6 Factors Affecting Employee Productivity

September 7, 2023
6 Factors Affecting Employee Productivity

There are many things behind the success of a business, and productivity is inevitably one of them. The productivity of your workforce has a direct and positive influence on the growth and overall success of your business. However, mastering this art is easier said than done.

The truth is that productivity is never a linear line. There are some days when your employees are more productive than others. A company’s goal should be to prevent productivity levels from facing a continuous decline or sharp drops.

This article has gathered expert insights and listed the 06 key factors affecting employee productivity and how you can maintain them.

1. Work Environment

Although often overlooked, the physical work environment has a direct impact on the effectiveness of human resource management initiatives. A company’s atmosphere is one of the most important factors affecting employee productivity.

No one enjoys working in a negative or toxic environment. Make sure to create values, morals, and ethics that can help you create an environment where employees feel respected, supported, valued, and safe.

Make honesty and cooperation the core of a workplace. Remember that the values or culture of an office should be the last thing that leads an employee to quit a job.

A healthy work environment where employees can be themself, cooperate, compete, and empathise with their co-workers cultivates a happy and productive workforce.

2. Workplace Culture

Closely related to the work environment, an organisation’s culture is another key factor affecting productivity. This includes having the right values in terms of transparency, respect, acceptance, safety, and a sense of belongingness.

Overall, the work culture should promote healthy levels of work-life balance, boosting employee engagement, satisfaction, and, thereby, productivity.

A good work culture should also be free from micromanagement, discrimination, biased decisions, and lack of appreciation. How you establish these values in a work culture influences employee decisions to quit a job and promote the company to other potential candidates, i.e., good word-of-mouth.

3. Technology Adaptations

One of the challenging aspects of human resource management is technological adaptation. Especially if the majority of the workforce comes from the pre-digital era or the analogue age, they might show a high level of resistance to change– which includes embracing technology.

Most organisations fail at these technological adaptations because of poor execution strategies. To introduce your workforce to technology, you should provide the right guidance, training, and support. This goes a long way in improving employee engagement with digitalization and thereby simplifying tasks, leading to higher productivity.

Embracing technology simplifies tedious tasks, minimises errors, and improves the overall efficiency of outputs. It also frees valuable time from routine tasks and allows employees to use their working hours for other key areas of business operations that require creativity and unique human skills.

4. Leadership

The famous quote from Ronal Regan, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”, makes sense when it comes to understanding why leadership is one of the key factors affecting employee productivity. Having the right leadership is extremely important for effective human resource management and overall employee engagement.

Good leadership is often characterised by clear communication, empathy, and vision that inspire employees to do better and foster a sense of purpose. It almost feels like having a compass to guide you in the right direction. This puts employees back on track when they deviate from organizational goals, boosting productivity.

Conversely, poor leadership can leave employees wandering and drained, not only affecting productivity but also contributing to losses, high levels of turnover, and an overall bad reputation/image.

5. Employee Well-being

No organisation can succeed without a healthy foundation of employees, and this directly relates to employee well-being. The state of one’s mental and physical well-being is one of the most instrumental factors affecting employee productivity. This includes both emotional resilience and work-life balance.

Only when employees feel their best mentally and physically can they direct their potential towards their jobs, leading to higher productivity. Human resource management initiatives that overlook employee well-being can lead to poor employee engagement, which can result in inaccuracies, errors, inefficiencies, and conflicts within the organisation. All these can have a strong negative impact on productivity.

6. Feedback and Performance Management

The way you manage performance and guide employees through effective feedback are other factors affecting employee productivity. While there are many ways you can recognise performance, not all employees look for monetary rewards. Some want their hard work to be recognised and appreciated. Similarly, some look for opportunities for career growth and stability.

Feedback is another important integration required in human resource management to boost employee productivity. Constructive feedback lets employees know what they are doing right and areas for improvement, which is crucial to maintaining and boosting productivity. Effective feedback acts as a compass directing performance and avoids deviations from related goals.

Failing to keep up with this can leave employees stranded, with no purpose or sense of belongingness, leading to lower productivity and high turnover in the long run.

Managing Factors Affecting Employee Productivity

Apart from the six factors discussed, there are other secondary contributors that have an influence on employee productivity. Some of them include tools, resources, task design, benefits, rewards, conflict resolution, and job satisfaction.

It is also important to emphasise that productivity directly correlates with employee engagement, i.e. the level of engagement a workforce has in their designated tasks and job roles. The higher the engagement, the higher the productivity and vice versa.

One of the best ways an organisation can determine the factors affecting employee productivity in their workplace is by involving the workforce and asking their opinions, whether through questionnaires or open discussions.

The human resource management department can then analyze key factors and determine how company initiatives are designed to support them. Depending on the results, the organisation will be able to find loopholes and areas that need improvement and then work on them accordingly.

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