The Work Environment and Employee Productivity
Creating a work environment in which employees are productive
is essential to increased profits for your organization,
corporation or small business. Principles of management that
dictate how, exactly, to maximize employee productivity center
around two major areas of focus: personal motivation and
the infrastructure of the work environment.
One of the key factors in leveraging human
produce the most is found through motivational incentives.
While the most obvious incentive for increasing employee
productivity is often thought to be based on salary and promotions,
this is not always the case. In fact, recent thought on the
true nature of optimal human resource management has concluded
that in a large number of cases, salary has less to do with
motivation than do other important factors.
What are these factors that influence
To begin with, it is important to
recognize the truly human element in workplace relations.
Step back and think for a
moment—what makes people work harder? Is pay the strongest
motivating force in the workplace?
Many experts have noted that workers while on the job do
not produce more simply because they are being paid more.
After all, it is not expected that employees will constantly
calculate the monetary value of every action they perform.
Workers, for instance, do not keep a record of how much they
earn every time they send out an email, approve a document
or complete some other task. It’s just not human nature.
How to motivate employees
What motivates good employees is the ability to see projects
through to their completion. While the actual process of
monitoring this flow may be the specific task of one employee—a
project manager—it is important for this employee to,
in turn, recognize that every employee involved in the workflow
should be able to see the finished product once it is complete,
and gain an understanding of his or her importance in the
project as a whole.
In addition, a motivating work environment must be one in
which employees are treated fairly. No matter what level
of input a particular worker has in relation to the business
processes as a whole, it is essential for a manager to give
each employee a sense of playing a dynamic, integral role
in something much larger. Indeed, engendering loyalty is
a key element of motivating workers and thereby increasing
the overall productivity of operations.
The power of praise
One important tool for motivating employees is praise. Effective
project managers must learn how to cultivate this powerful
method of worker motivation. While oftentimes largely ignored
by managers in the workplace, this can be an extremely useful
method of giving an individual worker a sense of worth in
relation to the actual work being done. Praise has, in countless
examples, been shown to dramatically increase productivity.
In addition to praise, another important factor includes
setting goals that correspond to the actual work being done.
Realistic objectives are able to ensure that timeliness and
work quality combine, and that the employee can still feel
ready for the next project once the original one has been
Disciplinary guidelines in the workplace
Creating disciplinary guidelines is also instrumental to
fostering a work environment that is productive. After all,
motivation doesn’t always have to be positive. If workers
are not faced with consequences for poor performance, then
productivity margins can easily shrink at a devastating rate.
While everybody’s worse fear is that they will lose
their job, one of a manager’s worst fears is that he
or she will lose valuable talent. Instead of letting employees
go who might potentially turn around and perform well under
the right conditions, a manager must be creative when it
comes to finding other ways to penalize workers who bring
Generally, however, the value of consequences is not found
in implementing them, but in establishing them so that the
behaviors that would ultimately require their implementation
simply don’t arise. It should also be mentioned that
a manager will want to focus his or her workers primarily
on positive reinforcement. Creating a system of tangible
rewards is fundamental to
The office environment
In addition to a healthy level of communication and personal
motivation in the workplace, the actual physical layout of
an office is extremely important when it comes to maximizing
productivity. While many managers and business owners choose
to suffice with a certain minimum level of office accessories,
they may be ignoring what can amount to a major obstacle
on the path to increasing employee productivity.
Make sure that quality employees are given a workspace that
they can call their own. Whether it’s an office, cubicle
or even a desk in open space, there should be a high level
of importance place on helping workers foster a sense of “place” in
your company. Along with this place, office managers should
ensure that equipment is ergonometric and sound.
Indeed, it has been found that a productive work environment
requires management that is able to positively motivate its
employees in an infrastructure that is amenable to employees’ needs.