Print
Download

How to increase employee productivity in the workplace

How to increase employee productivity in the workplace

Employee engagement and productivity are essential factors in any successful organization. Companies must ensure their personnel perform efficiently and productively to capitalize on profits and remain competitive. 

Unfortunately, many businesses today experience decreased team productivity due to a variety of issues, like employee stress, lack of motivation, poor work environment, or inadequate training. Fortunately, there are ways to improve employee productivity by addressing the root causes and issues head-on. 

Read on to learn strategic, proven ideas on how to increase employee productivity in your workplace. 

Factors that impact employee productivity

First and foremost, it’s critical to acknowledge the importance of reducing stress levels and creating an inviting work environment. Providing adequate training is also a crucial component of maximizing employee productivity. 

By addressing these issues, companies can ensure their staff is motivated, efficient, and up-to-speed with the latest collaboration tools needed for success — allowing them to ‘hit the ground running’ when it comes time to deliver results. 

Of course, many factors can impact and improve employee productivity. 

Work atmosphere

Company atmosphere is a significant element in determining overall efficiency and productivity levels. For example, uncomfortable temperatures, poor lighting, and lack of space can all contribute to a less-than-ideal work environment. Likewise, distractions such as noise or temperature extremes can affect concentration and hamper workforce productivity.

Mental health resources

Mental health resources play an integral role in overall productivity. Mental health struggles, including hopelessness, depression, and anxiety, can have serious repercussions. 

Research from Talkspace’s Employee Stress Check 2022 Report shows what impact stress in the workplace has had in recent years — 53% of employees feel burned out, and nearly half (46%) find their job too stressful. 

Since stress impacts productivity, employers should ensure staff has access to mental health services, like counseling or therapy sessions, when needed, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by burnout from working long hours without rest or support systems.

Inadequate training 

Inadequate training is yet another factor that can impede employee productivity. Employees must be aware of the job duties they are to carry out and how to execute them efficiently and successfully before beginning any task. 

According to some research, an estimated 17% of new hires quit within 3 months as a result of ineffective or inadequate onboarding. 

Proper training means employees will know how to use specific collaboration tools or processes correctly, which could lead to reduced errors that might have otherwise required extra time, resources, and effort to fix, ultimately resulting in wasted energy (and money) for the company overall.

5 Ways to increase employee productivity in the workplace

To ensure success and improve employee productivity, organizations must address the various factors that have an impact on how well people perform. Then, they can break down each element and investigate how to advance and build more productive, successful working environments.  

Put simply, if you want your employees to be dynamic and effective, give them the required resources. From furnishing staff with the necessary equipment and materials, to ensuring their psychological well-being, there are some indispensable elements that will construct a productive workplace. 

Here are some key ways companies can increase employee productivity:

1. Provide adequate resources and allow for flexibility

Providing workers with what they need to complete their job can significantly affect efficiency. 

There’s also considerable research confirming that allowing employees to opt for flex schedules or to work remotely can have a huge impact on improved productivity. Some studies show that 55% of remote employees work more hours when they’re allowed to work from home. That’s not all — multiple other studies report that remote workers are actually happier — a whopping 88% of employees agree flexibility translates to increased employee satisfaction. 

How you can do it — Make sure your staff has:

  • Laptops, monitors, software licenses, and supplies they need 
  • Flexibility in schedules and when, where, and how they work

“Letting employees take mental health breaks whenever they need it can be really beneficial. It could be encouraging a five-minute break or taking an unplugged lunch break at work.” - Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

2. Foster open communication

Research shows a direct link between communication and workforce productivity in the organizational setting. Transparent dialogue between supervisors and staff is essential for successful, timely outcomes. 

Encourage feedback from your team on projects or initiatives, so everyone feels heard and understood when decisions are made. This helps ensure that tasks get completed more efficiently and creates trust within the organization. 

How you can do it — Management should:

  • Maintain a robust dialogue with personnel
  • Ensure everyone understands expectations clearly 
  • Provide regular feedback on performance 
  • Strive to create an open dialogue to understand needs and find solutions

3. Prioritize mental health 

Employee burnout is one of the leading causes of decreased productivity in any workplace setting. Research conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that employees who are depressed see a 35% reduction in productivity. That translates to an estimated $210.5 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) in economic losses for companies in the US annually.

“If stress becomes overwhelming, it can lead to more serious mental health issues in employees such as anxiety and depression.” - Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

Prioritize mental health by offering support services, like therapy for employees via online sessions, or flexible work hours if needed. Taking steps like this not only helps improve employee morale, it also makes workers feel appreciated, directly leading to increased performance and productivity levels.

How you can do it — Organizations can:

  • Offer mental health support and care 
  • Make sure care is accessible and convenient
  • Assess the affordability of care
  • Provide a list of resources and providers available through insurance
  • Partner with mental health companies to provide services to employees

4. Emphasize the importance of physical health

Another noteworthy factor that impacts employee productivity is physical health. According to some studies, there’s a connection between high absenteeism and presenteeism and poor physical health.  

Inadequate nutrition, lack of physical activity, and other habits can cause tiredness or low energy levels during the day, ultimatey hindering employees from staying on task and feeling inspired in their work. Employers can help staff maintain good physical health while improving employee morale.

How you can do it — Companies might:

  • Provide healthy snacks in the office 
  • Mindfulness breaks
  • Meditation classes offered over zoom in office
  • Mental health days
  • Implement wellness programs such as yoga classes or gym memberships

“Regular exercise can help employees focus, sleep better, and boost self-esteem, so encouraging or providing any kind of physical wellness programs can be beneficial for improving productivity.” - Talkspace therapist Bisma Anwar, LPC, LMHC

5. Offer performance-based incentives

It can be difficult to know how to measure employee productivity, but it’s well worth the time and effort you put into the practice. Rewarding staff members based on performance goals can motivate them when tackling complex projects or assignments. This can help drive engagement across teams while boosting output levels. In fact, much research shows that intrinsic rewards can substantially enhance motivation and workplace productivity — the studies note that enhanced performance is both “positive and significant.” Not to mention, an estimated 72% of employees admit they’d be more inclined to work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated. 

How you can do it — You can consider: 

  • Implementing bonus systems based on outlined productivity metrics  
  • Giving out gift cards/vouchers when someone meets their targets 
  • Rewarding people who exceed expectations significantly over time

Create a more productive workforce with Talkspace

As employers strive to improve employee productivity in the workplace, they must consider the various factors that impact performance. From physical and dietary elements to psychological well-being and stress levels, numerous components can affect how successful and productive people are during their workday. 

Talkspace is a platform designed to help employers create a more productive workforce by addressing issues through online therapy. To improve employee well-being, support your team's mental health, and  boost productivity, consider partnering with Talkspace.

Providing mental healthcare through virtual therapy sessions can help anyone learn to manage stressors, equipping them to cope with current events and difficult situations both professionally and personally. Licensed therapists are available on-demand whenever needed, providing reliable mental healthcare support — an invaluable asset that can be instrumental in improving overall morale among team members and creating a more productive workforce.


Sources:

  1. Maurer, Roy. “Onboarding Key to Retaining, Engaging Talent.” SHRM. SHRM, July 6, 2021. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/onboarding-key-retaining-engaging-talent.aspx
  2. “State of Remote Work 2021.” Owl Labs. Global Workplace Analytics, 2021. https://resources.owllabs.com/hubfs/SORW/SORW_2021/owl-labs_state-of-remote-work-2021_report-final.pdf.  
  3. Robinson, Ph.D., Bryan. “3 New Studies End Debate over Effectiveness of Hybrid and Remote Work.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, February 4, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/04/3-new-studies-end-debate-over-effectiveness-of-hybrid-and-remote-work.  
  4. Dutta, Arindam, Elena Steiner, Jeffrey Proulx, Visar Berisha, Daniel W. Bliss, Scott Poole, and Steven Corman. “Analyzing the Relationship between Productivity and Human Communication in an Organizational Setting.” PLOS ONE 16, no. 7 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250301. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8279403/
  5. Bondar, Julia, Cecina Babich Morrow, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Millard Brown, Matt Hawrilenko, John H. Krystal, Philip R. Corlett, and Adam M. Chekroud. “Clinical and Financial Outcomes Associated with a Workplace Mental Health Program before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” JAMA Network Open 5, no. 6 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.16349. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2793174?utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_term=060922
  6. Lee, Dong-Wook, Jongin Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, and Mo-Yeol Kang. “Health-Related Productivity Loss According to Health Conditions among Workers in South Korea.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14 (2021): 7589. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147589. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8307799/
  7. Manzoor, Faiza, Longbao Wei, and Muhammad Asif. “Intrinsic Rewards and Employee's Performance with the Mediating Mechanism of Employee's Motivation.” Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.563070. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.563070/full
  8. Employee Benefits. “Employee Engagement and Productivity Trends in the UK.” Employee Benefits, January 29, 2018. https://employeebenefits.co.uk/employee-engagement-productivity-trends-uk/.   

More articles

The importance of mental health inclusion in the workplace

How to improve employee experience

More articles
Print