We often hear about one-time tactics that companies implement during the holiday season to keep employees motivated. But the truth is, every season has its distractions, which means employee productivity needs to be a priority all year round.
Not only is employee productivity critical in driving key company metrics and customer satisfaction, but an investment in employee productivity is an investment in the people that are at the core of a company's success. By catering to the human needs of employees, like the need for recognition and camaraderie at work, companies can create a stronger company culture that inspires employees to perform at their best, 365 days a year.
Here are the top five ways that companies can boost productivity in the workplace, no matter what the season.
Research shows that recognition has a direct impact on employee productivity. When employees are recognized, they experience an increased emotional commitment to their jobs and their companies, which in turn increases efforts made toward their work. According to the SHRM/Globoforce Fall 2012 Report, companies that practiced values-based recognition experienced a 32 percent increase in productivity. Additionally, Bersin by Deloitte found that productivity in companies that practice recognition tends to be around 14 percent higher than in companies that do not practice recognition. In order for recognition to be the most impactful, it is imperative that it occurs on a consistent basis, throughout the year. This constant appreciation validates employees' work, aligns them with company values, and lets them know their efforts are not going unnoticed.
Embrace the human workplace
According to Globoforce's Fall 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker survey, 89 percent of employees say that work relationships are important to their overall quality of life. The survey also shows that the more friends an employee has at work, the happier and more engaged they are, and less likely they are to leave for another job. Companies that foster workplace relationships, and provide opportunities for employees to build these emotional connections with their colleagues, will ultimately see a more productive and engaged workforce.
Focus on employee happiness
Too much time spent at the office can be detrimental to employees' well-being and productivity. Without a good work-life balance, employees can burn out, become frustrated and, as a result, become unmotivated. Happiness expert Shawn Achor (a newly-announced keynote speaker for WorkHuman 2016) has spent most of his life studying the link between happiness and success. According to Achor's research, the brain of a person that is feeling positive is 31 percent more productive than the brain of someone that is feeling negative. Therefore, it's important to make your employees' happiness a priority. Show employees you understand that there is more to life than work. Organize workplace outings or weekly happy hours, and encourage employees to take time off and spend time with family throughout the year. Happy employees will approach their work feeling refreshed, recharged, and ultimately more productive.
Lead by example
If you expect your employees to be engaged, motivated and productive throughout the year, then you need to be as well. Following your own instructions will allow you to demonstrate authenticity and accountability, which will result in a stronger, more trusting relationship between employees and managers. When good habits are embodied by those at the top of an organization, they're contagious. Leaders that demonstrate commitment, even during times of increased distractions, will experience the same enthusiasm from their employees.
Give Employees a Purpose
One of the most effective ways to increase companywide productivity is to help your employees understand what they're working toward. Share your company's goals and visions with employees and inspire and encourage each and every one of them to help your company achieve those goals. This will not only push employees to be more productive in their day-to-day tasks, but will give them a sense of meaning and value in their work by knowing that they're a part of something greater.
Now more than ever, employees are faced with an increasing number of daily and seasonal distractions that deter them from their work. In order to combat this, companies need to create a more human workplace culture that puts employees first, recognizes great work year-round, and makes employees feel proud of their contributions to a company's overall goals. In return, employees will be more inspired to do great work, resulting in increased productivity throughout the year.
Eric Mosley is the CEO of Globoforce, a social recognition firm and the company that created the WorkHuman conference taking place in Orlando, Florida May 9-11, 2016.