6 Factors Affecting Employee Productivity (and How to Influence Them)
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday August 2, 2022
Employee productivity is directly related to the success of a business. Employees are an investment and the value they provide is through the output of work. When employees are working efficiently, the business will thrive, while employees can feel accomplishment from a job well done.
However, even a few unengaged, uninspired employees can bring others down with them. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant factors affecting employee productivity and how employers can influence them for the betterment of everybody!
Factors That Affect Employee Productivity
There are many facets within a company, and individually, that affect employee productivity. They all work in tandem, so when one or more start to erode, it can have an adverse effect on productivity for other employees as well.
Onboarding and Training
The first step to nurturing productive employees is onboarding them into your business and setting them up for success. Ensuring that employees understand the company culture and values is important. Likewise, making sure they understand how their tasks contribute to the overall goals of the company provides them with meaning and a greater understanding of the company overall.
And of course, providing training so employees can do their job correctly and effectively is imperative. The equation is simple: If employees do not know how to do something, their efficiency goes down.
Setting personal goals is a great way to help motivate your employees, while tying them into the greater company goals shows them the bigger picture. Supporting their continual growth and learning can also be a productivity driver, as employees gain experience and expertise in their role.
Practices and Procedures
How your company is structured can affect employee productivity. Ask yourself, “How easy is it to get projects off the ground at my company?”
Is there too much red tape? Maybe the opposite is true, and there is not enough direction on who is allowed to authorize new ideas and implement them?
When employees are unsure of who to turn to for guidance, time can be wasted. Likewise, having too many hoops to jump through in order to complete a simple task can also hinder the speed at which things are accomplished.
When it comes to employee productivity, communication is key! Your employees should be able to express their ideas or provide solutions with ease. Allowing open communication between all employees and managers can help with this.
It is important to ensure that managers are on the same page as well, and that they are able to communicate amongst themselves effectively. Good communication should be practiced by management so they can lead by example.
Ensure you have a system in place for checking in one-on-one with employees. You should provide a safe space for them to express themselves honestly.
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Are your employees getting enough sleep? Studies show that both work productivity and concentration are affected by a lack of sleep. Physical activity is also affected, and in the long run, both insomnia and poor physical fitness contribute to worse health outcomes and lower employee productivity.
Eating a healthy diet including vitamin and mineral rich foods can help sustain energy levels. And staying hydrated throughout the day has a whole host of benefits — including boosting your brain function and fighting fatigue.
One cannot discuss employee wellbeing without talking about mental health. Poor mental health can have an impact on motivation, absenteeism and presenteeism, which can have an effect on other employees’ productivity as well. It is suggested that in the US, poor mental health costs anywhere from $31-$51 billion dollars per year in lost productivity.
What can Employers do to Protect Employees’ Mental Health?
When employees are happy and engaged, they are also more productive. This sounds like a no brainer, but it is only in more recent years that employers have really begun to make their company culture a priority. Happiness can be cultivated, and when employees are showing up to work with a positive attitude, it can be contagious.
On the flipside, a toxic workplace can be de-motivating, and can breed a place where sluggish work is the norm, and employees who do work hard will start slowing down.
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We spend 40 hours or more a week at work, so it should go without saying that we should be comfortable. Ensuring that your employees are set up with the right technology and/or equipment to do their job efficiently will increase productivity.
Make sure your employees’ workspace is set up for success by checking the following:
- Ergonomics — do employees have the right chair, desk (maybe a standing desk), keyboard and mouse? Or do they have the right ladder, boots, and equipment?
- Light — is there enough, is it the right type? Are they using blue light blocking glasses if they are on a computer all day?
- Air quality — is the air too hot or too cold? Is it fresh?
- Office layout — the structure of an office can help or hinder employee productivity. If employees that interact with each other often are separated by large amounts of space, they can eat up a significant amount of time going back and forth.