tasks.

From an employee productivity standpoint, even if things slow down a bit, staff members should be encouraged to use this time to review their own performance with management. This can be a good opportunity to establish a plan of action for the upcoming year, such as additional training or setting the goal for a promotion.

What Strategies Can HR Departments Use to Prepare for the Coming Months?

During slower months, HR can meet with company leaders to discuss productivity concerns and changes that need to be made. Annual reports can be presented that indicate the company’s status in terms of employee hiring and turnover, training results, project management and revenue generating activities. These “people metrics” are all measures of success—or failure.

In addition, HR personnel can make use of this period by offering solutions for different pain points. For example, around 56 percent of workers are frustrated because they don’t have access to the latest tech to do their jobs, according to a study by Oracle. If your fellow employees indicate they are facing obstacles due to lack of technology resources, HR should step in and ensure they get what they need.

So, What Considerations Need to Be Taken Into Account?

Increasing productivity at work requires an understanding of where the organization is currently, where it has been and where it needs to be in a specific period of time. An accurate source of this information is included in project performance reports completed by employees. Departments and initiatives that need to be improved are typically highlighted by data that indicates what projects went over budget (in terms of both time and money). Obstacles can be learned from and eliminated with careful planning from HR and project managers.

It is possible to increase productivity at work without breaking corporate budgets. Communicating the value that employees have in the organization helps boost their morale and output levels. Gathering feedback and then making positive changes means a lot to employees. Giving them access to free periods where they can access technology for personal needs, as well as reducing distractions, are also ways of improving productivity.

Additionally, investing in hiring and retaining the best employees can improve productivity levels. It is far better to invest in great talent now than to deal with the costs of high turnover rates later, which can damage the company brand and hinder future growth plans. Take the time to understand and promote employee engagement. According to Gallup, this could result in 21 percent higher productivity and 22 percent increased profits.

If your organization’s technology is in need of an upgrade, focus on the departments that need it the most and generate the biggest profits for the company. Then, gradually add better tech to other departments in order to maintain productivity of other key functions. This can be budgeted for easily using technology rental programs that are widely available to businesses.

Curious to learn more about operating and maintaining a profitable and productive business this year? Spend some time exploring the information featured on Benefits Bridge—and United Concordia Dental’s website—today.

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