Employees are the backbone of every organization. In our competitive world, productivity can make or break a business. It is often said, that it is not the hours you spend at work that matter but the work that you put into those hours.
Productivity is the one way you can see sustainable results in an organization. One of the most significant factors that go hand in hand with productivity is maintaining a healthy, positive environment that engenders growth, motivation, and success.
Accommodating negativity in the workplace is also detrimental to the overall productivity of employees. That said, negativity is contagious and drains one’s energy out.
Here are a few tips you can use to foster productivity and minimize negativity at the workplace:
1. Don’t Just Address the Symptoms, Dig Deep - Find the Root Cause
The first step is to identify negativity in the office.
Is an employee complaining all the time? Is a team constantly pessimistic about given tasks? Does a particular manager always berate his employees?
Next, dig deep and find out the reason behind this negativity - is this employee having troubles outside of work? Do they not get along well with their supervisor? Do they not feel appreciated? Try to find out why they are unhappy at the office. Once you have found the cause, it will be easier to help the employees out and to avoid such situations in the future.
2. Communication is Key
There should be clear-cut communication across the different levels of the organization. It is essential to keep the top-down messaging and communication consistent. The importance of communication between an employee and their supervisor cannot be stressed on enough.
The employee should be able to understand the requirements of his job and the tasks given to him. Miscommunication at this level makes the employee confused and frustrated with his work. It makes him unproductive because he is not sure what is required of him or how he can do a task given to him. Priorities and deadlines must be clearly defined for a task to be executed seamlessly.
Timely communication between teams is essential for the smooth functioning of the team and its productivity. If a team is hostile, the performance of the team is bound to be affected.
3. Delegate Responsibilities Clearly
Employees need to be made accountable for the tasks given to them. Managers must very clearly make the employee understand their responsibilities. This way they are more engaged with the work they are doing and become owners of their tasks. In teams where everyone is the owner of their assigned tasks, team members are focused on finding solutions instead of playing the blame game. It is more efficient for teams to work that way.
4. Complete the Feedback Loop
Supervisors must understand the importance of giving feedback regularly. Employees' work is aligned with the vision the leader has for the task and reworking is avoided with timely feedback. Appreciation should also not be kept a secret. Give kudos where it is deserved. It will motivate your employee, and motivated employees are productive employees. Praise and recognition also boost morale in the workplace.
5. Foster Healthy Conflict
Workplace conflicts are stressful and usually unavoidable. Conflicts reduce the productivity of employees and teams and affect the morale of the office. Resolve such situations by keeping the ultimate goal of the company in mind. The employees and teams should understand that decisions should be made with the outcome of the project in mind.
6. All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
Overworked employees are not just unhappy; they are also unproductive. Define tasks and priorities clearly. As a manager, it is your job to ensure they are not unrealistic and unachievable. Pushing employees to reach their potential is one thing, burning them out is another. Encourage employees to take breaks. Organize small office activities to break the monotony - even something as simple as a potluck can get everyone excited. Employees are people first. Find out what their hobbies are and encourage them. Our hobbies and passions define and complete us as people and recognizing that make employees feel valued.
7. Environment Matters Too
Work environment matters. Allow employees not just to personalize their desks but also encourage them to add their bit to office common spaces. Put up photographs of employees, so they feel like they are a part of the office space. Have motivational and inspirational quotes and posters put up around the office.
8. Hire Right
If new recruits are unable to adjust to the work culture, they will be unhappy and unproductive. Understand the work culture and the next time you hire, assess their soft skills as well as their capability. Communicate clearly to the potential recruits about the work culture and ask them if they would be comfortable and happy working in such an environment.
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