Improving productivity and maximizing efficiency is an ongoing area of focus – or at least a consideration - in the workplace. The way organizations select and invest in office space, technical tools, furniture, training, and consultants, are guided by this value. And of course, the more you understand your business processes, people, and customers or clients, the better the opportunity for manipulation, improvement, increased clarity, and focus.
When we talk about improving productivity, I would argue that the first step should be developing a solid understanding of the people who will be responsible for the delivery of these efficiencies, and how their individual strengths, values, and motivations can drive your team’s goals.
There are many reasons why employees are motivated to care about organizational problems. A few key drivers that keep people working toward their company’s goals are leadership (a natural tendency toward influencing others, making decisions, and setting direction) and affiliation (a drive to develop close, connected relationships, and share common goals with others). There will be other factors that can motivate and inspire including competition, incentives, flexibility, personal values, deadlines…and the list goes on.
This is the part that is tricky: it’s really important for management to understand what their employees care about so that they can co-create a plan that everyone is excited about. For those people who want to lead, give them the opportunity to provide the leadership and influence that’s important to them, provided they are up to the task. Then support them in attaining that personal goal.
In other words: if you want your employees to produce, be happy, healthy, and contribute, you need to marry their strengths and motivations to their roles and area of accountability.
Our latest I Care Employee Wellness Research Survey asked the question; “what areas of your health would you like to improve”, and we found that 28% of those surveyed said they “feel more engaged and excited at work”.
5 Tips to Reduce Burnout & Improve Productivity in the Workplace
Burnout is avoidable - and possible to manage. As a leader, if you’re feeling stressed out or fatigued, chances are your employees are as well. Here are some tips to help your teams avoid burnout by having them focus on developing specific characteristics associated with more resilience.
1. Rather than avoiding issues, encourage your teams to find ways to address them head-on. Encourage real conversations. If an individual is having a conflict with a co-worker, suggest that they sit down together to talk through it.
2. Burnout is characterized by shame or questioning of value and effectiveness. Support a culture that allows people to celebrate what they’ve accomplished. Provide employees with opportunities to learn and grow, allowing space for them to identify the best ways to accomplish this.
3. When people feel burned out, the world often feels smaller, and solutions seem nonexistent. Build in ways for your team to see the big picture, and how they contribute. Enabling them to understand how their role matters, and how their work builds toward something greater, can significantly reduce feelings of burnout or depression.
4. Burnout can be isolating, and people who are affected by it often feel disconnected from others. The best thing you can do as a manager is to develop opportunities for employees to build meaning, by creating a sense of shared purpose around work.
5. Not all employees are going to thrive in the traditional work environment. Therefore, it’s important for managers to consider the needs of everyone on their team. This may require making changes to the physical work environment, to provide spaces that best suit your employees.
By focusing on ways to empower your teams, you will also empower yourself. Together you can focus on the future and find a way through burnout to professional fulfillment, creating a productive environment for all. Reach out to Stefanie Ince, Executive Director, INDEAL Cares to learn more about what you can do to inspire and motivate your team members today.