It’s not just an organisation’s leaders who strive for higher productivity. Most employees want to feel productive too.
If processes aren’t in place to allow people to work efficiently – lack of clarity around roles, changing demands and priorities – it can lead to increased levels of stress and a negative work environment.
A productive culture benefits everyone; how can we tweak processes and mindsets to ensure we provide it for employees?
In today’s workplace where priorities and deadlines are constantly shifting, people often don’t feel in control. Despite working hard and long hours, employees often feel they are not on top of their workload.
In contrast, being productive gives employees a sense of achievement and accomplishment. There is a satisfaction that comes with being able to make a plan and stick to it. And that satisfaction allows employees to switch off after work, which in turn allows them to relax and refresh.
A lack of productivity can have a negative effect on an employee’s stress levels and general mental wellbeing.
Lack of clarity about roles and expectations is a common cause of stress in the workplace
Causes of Stress in the Workplace
In fact, if we look at some of the causes of workplace stress cited by employees, the following are listed as most common:
- Changing demands and priorities
- Inefficient systems and processes
- Lack of clarity about roles and expectations
- Poor communication with managers
- Long hours, poor work-life balance
A Productive Culture Benefits Everyone
By removing these barriers to productivity, not only will employee wellness and happiness increase, employee engagement and output will too. A culture of productivity encourages everyone to perform at their best. To foster this, an organisation should strive to provide the best tools, the best processes, the best managers and the best training.
Here are some questions to help identify your productivity barriers:
- Are people clear about what is expected of them?
- What are the bottlenecks or inefficiencies?
- Are people collaborating when deadlines change?
- Have the employees got the right skills to be productive?
- Are the managers enabling productivity?
How to Improve Productivity and Employee Wellness
Once you have answered the questions above, encourage your Managers and their teams to work together. Ask them to identify their specific local barriers to productivity that impact them on a daily basis.
By encouraging solutions from within, the employees will be more committed to making and sustaining any improvements.
By encouraging solutions from within, the employees will be more committed to making and sustaining any improvements. This can strengthen relationships as people work together towards a common purpose.
Managers and their teams need to be empowered and supported to achieve the required changes. Your organisation also needs to be committed to (where possible and practical) making the changes identified and to fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
Quick Tips to Improve Productivity
Some of the changes identified may take time to achieve. But there are many practical changes an organisation can make quickly, for very little cost.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Provide clarity about everyday roles and responsibilities
- Develop a productive approach to meetings to reduce time and improve follow up
- Use smart email practices to reduce email processing time
- Make sure everyone understands individual and team priorities
- Identify and eliminate distractions within the office.
Productivity within Your Organisation
Employee wellness is not just about supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace. It’s also about making sure that the workplace is running smoothly and supporting employees to do their job.
An environment where people are productive will reduce employee stress and maintain employee wellness to the benefit of both the employee and the organisation.
About the Author
Moira Dunne is a Mind Crew parter at The Wellness Crew, a Dublin based team offering employee wellness programmes and providing expert HR advice on all aspects of corporate wellness. They tailor make wellness packages across four key pillars: Food, Fitness, Mental Health and Finance.