Last Updated on January 6, 2021

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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    Paul John Sardoma

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

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    Last Updated on May 7, 2021

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

    I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

    Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.


    Relocate your alarm clock.

    Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

    Scrap the snooze.

    The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.


    Change up your buzzer

    If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

    Make a puzzle

    If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!


    Get into a routine

    Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

    Have a reason

    Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.


    As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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