... and I'm noticing their productivity has dropped.
Because of Trello and Jira using. Every week in Trello I can see lesser tasks, than in the other week. And even with my middle knowledge in project management, I can understand they can do much more
The number of issues in JIRA (or whatever) is not at all a good metric for anything. One has to go deep in understanding all the issues, with their complexities, and their inter-dependencies, in order to understand the productivity trend.
As a middle manager, you should have a project manager do the project management, you do not seem to have the know-how to do that - or even get a proper project status.
The project manager, besides doing proper project management, might be able to explain you how to motivate your people.
Personal confusion: why are you a middle manager if you have no idea how to motivate people? What is your actual job?
We had a deadline in September (currently moved to end of October) and have already done ~70% of the project + need time to do bug tracking.
Who decided the "~70%"? How was it measured? Moreover, did you hear about the 80-20 rule (also called the Pareto principle)? It also applies to the relationship work - time:
The first 80% of the work is done in 20% of the time. The remaining 20% of the work is done in 80% of the time.
According to this rule, you have not yet reached 20% of the time. So you might need at least 4 times additional time to finish the work left.
Does anyone know how to improve employee productivity?
That is a good questions for the beginning of the project. Right now, it is quite late.
The only thing which might work is to sign some additional contract with the employees. Give them minimally:
- a relevant and significant money bonus for a successful delivery;
- extra days of vacation right after the delivery, so they can rest after the intense over-time.
Anything less than that is not going to get you anywhere, long term. Even if short-term they might work for less, long term I see you coming back here asking: "Why did my employees leave?"
Personal confusion: did you actually talk to your employees, to find out what would actually motivate them? Why not?
P.S. No time to find new employees
Typical middle-management thinking: if there is a problem, then probably there is an insufficient number of people. With the help of another 8 women, one woman can deliver a child in one month.
How to control my employees productivity?
"Control" usually implies the increase, as well the decrease of some parameters, in order to achieve a certain result. Why would you ever want to decrease the productivity of your employees?