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5 Workplace Issues That Affect Employee Productivity

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Are you wondering whether your workforce could become more productive? It’s time to examine the key factors, like company culture and interpersonal relationships, that influence an employee’s ability to maintain peak performance.

Any employee concerns naturally affect productivity, from interpersonal challenges to the availability of training. Any issues that cause stress for employees can affect their mental and physical wellbeing, undermining their ability to perform at their best, according to the World Health Organization.

Let’s examine the five leading issues that can affect work performance.

Managerial Skills

Having a capable manager helps employees to work more effectively. Skilled managers know when to trust employees to carry out tasks effectively rather than micromanaging them. Having a higher level of control over how they execute their work increases employees’ mental health and overall wellbeing.

Great managers also check in with employees periodically, providing the coaching they need to complete a project to the best of their ability. Having a strong relationship with a manager enhances employees’ confidence and reduces stress dramatically as they know they can always turn to their boss with questions.


When people don’t feel overworked, they make fewer errors and do their job better, research has found. That’s a big reason why factory owners reduced the workday to eight hours in the 19th century. As employees grow tired, their productivity decreases dramatically. Alleviating a heavy workload can help an employee complete tasks more effectively. They’ll rest and enjoy their downtime more when they’re able to leave work on time, returning refreshed the next day.

If employees feel overworked, provide time-management training to help them learn how to work most efficiently. Also, talk with each employee one-on-one to assess their responsibilities and decide whether to reassign, postpone, or eliminate any of them. Employees will feel valued when you take the time to help them balance their workload and priorities.

Communication and Relationships

Strong interpersonal relationships between team members and people in other departments help tasks and projects to flow more smoothly. With strong communication, people stay on the same page about project objectives, deadlines, and details, clearing up any concerns that arise as quickly as possible. Stress plummets when people enjoy working with one another as well. Thus, building strong relationships across the workplace can noticeably increase employee productivity.

Working to create a positive workplace culture will encourage individual employees to develop good relationships with one another. When they see leaders and HR staff sharing gratitude with others regularly, they’ll adopt the same attitude. 

Level of Support in Their Growth

Having the training and resources to advance in their careers keeps employees working hard to excel. This support enhances their job skills and keeps them enthusiastic about performing at their best because they can envision a bright future for themselves with your company. 

“Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity,” Forbes notes. Deloitte advises offering self-directed learning options as well as real-time feedback from leaders. A software program with self-guided learning modules, combined with frequent feedback and mentoring, can strengthen performance immensely. By providing employees with the training they need to increase their job responsibility, you’ll keep them highly engaged and maximize productivity.

Clarity on Goals and Objectives

Having clarity about the company’s overall goals and vision will bolster engagement and help employees work more effectively as a team. Everyone should understand the purpose behind what they do each day. This clarity will greatly increase both morale and productivity. 

All employees need to have clarity about their individual goals and objectives, too. This will help them to prioritize effectively—a key element of time management that will boost their productivity. Managers should check in with employees regularly to make sure they understand their current priorities as well as long-term goals. They should also communicate the company vision clearly so that everyone can work as an effective team to achieve it.

Address any potential issues that arise in these areas, and you’ll have the most productive workforce possible. You’ll see motivation and morale increase across your team or organization as people become happier and less stressed (read this post to learn why happy employees are more productive). Train managers across the organization to take action in these key areas, and you’ll also notice increased commitment, loyalty, and job satisfaction.

Deloitte, “The Employee Experience: Culture, Engagement, and Beyond”

Entrepreneur, “Ways to Improve Employee Productivity”

Forbes, “Train Your Employees and Increase Your Bottom Line”

Huffington Post, “3 Scientifically Backed Reasons Why Working Less Leads to More Productivity”

Inc., “3 Effective Ways to Increase Your Employee Productivity”

World Health Organization, “Mental Health in the Workplace”

Why Happy Employees Are More Productive

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Happiness and high productivity go hand in hand. Think about the happy employees in your current or past workplace. Are they more driven, energetic, friendly, and engaged? Chances are, yes. And all those qualities make them more effective at their jobs.

Happy employees handle challenges better and contribute more to their organizations. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness makes employees about 12% more productive. Thus, creating a work environment that promotes happiness in all employees will also boost your bottom line.

Why Happiness = High Productivity

Happiness increases employees’ level of satisfaction in their jobs, and even their capabilities, in multiple ways. Let’s dive into the five main reasons why happy employees are more productive.

Higher levels of engagement

Happy employees are more engaged in their work. In turn, their high levels of engagement mean they bring more energy, passion, and innovation to their jobs. Currently, only a third of American employees say they’re engaged in their work, meaning most companies have much room to improve in that area. Highly engaged employees take more ownership of their own growth because they have a passion for excelling at what they do.

Increased retention rates

Because retention rates increase dramatically for happy employees, those workers often know their jobs extremely well. They’re likely to stay at their company for years, giving them the chance to gradually increase their responsibilities and learn the most effective ways to carry out their work. They can train and coach others who are learning the ropes, which maximizes their value to their company.

Better health

Happier employees tend to feel better physically and mentally, which means they always bring their A-game and take fewer sick days. They have more mental clarity and energy, allowing them to work more efficiently and generate creative solutions to problems. 

Stronger interpersonal abilities 

Happy employees also provide better customer service, and they’re more pleasant to interact with for clients, coworkers, and supervisors alike. These interpersonal abilities make them more effective team players who listen and communicate well with others. Employees with an optimistic outlook are more likely to welcome feedback as they feel confident they can use constructive criticism to improve. 

Propensity to seize the day

Because happier employees believe in themselves and feel supported, they tend to jump on new opportunities. Their optimistic outlook leads them to spot such opportunities rather than letting them pass by unnoticed, and their self-confidence guides them to take chances. This belief in themselves pushes them to reach new heights in their career, which in turn increases their satisfaction in their jobs and their overall happiness.

Together, all these factors foster a more harmonious and energized company culture. The happier your employees become, the stronger your company culture.

How to Create a Happier Workplace 

To be genuinely fulfilled by their jobs and happy at work, employees need to feel that their company is fully supporting their growth and that their career is flourishing. Here are key ingredients to developing the drive and engagement that makes people happy at work:

  • Connect each of your employees with a career mentor to give them the personalized support they need. According to a survey by CNBC and Survey Monkey, nine out of ten employees with a career mentor feel fulfilled by their jobs. 
  • Encourage employees to unplug during lunchtime and other breaks to fully recharge. Spending time away from email and off their phones will help them get the most from breaks. Talking with friends over lunch or taking a tech-free walk will leave everyone feeling more refreshed.
  • Recognize employees’ hard work, which can boost happiness, engagement, and productivity by 14%.

Actions to Take Now: 

Here are a few ideas you can start implementing today to create a happier workplace:

  • Present a weekly mini-workshop on an aspect of work-life balance. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of each week sharing a tip for boosting energy by recharging effectively or managing time well.
  • Ask each employee whether they feel adequately challenged by their current projects. If they don’t, delegate a higher level of responsibility to them (along with the appropriate support). 
  • Implement a reverse mentoring program, in which newer and more seasoned employees share valuable advice with one another. That way, experienced employees will serve as career mentors to newer ones while getting something in return (like social media expertise). 
  • Give specific praise for a job well done. Encourage managers to give real-time praise each day for smaller accomplishments, and give public recognition for larger achievements.
  • Plan a group volunteering activity to encourage everyone to deepen their friendships with coworkers.

Developing a culture of trust will boost happiness by encouraging people to speak up about their needs. Taking all these steps will also make employees feel more valued, which in turn will promote job satisfaction and happiness. You’ll create a positive feedback loop that continues to increase happiness and productivity throughout your organization!

CNBC, “Nine in 10 Workers Who Have a Career Mentor Say They Are Happy in Their Jobs”

Deloitte, “Recognition Programs--Are They Important?”

Entrepreneur, “How 'Clock-Changer' Employees Can Help Increase Your Bottom Line”

Forbes, “Employees Need Purpose More Than Pay to Be Happy and Productive”
Forbes, “Promoting Employee Happiness Benefits Everyone”

Harvard Business Review, “4 Ways to Help Your Team Avoid Digital Distractions”

Harvard Business Review, “Positive Intelligence”

Harvard Business Review, “We All Need Friends at Work”

SHRM, “Considering Reverse Mentoring? Check Out These Tips

TLNT, “Happy Employees Are Good for Business”

University of Warwick, “New Study Shows We Work Harder when We Are Happy”