Six Ways to Boost Employee Productivity During Ramadan
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The holy month of Ramadan is characterized by peace, discipline and celebrations. It is also common for employees to feel tired and less productive during this time of the year. In fact, it can be a struggle to balance between tasks at work and the extra demands of Ramadan.
For managers, it is very important to keep the work place lively, enthusiastic and productive at all times.
Here, the HR experts at Bayt.com recommend these six ways to manage employee productivity during Ramadan:
1) Be open and flexible with tasks
Day time can be stressful for your employees, especially for those who are fasting as their energy levels become quite low as the day unfolds. This results in reduced productivity. 82% of professionals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region feel that people staying awake late display lower levels of productivity throughout the day, according to the ‘Ramadan in the Middle East Workplace’ poll, July 2014. As such, having honest discussions with your employees about the work load could help you prioritize goals for this month. If an employee is uncomfortable with the amount of tasks at hand, help them prioritize. You could consider adjusting their work hours or allocating different work shifts. It might not be a bad idea to split the day into morning and afternoon shifts; leaving the preferred shift to the discretion of the employee.
2) Focus on improvement
According to the Bayt.com ‘Ramadan in the Middle East Workplace’ poll, 58% of MENA professionals feel that important decisions are postponed until Ramadan is over. Since many companies postpone major decisions during this time, you could grab this opportunity to inculcate internal improvement policies. Use this time to provide valuable training to your employees. Soft skills are very important for the internal growth of your staff, and training workshops can be organized during this time. This is a good time to discuss strategic outcomes as well and share them with your employees.
3) Ensure efficiency
Enhance efficiency by allotting tasks that are within the comfort zone of your employees. These tasks must be achievable within specific time periods. Ensure managers plan their meetings well to make them as short as possible. Extra attention could be given to the completion of existing projects in order to keep employees busy.
4) Be sensitive to the culture of Ramadan
Ramadan is a very peaceful and spiritual month; 95% of respondents in the Bayt.com ‘Ramadan in the Middle East Workplace’ poll agree on this point. Keeping this in mind, employees might want to pray more often. For this, they require regular breaks. You must not only be sensitive to these requirements but also ensure that employees inform their managers before taking a break. Doing this will avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. If need be, managers could schedule any lost time at a later date. You must also try to maintain peace and quiet within the office. A calm atmosphere will match the spirit of the month. It will also help improve the concentration level of your employees.
5) Tackle employee absenteeism
69% of professionals agree that people in their company tend to take their holidays during Ramadan (as per the ‘Ramadan in the Middle East Workplace’ poll). With half of your staff missing, it could get tough. The solution to this conundrum is to be massively organized while handing over tasks. Ask your employees to create a list of tasks to be handed over before they leave and assign them to the remaining employees accordingly. This might motivate those who are left behind as they will have more work to keep them busy. You must make sure that employees clearly understand whether leave taken constitutes annual leave or unpaid leave.
6) Keep employees motivated and enthusiastic
As lethargy could take over during this month, it is important to constantly motivate your employees. Managers could provide tasks at the beginning of the week and reward those who excel at them. 80% of professionals in the Middle East feel that special bonuses should be offered to employees in order to motivate them as stated in the ‘Ramadan in the Middle East Workplace’ poll. Giving assignments that are diverse in nature will keep employees on their toes at all times and spark their interest. You must exhibit optimism and enthusiasm and your employees will surely follow suit.
Lastly, you could have an office Iftar party or organize charitable activities to celebrate the all-encompassing holy spirit of Ramadan. Here’s wishing you and your employees a happy and productive Ramadan!
How do you make sure your employees stay motivated during the holy month? Share your advice in the comments section below!