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Managing productivity means managing morale – but how do you keep workers happy?

If you keep your workers happy and healthy, they are likely to work harder. Managing productivity in this way makes good business sense.
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Gleem has a workforce of around 30 cleaners, and managing productivity in remote workers can be tricky. Founder Joseph Edwards talks us through his methods for managing productivity.

Managing productivity in a business is something that can often get ignored – once you’ve hired someone, you expect them to get on with their job, simple at that. Except that employees are human, and they are at their best when they are happy and motivated.

You’ll get the best out of your staff if you do your best for them in return. High staff morale and productivity go hand in hand, and you’ll likely see a return on any investment made to keep your staff happy.

One business that has seen the payoff from this is Gleem, a cleaning company that performs domestic and commercial cleaning and run by entrepreneur Joseph Edwards.

Gleem employs approximately 30 people, so we caught up with Edwards to find out how he keeps his staff motivated.

The workplace culture

One of the main things Edwards aims for is an open and honest workplace culture, so that employees can present problems to management and work as a team to help solve them.

“I have honest conversations with my team about their fulfilment at work, their personal development and how they are feeling: I’m very honest about mine, and the open culture helps identify how we can continue working well as a tighter team,” he explained.

“We have conversations with all of our cleaners about their life plans, something that many other cleaning companies haven’t invested the time to do.”

In addition, Edwards is aware that the job can be very demanding on his employees – as a full-time job it can be very wearing on the body.

“We have to be careful to balance deep cleans with lighter cleans as well as ensuring cleaner have enough breaks during the day,” he explained.

Productivity hurdles

You can have an open working culture, and it’s great for staff to feel they can approach their boss with feedback, but sometimes things that affect productivity will be beyond your control.

“The hot weather recently has been a challenge, with no air con, it has led to tiredness and tiredness can challenge emotions,” explained Edwards.

Gleem isn’t just comprised of cleaners, there are five office staff as well and the things that affect productivity for the office staff are very different to the things that affect the cleaners.

“We have just moved into a new space and had no internet there for two months. The team all worked from home individually and because communication is much more difficult morale suffered.”

Edwards makes a point to handle stress and boost morale by holding regular meetings to find ways to automate processes and make life easier for his staff.

“We talk openly about stress: speaking about it and having someone aware of what you are going through can enable everybody to be more sensitive,” he said.

“If people are unhappy at home or in themselves, their mentality in the work place/their engagement in their role could easily and understandably slack.”

Overall, Edwards’ attitude to managing productivity is to look at the broader picture, and not get bogged down in details.

“We set monthly outcome focussed targets. We try not to focus too much upon sweating the small stuff. As long as the businesses is continually improving, and we are aware of the small stuff, we are content.”

No business owner can control every aspect of managing productivity of staff, but if you do your best to provide a happy workplace and listen to your employees, you will reap the rewards.

For more information to help support the health and wellbeing of your employees please visit: axappphealthcare.co.uk/smallbusinessinsightAdvertisement

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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