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The traditional HR department is undergoing a transition – not only is the process of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees becoming increasingly digitized, but recruiters are also being assigned brand new roles and responsibilities.

Apparently, employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention are no longer the manager’s job.

In today’s volatile workplace, it’s up to HR to keep everyone happy and productive. The only question is – who’s doing that for HR personnel? In addition to these new responsibilities, recruiters and other members of the HR team must also care for themselves.

Skyrocketing productivity within an HR team shouldn’t be hard.

Here’s how to do it in 5 easy ways:

1.Encourage Feedback with Employee Surveys
Being an HR employee in today’s business landscape is not particularly rewarding. If you too feel like you’re taking care of everyone, but nobody’s taking care of you, that’s very similar to how an average HR specialist feels. Just remember Toby Flenderson from The Office

So the least you can do for your employees is to ask them how they’re doing.

Employee satisfaction surveys are a common practice in other departments, but they are, for some reason, less frequent in human resources. Regardless of it, their potential is great – by encouraging employees to speak up, surveys make them feel valued and appreciated.

And more than anything else, surveys enable employees to make requests for changes. But can surveys boost their productivity too? Of course, they can:

If you don’t know why you’re employees are burnt out and unmotivated, you won’t be able to do anything to fix that. Employee surveys give you an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into what bothers your employees, as well as what would drive their progress.

2.Create a More Stimulating Environment
Though often forgotten, the design of the workplace plays a crucial role in how people experience their workday. And how couldn’t it? Being tied to the same office day after day, your employees will eventually get either monotonous or fatigued. Maybe it’s time to shake things up.

The following office design elements ensure maximum productivity:

>Plenty of natural light to make employees less sleepy
>Blue walls to soothe your employees’ eyes and soul
>High ceilings to encourage free-thinking
>Sound masking systems to eliminate noisy distractions

Having a variety of spaces for different employee activities also helps. According to recent studies, the open-layout concept doesn’t affect productivity the way designers promised it would. Instead of choosing one layout over another, mix them up and let everyone find their corner.

And in case you fail to get a green light and sufficient budget from your superiors, you can turn this office renovation project into a team-building activity and have everyone contribute. After all, creating productive workspaces is one of the main responsibilities of HR employees. 

3.Talk to Your Superiors About Flexible Work
If you’re running an HR team under somebody else’s helm, you’ll need to equip yourself with statistics and make a really good case for the flexible work hours. Here’s what you can say to your superiors about alternative work options that allow employees to work from home:

>73% of employees say flexible work arrangements boost employee satisfaction
>78% of employees say flexible work arrangements boost general productivity
>77% of employees consider flexible work a major consideration when job-hunting

Numerous researches have come to the same conclusion – having an option to choose their own work arrangements alone is enough to make employees feel better about their jobs. Besides, the opportunity to change the environment once in a while is good for productivity too.

It goes without saying that remote employees must be equipped with reliable technology that keeps them in the loop with everything going on back at the office. Luckily, online collaboration tools with real-time communication capabilities are no longer expensive as they used to be.

4.Establish a Culture of Learning and Development
Contrary to popular opinion, most people like to learn.

Getting your employees excited about acquiring new knowledge and developing new skills is not so difficult when you find a way to reward their accomplishments. That’s what successful learning and development programs are all about – a meaningful incentive for engagement.

Some employee training software and HR LMS software systems boast clever gamification features that turn learning into a healthy competition among peers. At the end of each course, employees are awarded certificates as symbolic incentives. The real incentive is something else:

They are motivated by the opportunity to learn itself, as it promises career advancement.

Continual L&D is probably the best productivity booster.

In companies where innovative applications of knowledge and gradual improvement are rewarded with real-time feedback, public recognition, and new opportunities for career advancement, most employees find it embarrassing to slack and lag behind their more successful peers.

5.Enable Creative Problem-Solving and Innovation
Going hand in hand with continual learning and development, creative problem-solving is one of the aspects of business that most companies cannot afford to invest in yet. To avoid expensive risks, most company leaders rather stick to the tested and proven old approach that works.

Consider innovations such as hiring for emotional intelligence, for example.

Employees with radical ideas such as this one often get rejected due to budgetary constraints – if the idea fails, so does the investment. But there are still ways to nurture creativity and boost productivity at the same time. Once again, gamification is a great answer to this unique challenge.

By setting daily goals, monthly milestones, or annual targets, you can encourage your employees to work not only harder but also smarter. This is a great way to make them practice creative thinking while still hitting day-to-day targets and without risking valuable time and resources.

Wrap Up
HR is one of the most important and busiest departments in every mature company.

Among all other responsibilities, the job of HR employees is also to set up a good example for all the hires they recruit. They must be a perfect impersonation of productivity and innovation, no matter what. That’s why you should never stop encouraging and motivating your employees.

Kamy Anderson, Market Researcher at ProProfsLos Angeles, California

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