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4 ways to increase transparency and productivity in the office

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Businesses are constantly searching for new and innovate ways to engage with their workforce and increase productivity and contentment in their employees. 

It is pretty simple: if employees enjoy their work and feel valued in their position, then they will excel and deliver strong results. But how is this done?

There are many tried and tested methods – some try yoga in the boardroom, some try competitions and incentives – but instead of sporadical catch ups or social events, a shake-up of the underlying business practices could be the way forward.

So how can this be done? Here are our four top tips.

1. No admin policy

Time is your most valuable commodity and the culture of “delegate first, think second” can be counterproductive and drain more time and resources than you might think. 

By cutting the middle man and using the right technology, less time will be wasted. Allocating the wrong jobs, or reinforcing bad practices by delegating time intensive tasks is a rising issue in modern businesses that can significantly reduce ROI. 

For businesses that want to go to the next level, ensuring staff are accountable for all actions including admin will ensure they are more focused on using their time effectively, while helping foster a more collaborative culture.

2. Open board meetings

Might sound crazy for some but opening up previously private board meetings will increase transparency and give employees the opportunity and platform to provide feedback and input to the entire company. 

If employees of all levels have the ability to voice their opinions and ideas this can be very powerful and prompt a level of collaboration and interactivity between employees that board level employees rarely see. 

This is extremely important in building an atmosphere of trust and honesty. Board members will get richer operational data for a more complete and transparent view of how they are performing.

3. Flatter management structures

A flat approach invites collaboration and a more open and welcoming working environment with fewer barriers between employees of differing levels and departments.

Greater communication between management and employees creates a more engaged workforce. In many organisations, more junior employees will have never met the CEO or MD of the company they work for let alone have spoken to them. 

Read about other ways to boost productivity in your company:

7 drivers that could boost UK productivity

Nesta: What SMEs can do about the UK’s productivity issue

Procrastination could be good for productivity

Having a flatter management structure, open plan offices and no PAs to act as gatekeepers means that all employees can have a conversation with anyone. Whether this conversation be about work or outside of work, this strategy is far more inviting and open – you never know what could come out of a conversation.

4. Breakout areas

Many organisations in the creative industries have dedicated areas for brainstorming and collaborating, but this is not as common in other industries. 

These areas are spaces where you have complete creative freedom and can sit comfortably, perhaps on a bean bag and bounce ideas off each other in a group or sit quietly on your own and have a think. 

Creative expression, new ideas and collaboration are important in all industries, so it is something that should be implemented across many disciplines to help foster innovation.

Great entrepreneurs know it’s important to build a culture of trust through transparency. Whether you take on one of these tips or all four, it will help improve communication between employees and therefore follow through to productivity, engagement and contentment in the job.

Krish Ramakrishnan is CEO of Blue Jeans Network.

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