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How to Increase Workplace Productivity

Attracting a talented team and getting the most from them is essential if your business is to remain competitive and profitable. This is especially poignant in the current market conditions, yet staff engagement is low, with many employees feeling demotivated and re-evaluating what they want from a job.

In this article, we explore what employees want, the importance of competent leadership and how to increase workplace productivity.

The Value of Happiness at Work

We spend the majority of our day working, so the workplace culture has a significant impact on our quality of life.

As humans, we seek out experiences that bring positive emotions, so if the workplace is positive, supportive and rewarding, we are engaged and motivated. We want to be there and willingly contribute our skills, knowledge and experience. In contrast, a toxic work culture is one that we can’t wait to escape from.

A University of Warwick study by Oswald has quantified the relationship between happiness and productivity. When working in a positive environment, employees were consistently 12% more productive than those who were unhappy at work. That is a significant increase in output.

Contented employees also correlate with lower absenteeism, staff turnover and counterproductive behaviours. Proud of their work and the company, the team naturally operate as brand ambassadors and this is reflected in customer experience. All of these factors combine to increase profitability.

Whilst leaders often aim to increase output with more demanding targets or pay increases, it seems that what really motivates employees is a positive work culture; happiness at work.

What Makes Employees Happy at Work?

So, the next step is to discover what it takes to create a positive work culture, capable of attracting and retaining talent. To understand this, we need insight into the factors that push employees to quit.

A study carried out by McKinsey explored the mismatch between what employers were offering and what employees were seeking. It showed a shift from the traditional values of status and salary at any cost, to more holistic needs.

People still want a fair salary, however, they are taking a greater interest in the company’s ethos; values beyond profitability. They want respect, trust and recognition along with the option of flexible working.

Poor, uncaring and uninspiring leadership was identified as a major issue, along with a lack of career development opportunities. Employees reported being bored in their role, with skills not being recognised, used or developed.

With this insight, we can start to unpick what makes a positive work culture. It is about understanding your employees, spotting and developing their potential and seeking their opinions. It means providing the learning, resources and support that empowers them to discover and use their talents. It means recognising achievements and enabling them to gain job satisfaction.

Talent Development Through Training & Coaching

You may consider training and coaching as an unnecessary business cost, especially in the current economic conditions. However, the evidence suggests that cutting the training budget could be a bigger cost to the organisation. Employees are seeking ways to build skills, learn fresh ways to apply their talents and open up career development opportunities. Everyone has something more to contribute to the team and training can equip them to do so.

Strong Leadership with Performance Coaching

When you spot leadership potential in the team, you don’t want that to go to waste or go to a competitor, you want to develop it. Performance coaching builds confidence in managing projects and presentations, tasks and teams. Upskilling the next generation of leaders will not only boost happiness at work but also aids the long-term sustainability of your business.

The McKinsey insight also highlighted the negative effect of a bad boss. Many managers are knowledgeable and experienced in their field, yet lack people management skills. They aren’t bad people; they just don’t know how to effectively communicate with the team or resolve issues. They are too busy working to notice others’ contributions, let alone praise them. Leadership coaching can turn things around, for the manager and the team.
Through performance coaching, I can teach existing or future leaders how to build mutual respect and trust, how to communicate effectively and how to handle issues with confidence.

Boosting Workplace Productivity

The future success of your business is dependent on having a motivated, cooperative team of people, who share the brand values and are committed to the company. By recognising and nurturing their talent, you can reap multiple rewards, including employee retention and increased productivity.

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Designed for Learning

The value of training and development comes when the knowledge is received, retained and applied. To achieve this outcome, we need to ensure that our