A decrease in productivity within an organization is not only troubling for a profitable company, but can destroy your firm’s reputation. There are many factors that can lead to poor productivity from employees, such as a lack of leadership, poor communication, or the office environment.
It is no secret that unhappy employees do not do well and often share their negative opinions with their co-workers. If one suspects the morale within an organization is responsible for the lack of productivity, it is important to discover why the employees are unhappy. Long hours, unrealistic expectations, insufficient training, management issues, low pay, lack of recognition and poor working conditions can lead to serious performance problems. Involving employees in the solution (no placing the full burden on them to resolve the problem) can help reduce the issues and make sure you have developed a workable plan to increase morale and productivity.
Productivity is impossible, when you are completely uncomfortable. Talk to your employees and see if their chairs are comfortable. Are the desks at the correct height? Many offices use office furniture that all looks the same. This is great for looks, but the guy that is six-foot five is not as productive in the same desk and chair as the five foot woman next to him. Perhaps the answer is to look at providing virtual hours for employees as well. If the employee is capable of working remote, they are likely to have a setup that is comfortable for them already without any significant investment on your behalf. It has also been proven that workers who work from home 20% of the time are more productive than those who must spend 100% of the time in the office.
Employees comfort level with equipment and software can also affect productivity. If employees don’t fully understand how to use equipment or software correctly, their productivity is going to suffer. A major problem companies face is forcing employees to use equipment and software that is not enough to complete the tasks you assign. A yearly audit must be done on all equipment and software to make sure it still fits the needs of the employees.
Management is a contributing factor to low productivity. The National Business Research Institute notes productivity suffers when managers don’t keep promises, give credit or blame others for their mistakes. Managers who are too controlling can unwittingly slow down work flow by requiring even the simplest task to have manager approval. A hands-off management style also leads to problems. When managers are not readily available or unavailable, employees have no one to turn to for direction or guidance. Managers also set the tone for the department. Managers who adopt a positive attitude help foster the same attitude in their employees.