As businesses look for innovative ways to maintain a competitive advantage in productivity, it’s also important to watch for signs of burnout and stress among your employees. Increased workloads often lead to increased hours in the office, which could have an unwanted, reverse effect on productivity. According to a study by Cornerstone, 68% of employees feel overworked, and 61% of workers say their work overload is harmful to their productivity.
Adding more to their employees’ plates may in turn have a reverse effect on productivity. The Law of Diminishing Returns shows us that there comes a point in which more energy invested can actual cause a decrease in wanted benefit. So instead of increasing the workload and hours put into tasks, companies can increase productivity through using their employee’s strengths, decreasing workplace stress, and engaging their workforce.
Use Your Employee’s Strengths
While there may be skills and expertise all your employees have, more than likely there are a few strengths specific to each team member. And empowering employees to use those strengths to help the team is key in raising productivity. In fact, a study by Gallup found that “people who use their strengths every day are three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life, six times more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs.”
Help your employees find not only what work they enjoy, but also what work they excel in. There are few worse engagement killers than being underemployed. Give your team the at work and with production increases.
Decrease Workplace Stress
When workers feel they don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish their tasks at the office, more than likely, they will experience workplace stress. Stress is not only bad for employee morale and health, it’s also a productivity killer. According to a study by Towers Watson, 57% of workers who feel stressed at work also feel less productive and disengaged. For employees who reported low stress levels, only 10% feel unproductive and not engaged at work.
While most people have felt stressed at one point or another, we all don’t deal with it the same way. It is important to understand that there are actions help curb workplace stress differently for different people. From offering vacations to allowing flex-time to engaging in team-building activities, the sky is the limit to what you can do to reduce stress. The best action is to ask your employees what they desire. Instead of implementing programs few will use, consider offering specific things that your employees request. Knowing what works for them will help you create a stress-free work zone.
Engage to Produce
Ensuring your employees are focused on the task at hand starts with employee engagement. How well they are engaged in their work dictates how efficiently they do the work. In fact, a study found that organizations with disengaged workers experienced 18% lower productivity and 16% lower profitability. According to the same study, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors on the job.
Production is inherently tied to engagement. If an employee is engaged in meaningful work and is in a healthy working environment, they will excel in their role with the company. To start building employee engagement, get to know your employees, have regular one-on-one meetings, offer growth opportunities, and allow for autonomy in their roles.
For further information on building engagement, check out these other articles from Refresh Leadership:
- Building Engagement: Creating a Sense of Ownership Among Your Employees
- Break Down Workplace Silos to Build Engagement, Collaboration, and Productivity
- Retention and Engagement in the Modern Workplace: 4 Flexible Work Arrangements to Consider
What have you done to increase employee productivity? How has engagement affected your production? Let us know in the comments section below!