3 Factors in Employee Productivity

By | Posted June 27th, 2012

Productivity is key for any company to accomplish its goals and to continue pushing the envelope. While it is easy to look at the general picture and hope people are working hard every day, there are actionable measures management can take to help workers succeed and work efficiently without losing motivation.

Keep in mind that every employee is different, so what motivates one person might not motivate another. Regardless, there are some generally effective workplace processes and behaviors that can allow employees to be happier and more productive.

Flexibility

Many Americans work the typical 9 to 5 workday, facing rush hour to and from the office. However, research shows that employees are more productive (not to mention healthier and less stressed out) when they can choose when, where, and how they work, according to Forbes.

To work with this concept, employers could allow their employees more choices in terms of their working schedule in addition to letting the work routines to be personalized. Employees can determine their needs by asking themselves how they’re already managing both their work and personal lives and what control they can take over other aspects of their daily lives.

Another consideration is telecommuting, which is a flexible option already available to many employees. In 2009, Cisco did a survey of its employees and discovered that when they worked remotely, employees saw an increase in personal productivity (and overall satisfaction).

Praise/Value

A lot of company leaders don’t dish out compliments to employees, but it could really help boost productivity, according to Fox Business. When bosses take the time to tell hardworking employees they’re valued and doing a great job for the company, productivity increases. It also communicates to the employees that their bosses can determine who’s truly working hard and who’s slacking off.

Unfortunately, according to Entrepreneur, upper management’s frustrations can sometimes be taken out on employees; if they start feeling blamed and undervalued, productivity can go down and an employee could quit because of their low morale. That’s why it’s important for gratitude to be expressed, whether through a company party every now and then or through a weekly recognition of an employee who did an exceptionally good job.

Rewards can function as a source of focus for an individual or team, as well, according to ere.net. If rewards are connected to a certain level of performance, workers will be inclined to meet those goals. It also helps emphasize which accomplishments are the most important.

Hours

It might seem like working more hours would have a direct relationship to being more productive, and some of the time, it is. If you work longer hours or more days in the week, you can get more done, right? Actually, decades of research have shown that working too much can actually make productivity suffer.

Inc. tells us that Ford Motor ran tests back in the early 1900s that showed adding an additional 20 hours of work to a week could be productive for a while, but after 3 to 4 weeks, productivity was lost. The classic 40 hours is probably the best way to go for productivity’s sake, in addition to avoiding getting burned out and having less of a personal life outside of work.

Conclusion

Employee satisfaction often ties into efficiency and productivity. Whether you’re an employee concerned about your own productivity or an employer looking to increase the efficiency of your team, consider what workplace culture might work best for your priorities. Sometimes simply allowing employees to have more options in terms of their working life can make the big difference.