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With labour shortages looming throughout the Canadian ag industry, we need to implement new methods to perform the work while allowing us to maintain our sanity. We need to work smarter, not harder.

Eight ways to boost productivity:

1. Promote Daily ‘Recovery Time’

Stress without recovery generates burnout and reduces our effectiveness, more so than stress by itself.

Modeling and provoking employees to “recover” during the day will encourage them to be happy, healthy, and productive. Real lunch breaks, 10-minute breaks every hour, and phone free nights help bring more achievement, not less!

2. Manage Energy, Not Time

By assisting your team members in managing energy rather than time, leaders may have a beneficial influence on productivity and company outcomes. Help people become more aware of their productivity cycles and enable them to under take their most critical thinking and analysis during the hours they are most focused.

Your agri-team may not always be able to manage this, but with focus and effort, they can accomplish great achievements.

3. Encourage Exercise in the Workplace

Working at tasks for too long can be draining and deplete focus.

Provide an opportunity for all to break away and exercise. A quick stroll outside or even through the office corridors should the weather be inclement allows an outlet to release the stress that builds up throughout the workday.

Refreshed employees are more likely to be focused, productive, and overall healthier—think fewer instances of employee absenteeism. Even better, this is a benefit that comes at a low cost to the business.

4. Cultivate Inspiration and Fun

People who are inspired to do effective work and are provided an environment to do so will provide great results. Inspired people work seamlessly and require little motivation. Consider creating an environment where people can play at their jobs. Make it joyful—people do great things when they are inspired and have fun.

5. Highlight the Priorities

A common cause of stress is having too many priorities. Instead, focus on two or three priority projects and direct energy into these objectives. Reducing the to-do list noise will provoke laser-focused energy and creativity into the fewer primary tasks.

Focus less on quantity and more on high-quality progress. Establish your top objectives and the deadlines for each. When you complete one key task, followed by another important goal, you make progress, rather than focusing on small activities.

6. Establish Open Communication

Many great ideas come from different employees. Encourage your employees to share their ideas about how to do their tasks better. They may have come up with innovative ways to streamline objectives. Consider holding brainstorming sessions with the team—their synergy may lead to innovation.

7. Look for New Tools and Technology

Innovative ways to be more productive are being discovered all the time. From new research to new tools and technologies, there is always something new that might benefit your workplace. You need to spend time or task someone to look for new tools or technologies that will be able to help people work much more effectively, both as individuals and as a team.

8. Sharpen your Project Management Process

Allow your employees to have enough wiggle room to make their own decision and yes, errors—allowing them to learn from their mistakes, unless it’s a safety issue.

More freedom will allow workers to expand their creativity, and make them feel less like a cog, and more a part of the team.

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