Managers often face the challenge of motivating their professional staffs to improve the quality and quantity of their work. Those managers who are able to do so create a much more productive workplace and reap the dividends. came up with seven productivity hacks to help managers, while emphasizing the need to keep in mind the importance of having fair and reasonable expectations; talking about concerns with employee honestly, fairly and one-on-one, rather than in a group setting; and reassigning job responsibilities as needed.

Here are the seven hacks to increase employee productivity:

Host casual monthly meet-ups: Get your employees out of the office to have some fun. Go bowling or attend a sports event or concert. Employees sometimes are inspired by these outings, and it carries over into the workplace.

Set personal goals in one-on-one reviews: These reviews can be much more effective if you don’t just concentrate on the good and bad, but also consult with the employee to establish realistic targets to be reached in the future.

Offer performance-based rewards and initiatives: They should be attuned to employees’ interests and preferences. This requires managers to really get to know their employees, which should be expected, anyway.

Ask the question, “So, what do you think?”: Managers need to step outside of themselves to listen carefully to each employee’s thoughts, feeling and opinions. Not only will employees feel respected: They sometimes will come up with ideas that managers never imagined, and feel much more a part of the company.

Don’t shy away from new employee training programs: Don’t underestimate the importance of proper training, not only in scheduled sessions, but in one-to-one interactions. Poorly trained employees can’t be blamed for bad performance: The responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of managers to give them the tools they need and provide them with pleasant, helpful assistance as needed.

Take advantage of the buddy system: Employees bond with certain co-workers. Rather than discouraging this, encourage it, because it makes employees happier and more productive. And these bonds can help to strengthen team projects and incentive-based competitions.

It’s OK to show your soft side: Edgy and hard-nosed managers need to remember that they need to back off frequently to praise employees and acknowledge their successes.

Check out the infographic here!