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Daniel Climans at StickerYou: How to Improve Employee Productivity and Reduce Wasted Time

Collaboration Dynamics
January 11, 2023
min read
Maximizing employee engagement to attract top talent and increase productivity

Time is money. Money is time. This we all know. This adage is no more apparent than in the working world, with employee productivity and workplace performance a top priority for business owners and management. However, businesses inevitably spend time hiring and onboarding a new employee who’s wrong for the role or waste time during working hours. Setting a goal of getting hiring 100% perfect is likely unattainable. However, businesses should ask a few key questions to ensure the hiring process works effectively as possible. Here are a few key questions that business leaders should be asking themselves.

  • How do we improve employee engagement to attract and retain the right talent?  
  • What methods should we employ to avoid time-wasters and cultivate a high-performing workforce?
  • In a hybrid world, what onboarding practices should we deploy to improve performance and decrease turnover

Most employers understand how much time is wasted when onboarding the wrong employee for the job. A key calculation that most employers don’t think about is “how much time is wasted when hiring a fit-for-the-job employee who then proceeds to waste time after joining?” Let’s take a look at how employers can reduce this risk and improve their hiring success rates. 

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How To Spot Productivity-Oriented Employee

Hiring is never easy, nor is it fast. Hours spent on finding the right candidate when it turns out to be the wrong one are hours that equate to money lost. The U.S. Department of Labor points out that the average cost of a bad hire can be up to 30% of the employee's first-year earnings. According to a study by CareerBuilder, one in four organizations lost $50,000 when hiring the wrong candidate for the job. Meanwhile, 41% of organizations stated that a bad hire cost them approximately $25,000. These are concerning statistics, and as former VP of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, Rosemary Haefner, pointed out:  

"Whether it's a negative attitude, lack of follow through or other concern[s], the impact of a bad hire is significant. Not only can it create productivity and morale issues, it can also affect the bottom line." - former VP of Human Resources of CareerBuilder, Rosemary Haefner

To avoid costly hiring losses, it’s vital to dodge time-wasters and instead hire productivity-oriented employees. Hiring productive staff removes the need to eventually quash non-productive behavior. When hiring, spot the productive employee by spotting a concise and efficient resume and cover letter. Look for short resumes loaded with objectives and goals. Those that are to the point and without extraneous employment details. You’re looking for bullet points, not paragraphs. After all, productive employees are efficiency experts. Apart from this, look out for an outcome-oriented resume (Hard Facts vs. Fluff). As we all know, productive people focus on goals rather than processes.  

The Lucas Group explains this further,

“Their resumes tell a clear story about what they have accomplished and achieved in their past jobs, rather than their responsibilities or job descriptions. They use a lot of verbs to describe their work, they quantify the results they achieved, and they contextualize these results against industry benchmarks.”

Spot the hobbyist and the new skills enthusiast. Productive employees typically boast about their interest in learning new skills and they actively seek new opportunities. Additionally, productive employees embody high levels of personal energy, passion, and enthusiasm. 

Have you ever thought about how your work culture could be contributing to harming employee performance and productivity? Time is Ltd.’s Employee Engagement Analytics provides HR and Operations leaders with unprecedented insight into employee productivity and engagement to transform workplace culture. Time is Ltd. offers you the power to measure and evaluate the factors that impact employee engagement: collaboration, onboarding, meeting culture, and more. By partnering with Time is Ltd., you’ll immediately identify where you can improve collaboration, enhance productivity, lower operating costs, and drive employee engagement forward.

Statistics on Employees Who Waste Time Long After Being Hired

U.S. organizations lose up to an average of $1.7 million per year for every 100 employees because of wasted time. That means a company with 300 employees loses about $5.1 million every year due to employee time wasters. Even more shocking is that an average employee wastes 21+ days per year focused on non-productive, repetitive, and menial tasks. 

“89% of employees say they waste at least thirty minutes of time during every workday; 31% of employees waste at least one hour per workday; 16% of employees say they waste about two hours every day at work; and 6% of workers waste about three hours of every workday.” - Zippia: “Wasting Time At Work Statistics [2022]: How Much Of The Average Workday Is Wasted?”

Multitasking is a prime example of a time-wasting activity that really harms productivity. According to Mike Kappel, founder, and CEO of Patriot Software, in his article on Forbes, the “7 Biggest Workplace Time Wasters and How to Handle Them”: 

“Jumping from task to task may seem like it’ll save you time in the long run. But guess what? It won’t. Multitasking is actually one of the biggest time wasters out there for businesses, with only 2.5% of people being able to multitask effectively.” Then you have coffee breaks, staff communications, and time spent around the office water cooler." 

A Time is Ltd. chart demonstrates the percentage of multitasking in meetings amongst clients and company employees. Nearly 56% of client meeting participants multitask during meetings, while 41% of employee meeting participants multitask during meetings. 

This chart from Time is Ltd. shows how prevalent multitasking in meetings is amongst clients and employees. Without a doubt, there are definitely some types of meetings, which require some level of multitasking. This is especially the case with remote employees or employees that sit in highly collaborative teams (e.g. marketing). However, if meeting multitasking rates are extremely high, then it’s worth considering:

1.) Are these meetings a waste of time / unproductive? 

2.) Are there too many meetings and it’s distracting employees? Is that why they feel the need to work during meetings?

Skip the time management guessing game and check out Time is Ltd.’s FREE Calendar Analytics app, which gives you a concrete overview of where your team’s meeting time is spent. If you’re interested in seeing a 360-degree view of your team or the entire company’s collaboration ecosystem, then check out Employee Engagement analytics. With integrations across meetings, email, Slack, SalesForce, and more; you’ll know exactly how to improve internal collaboration and drive external engagement with prospects and clients. The result? Better employee engagement and productivity and stronger revenue performance.

How to Encourage Employees to Set Aside Time For Focused Work 

Employee experience surveys reveal that even the most productive employees experience periods of distraction and lower output. 

In fact, research reveals the average employee is interrupted 56 times a day while at work. To combat employee distractions, employers should create environments that mitigate disruptions and maximize employee engagement. Here are a few examples of how to create ideal work environments:

  1. Physical offices - Create quiet workspaces that are meant for focused work. Collaborative workspaces (I.e. meeting rooms) designated for collaborative work. And social workspaces (I.e. break rooms) that encourage social interconnectivity.
  2. Decrease email distractions - The average employee receives 304 business emails each week, which mainly consist of spam. Additionally, including a large number of employees on Cc, results in your employees being distracted by irrelevant information. Therefore, set up your IT protocols to decrease spam and give clear communication guidance on how to use email.
  3. Improve meeting effectiveness - Do a company-wide audit of your recurring meeting statistics. See which ones have high levels of multi-tasking and/or have a large number of employees sitting in on the meeting. Then simply delta or adjust the meetings that are causing more harm than good.
  4. Make Slack a value-add, not a distraction - Identify channels that have content and user overlap and delete them. Additionally, review and update your Slack communication policies to reduce communication overload.
  5. Share collaboration analytics with your team - Analyze team collaboration behaviors and identify clear areas of improvement. Then share these findings with the team to help drive bottom-up change.

The Takeaway 

All in all, time is money and money is time, and fortunately for employers, engagement platforms, along with the above-mentioned tips, are available to empower employers to create thriving, engaged workplaces and highly productive employees. It is these very platforms that give business owners and organizational leaders the ability to deduce insights to make informed decisions that drive the employee experience forward and unlock teams’ full potential.

Article written by Daniel Climans from StickerYou.

Article by
Daniel Climans
Multi-faceted, entrepreneurial-minded marketer, who possesses a track record of success spurring revenue growth and building brand loyalty through the creation and execution of omnichannel marketing plans backed by customer-centric social media and digital marketing campaigns. Daniel is always available for mentoring and sharing innovative marketing approaches, or just to kick back and chat about video games, sports (avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan), Skiing (Daniel is a licensed Instructor), or Scuba Diving.
Article by
Daniel Climans
Multi-faceted, entrepreneurial-minded marketer, who possesses a track record of success spurring revenue growth and building brand loyalty through the creation and execution of omnichannel marketing plans backed by customer-centric social media and digital marketing campaigns. Daniel is always available for mentoring and sharing innovative marketing approaches, or just to kick back and chat about video games, sports (avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan), Skiing (Daniel is a licensed Instructor), or Scuba Diving.

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