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The Ongoing Business Challenge: Making Employees More Productive

Business owners and managers face a remarkable number of challenges each and every day: ensuring that the work that needs to be done is completed accurately and on time; making sure that employees are treated fairly; overseeing the interaction between employees to be sure it’s positive and respectful; interacting with upper management and/or other branches of the company in a positive, effective manner; resolving employee and/or customer complaints, etc. The list goes on and on.

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One of the biggest challenges that any employer faces is how to motivate your employees to be as productive as they can possibly be. After all, it takes a lot of time to find and retain good employees and costs a substantial amount of money to keep them on board. First there’s the time-consuming interview process to try to narrow down the field of applicants. Once you make a job offer and it’s accepted, you’ll need to provide complete and adequate training for the employee. And, finally, you’ll have to provide the employee with an acceptable salary and benefit package, with the opportunity to advance in the future.

Considering all the time and money you have invested in each of your workers, it’s no wonder that you want each person to be as productive as possible. One of the stumbling blocks with regard to productivity is the misuse of the Internet. Some recent studies have suggested that many American workers waste as much as two hours out of every workday engaged in personal pursuits on the Internet: from shopping to reading local news and weather reports to checking in with family and friends on social media sites, and so on. This can cost your business a tremendous amount of money.

Some managers have tried using web filtering software in an effort to resolve the problem. This type of software blocks access to certain websites. This might be useful in some settings – for a parent interested in preventing a child from visiting inappropriate sites, for example – but it rarely works in a business environment. In fact, using content filtering in an effort to stop your workers from accessing certain sites will sometimes make it difficult for an employee to do his or her job. Web filtering often involves blocking entire categories of websites, even though some of the individual sites within a category might be helpful to your business.

Rather than getting caught up in the challenges presented by misuse of the Internet, it’s much better to focus your time and effort in developing different ways to motivate your employees to do a better job. Internet content filtering might address one small piece of the puzzle, but it does nothing to make your workers more productive.