It would be easy to put the blame for this lack of productivity on ‘lazy’ millennials. However, there are more complicated aspects that are at play here, such as problems with the culture of the workplace, a scarcity of investment in training and skills, and adjustments in expectations and the use of digital communication tools.
Even the most dedicated employees can be unproductive. Lack of productivity can result in poor performance, output, and profit, and worse is affect morale which influences the work environment to become toxic. If you’re a business owner, manager, or supervisor reading this article and you hope to motivate your employees and skyrocket their productivity, you need to understand the reasons first why they may be unproductive. Take note that individual circumstances may vary, but here are the most common reasons for unproductivity:
1. Employees are looking for recognition
Yes, it’s not difficult to assume that employees are required to give their full effort and show up to work every day since it’s their job. Employee performance is not that easy. No matter how hard-working your employees are, they still need to feel important and appreciated in the workplace.
Being recognized and valued can effectively lead to significant overall job satisfaction making productivity increase. Employee recognition is not always about bonuses or pay raises; just by saying how grateful you are can help them feel appreciated and valued. Or provide longer lunchtime or time-off if they’ve done amazing projects and work. You can collaborate with HR support about this and create an employee recognition program.
2. Digitial communications are getting uncontrollable
Before we are using email, now we have plenty of various digital communications including messages on Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, Workplace by Facebook, and Microsoft Teams. These apps have the same function to streamline communications, however, with continuous pings and notifications competing for our attention, it can be difficult to focus on the task that you’re supposed to be doing.
Ignoring these different notifications can be as complicated as noticing them, right? It’s time for you to review and assess your employees’ main communication methods, and learn the amount they spend on messaging their colleagues instead of focusing on the task at hand.
3. Employees don’t know what the goals are
Are your employees informed about what is expected of them? This is not just about their individual role in the company but also as a whole. You should be able to set specific goals in order to achieve something. Provide staff members with a goal that they should be able to work towards, and offer them specific metrics as a measurement of their performance.
Here are several tips you may consider as you work towards that goal for employees:
- When setting goals for your team, they should happen together with company-wide initiatives. This will provide clarity that everyone is part of the overall picture and their work is an essential piece to the company’s success.
- Employees should participate in the goal-setting process. When your team members have an opinion and choice of what the company is trying to achieve, this gives them a sense of control and freedom.
- Furthermore, you should avoid setting unattainable goals. This will only bring more stress and discouragement to workers. They are more motivated if they can completely achieve difficult goals on a daily basis.
4. Conducting too many meetings
Meetings are a crucial part of any company because it is where everyone can suggest ideas on how the company will grow, discuss team performances, and evaluate work. However, there are so many organizations that usually schedule meetings between employees for even the tiniest cases. This only becomes a wasteful activity that consumes plenty of time from your workers and leaving them unproductive.
What you can do is to use daily stand-up meetings where you and team members gather together to go through tasks that have been completed, are in progress, or will soon begin, attaining the most ideal harmony between one another. This is the perfect strategy for keeping the senior management updated about what’s happening inside their organization, so employees will not waste time thinking about what’s is expected from them.
5. Work-life balance is not available
Of course, it’s normal to have long hours and chaotic days when projects need to be finished together with nearing deadlines. However, this shouldn’t be “normal” for your organization. If you want to maintain your employees’ productivity and job satisfaction, they should be able to enjoy their life outside of work.
Great employers know how to prevent their team from burning out. They make sure that they’re not only achieving their goals at work but that they also have the time and passion to meet their personal dreams and goals. It’s also your responsibility to motivate employees that they look for fulfilment in general and it’ll become their practice whether they’re inside and outside of the office.
Ivandrea Ollero is a content writer who researches and writes custom content about home improvements, travel, fashion, and beauty. She graduated from St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. Ivandrea provides helpful tips and hacks on various topics for her readers.