11 Things You Can Do to Increase Employee Productivity

11 Things You Can Do to Increase Employee Productivity

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend 8.8 hours a day in the workplace.[1] That is even more than the 7.7 hours we spend sleeping. The fact is we now spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our family, which means they have the opportunity to affect our mood on a daily basis, so employee productivity is a must.

A motivated employee creates a positive environment in the workplace, while an unmotivated employee is destructive and demoralizing.

Here are some effective ways to help you motivate an employee and boost employee performance.

1. Create a Family-Like Atmosphere

We are not talking about treating an employee the same way you would treat your mother or your brother. This is about creating an atmosphere where employees feel safe and respected.

Make sure your employees know that regardless of how you feel about them, you always have their backs and are willing to guide them through failures and help them celebrate successes.

If you want an invincible team, make them feel safe first.

2. Know Your Employees’ Background

Our motivation for work is a huge factor on how we will perform in the workplace. A college student working in the daytime and going to school at night has a different motivation for working than that of a single mother having to feed two kids.


Understanding your employees’ motivation will allow you to structure a support system that is both beneficial and motivating for each employee and help you increase employee productivity all around.

3. Train and Retrain

An employee is more likely to be productive when they understand exactly what is expected of them and are given the training to perform such a task.

Training gives confidence, and confidence leads to employee productivity.

Remember, after some years, an employee will likely need to be retrained on any new tools or processes being employed at the office. Offering this will help them continue to grow and stay motivated to do their best work.

4. Use Small Incentives

You will be surprised at how powerful a $10 gift card can be in the workplace. It has little to do with the money or the monetary value; it is related to how employees are recognized for their achievements. When they receive a small reward, they feel that they are being appreciated, which is a great way to motivate anyone.

5. Listen to Opinions

The final say should always come from superiors, but you should always encourage employees to share their thoughts and opinions and genuinely listen when they do. Employee engagement is a must if you want to increase productivity.

Valuing the opinions and listening to the suggestions of employees before making a decision will show them that they are part of a team and will give them a sense of contribution to the company.


Employees work better when they feel that their voice is being heard, as they will be more interested in contributing to the cause of a company.

6. Treat Employees as Individuals

Employees have lives outside of the workplace, and these should always take precedence over work[2].

That single mother you employ may not always have a babysitter lined up. The college student may have a final that he must complete to graduate.

Employee Engagement

    If you want to improve employee productivity, be respectful and understanding when life happens to your employees, and you will have an appreciative and productive worker.

    7. Give Them the Right Equipment

    Make sure that the everyday equipment in the office works. There is nothing worse than having an employee say that they couldn’t complete their daily tasks because “the computer was down.”

    Do not give them any excuses to slack off, but also be understanding when there are office mishaps that prevent them from getting things done.


    8. Answer Questions

    An employee may feel it is better to do something wrong than to ask how to do something right for fear of looking incompetent.

    You are the person in charge for a reason. Hammer the point home that asking questions is a good thing, and whenever an employee does come to you with a question, respond with patience and a clear, direct answer.

    Answering questions clearly and in a timely manner will keep employee productivity high.

    9. Celebrate Victories, No Matter How Small

    When an employee sees that every positive contribution to the team is acknowledged, he or she knows that their actions count and that what they do is really making a difference.

    Celebrations don’t need to include cake and champagne. It can be a simple “Good job” and a pat on the back. As long as you’re recognizing victories, it will help motivate each person at the workplace.

    10. Be a Role Model

    When people see the boss working, they will also work. When they see the boss slack off, they will do the same. A workforce will always mirror their immediate supervisors, so be the kind of worker that you want your employees to model in order to increase employee productivity.

    This involves a good deal of self-reflection, so make sure you’re analyzing your own work ethic alongside that of your employees.


    11. Treat Employees Equally

    There is nothing worse in the workplace than seeing employees not being treated as equals. We all have experienced having a peer who was viewed as the “favorite.” We also remember how discouraging and resentful that made us feel.

    If you are a boss and you have favorites, you run the risk of having a split workforce.

    In a time when competition for work is at its highest, we must all remember that we are being watched. That includes bosses, managers, and supervisors. In order to discourage a cutthroat environment, offer the same amount of feedback and attention to each employee, and be careful to avoid choosing favorites.

    The Bottom Line

    Anne Mulcahy puts it well when she says,

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” -Anne M. Mulcahy, Former CEO of Xerox Corporation

    Employees who have superiors that care will ultimately be more productivity and content at their place of work. If you’re interested in increasing employee productivity, create a work environment where each team member feels heard and respected. Everything will fall into place from there.

    More on Increasing Productivity



    Featured photo credit: Clayton Cardinalli via


    [1] Bureau of Labor Statistics: American Time Use Survey
    [2] Get Smarter: How to Improve Employee Engagement

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    A light-hearted Christian perspective on situations and events that we face on an everyday basis.

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2022

    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

    Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

    Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

    Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.


    1. Take Your Time Getting There

    As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

    But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

    Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.


    2. Go Gadget-Free

    This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

    If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

    3. Reflect and Prepare

    Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.


    After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.


    Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

    More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.


    If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

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