5 Secrets to Maximizing Employee Productivity

Sabrina Starling Commentary


5 Secrets to Maximizing Employee Productivity
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Growing your business requires hiring and keeping great employees who are motivated, resourceful and highly productive. A team of partially engaged, somewhat productive employees is the slow kiss of death for your small business. 

Many businesses struggle to keep employees engaged and motivated, doing their best work. Payroll is often our biggest expense. 

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Unfortunately, we often are not getting what we pay for when it comes to the investment we make in team members. 

Here are five secrets to maximizing team member productivity in your business:

1) Work on yourself and your business before hiring. The following are important questions to answer before you hire:

What are your Immutable Laws? What do you value so strongly that you won’t compromise?

 What is your Why?

 Why do you do what you do?

 Who do you do it for (i.e., your top clients)?

 How does what you do for your top clients make their life easier or better?

 How will this role serve your top client? 

 What tangible results are you looking for from the employee in this role? 

 What personality strengths are important to do the job exceptionally well?

 How are your team members the heroes in serving your top clients?

 When you hire employees with the strengths needed to deliver results exceptionally well and you make them the hero in serving your top clients, watch out! Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. 

2) Increase the number of good applicants you receive. Build your network of top performers, or A players, and those who are connectors with A players. Stay in touch with your network, regularly adding value so you stay top of mind and become thought of as an “employer of choice” in your network. And whenever possible, recruit from your network.

3) Improve your hiring process so that you hire a higher percentage of A players. Imagine how it would be to tell applicants they have the opportunity to join a team of other top performers. This makes your business very attractive to A players who likely experience a lot of frustration in a job where they carry the burden for underperforming employees.

Traditional hiring practices set us up to mis-hire 75% of the time. A players typically move from opportunity to opportunity. They likely are not reading job ads, so you may be missing them when you follow traditional hiring practices. 

For more in-depth discussion on attracting top performers to your team, refer to my book, “How to Hire the Best: The Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members.” Free resources from the book are available at tapthepotential.com/toolkit.

4) Coach better. Top performers are easy to coach. Coaching brings out the best in your A players. The better you coach, the more you get out of them. If you don’t feel confident in your coaching skills, seek out opportunities to improve your coaching skills. “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier is a great introduction to coaching skills. 

5) Support ineffective employees in moving on. When you identify an employee who is not performing well, find a different role in your business that is a match for their strengths, or support them in moving on to find a job that is a better fit for them. They will be much happier, and so will you. 

Remember, if you are continually networking to connect with top performers, it’s much easier to let employees go when they are a poor fit. 


Based in Arkansas, Sabrina Starling is the author of the “How to Hire the Best” series, founder of Tap the Potential LLC and host of the “Profit by Design” podcast. Get more resources and tips at tapthepotential.com.