Business as Unusual: 7 Unconventional Ways to Boost Employee Productivity
Is a well-rested employee a more productive employee? That’s what many employers believe, and why so-called “nap rooms” have become the norm at companies nationwide. Nap rooms are just one of many unconventional methods businesses today are employing in efforts to increase employee engagement, spur innovation and enhance productivity. Strange as it may sound, more companies today are finding that the more creative the incentives they offer, the more creative their workforce becomes.
Take a cue from the following companies and apply some of these unconventional methods to your own organization. You may find yourself – as these companies did – reaping the benefits of a more productive workforce – and a bigger bottom line – in return.
7 Ways to Increase Your Employee Productivity Value
- Play musical chairs: Companies such as MODCo Media in New York and Kayak.com have gotten into the practice of shifting employees from desk to desk every few months, believing the change in atmosphere spurs innovation, promotes collaboration and increases productivity.
- Take the “office” out of office space: Quid, a San Francisco-based data analytics firm, turned a 5,200-square-foot warehouse into an office space that is anything but typical. Among its unusual, but inspired features: a “meat locker,” a meeting space enclosed by rubber strips, designed to promote creative conversations; a “mezzanine” area, a collaborative area equipped with block furniture, bean bag chairs, colorful rugs and comfortable pillows; and a library designed to “recreate…that feeling of discovery” that comes with finding an interesting book.
- Plug in and play: Gamification has been a growing trend for companies looking for new ways to engage candidates and train and develop employees. Plague, Inc., created an iPhone game to help one company build its employment brand and turn workers into brand ambassadors, while software company iActionable designed a platform to help workers learn new skills and “advance from new employee to workplace master.” Plague and iActionable are just a couple of companies tapping into this industry, as experts predict that workplace gamification will be a $2.8 billion business by 2016.
- Just say ‘om:’ Promega Corp., a biotech company in Madison, Wis., encourages employees to participate in a healthy lifestyle by offering heavily discounted meditation and yoga classes, along with on-site fitness centers, workspaces infused with natural light, and healthy meals. The company believes that “happier, healthier workers make for a stronger business.” Google, Target and General Mills are among several other companies that subscribe to this notion, encouraging employees to practice meditation techniques.
- Let them count sheep: In effort to fight what some health experts call an “epidemic” of worker fatigue that can take a toll on employee health and productivity, many companies, such as The Huffington Post and Nationwide Planning Associates, have created “nap rooms,” where employees can live the dream catch up on sleep during office hours.
- Play doctor: The number of U.S. employers hosting on-site medical clinics in effort to minimize lost productivity due to sick days has been increasing steadily since 2011, according to Towers Watson. In addition to increased productivity, companies are seeing very real results in terms of cost savings. Hanesbrands, for example, estimates it has saved $1.4 million annually since creating its on-side clinic two years ago.
- Send them packing: Research indicates that travel incentives are motivating for 96 percent of employees and may also be good for the bottom line. Perhaps that’s why Effective Environmental, a Texas-based environmental services company, rewards five employees with an all-inclusive family vacation each year.
What are some unconventional perks your company offers to motivate employees?
About Mary Lorenz
Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.