10 Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

10 Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Productivity in the workplace can be affected by a myriad of things. It is imperative that top management endeavour to identify and implement all sorts of ways to maintain and keep improving the level of productivity of its workforce.

There may be no single formula to apply, no ranking of what is most and least important to provide in the work environment to see productivity sustained, but below we have taken to identifying at least 10 ways (in no particular order of importance) to keep productivity levels up and employees happy at the same time:

1. An inviting office/area of work

Employees need a good environment to work in, employees are then generally more likely to show appreciation (even subliminally) of this provided environment by producing/performing work at a rate that will be acceptable or exceed expectations by top management. Also, Employees thus look forward to coming to the office, instead of dreading a day of grinding in an unlivable space.

2. Encouraging ownership of employees’ tasks

Employees are encouraged to work more effectively when they are entrusted with specific tasks. Autonomy within the workplace makes employees feel more valued and trusted in their role at work. By encouraging such autonomy employees can take control of their work with more strategic focus, with the effect that productivity is increased because the employee makes use of their initiative and skill in order to complete their work with a positive outcome.

3. Performance-based rewards

Performance based rewards can spur the productivity of employees as it motivates them to perform well within the workplace and provides an eagerness to do well.This motivation can act as the catalyst to improve one’s skills in order to reach a specific performance level. Performance based rewards engage the employee to improve their results within group tasks and encourages better quality work performance in order to gain the reward.

4.Public recognition of achievements by employees

Recognition of good work performance makes employees feel good about their work which in turn encourages them to continue performing well. Often employees need this public recognition to inspire them to produce good quality work hence public recognition and feedback about the progress of an employee’s work can have the effect of increasing their productivity. Achievement should be appropriately recognised- over exposure of achievements can embarrass employees and garner resentment from fellow employees which will have a negative impact on work morale and productivity. Recognition of specific goals can encourage productivity by focusing and working on a specific framework indicating to other employees how to go about achieving similar recognition and satisfying their need to feel valued in the workplace.

5. Macro-management of employees

The act of peering over an employee’s shoulder can have a demoralising effect which in turn affects their productivity as it diminishes focus on the task at hand and the motivation to complete the task well. By applying the principles of macro-management an employee can focus solely on the task assigned to them in the workplace without fear of being constantly checked up on. This form of management employs the principles of guiding work performance and facilitating productivity by allowing employees to make their own decisions within broader guidelines that they are provided with. Macro-management forms a strategic framework in which work tasks can be reached by informing employees of the skeleton of the work to be completed, with the knowledge that their employees have faith in their abilities and will simultaneously provide support where it is more specifically required.

6.Top management attitude towards employees at lowest level

Employees need to be aware that their role within the workplace is important to top management. This attitude confirms with the employee that they are integral to the daily and long term running of that organisation which encourages good work performance from them. Productivity can be adversely affected when their is a disconnect between lower level employees and management,. By communicating effectively with such employees and making their value known by top management, lower level employees are able to build a relationship built on trust with management, with the effect that their productivity will be increased. A genuine relationship with lower level employees can avoid making them feel underappreciated and can have a positive impact on the long term stability of that business..

7. Make employees aware that top management is available to assist in any task

When an employee has a task to do and runs into some obstacles on the way, it is very helpful for the employee to know that they can take this issue to their superior for assistance without feeling anxious about approaching any line of management. Obviously, the employee cannot expect their manager to do the work for them, but knowing that management is available to brainstorm and bounce ideas around with, that helps with lowering task anxiety for the employee.

8. Employees are the most important assets

Nothing happens without human input at some or other level. An employee wants and needs to feel important and needed in their area of work. Being part of a team is important, but having an employee know that that team would be weaker without his/her input, gives the employee the feeling of importance of their presence at work, and indeed in the productivity of the team or even the organisation as a whole.

9. Balance of employee privacy and interaction with other employees while at the office

An appropriate relation between privacy and interaction with other employees needs to be established in any office. This means that offices need to foster a healthy balance between work place relationships and understanding that not all topics are appropriate to discuss and question within the workplace. Employees need to be afforded the opportunity to interact with other employees at their leisure in order to build relationships based on trust and effective communication. However, it must be acknowledged that employees have the right to privacy when it comes to sensitive matters which can affect their social standing within the workplace. Reprimanding employees in front of others is a form of bullying, which is never acceptable or appropriate. While you may have made a mistake or error that deserves discussion, a good boss will handle this in private The value of privacy needs to be recognised by management in implementing policy that privacy is of utmost value to the stability of the workplace environment and that inappropriate behaviour will negate morale, trust and productivity.

10. A promise of growth (responsibility and remuneration) within the organisation

Employees do not want to be treated like herded cattle. If the workplace provides the promise for holistic life progress, this makes the employee happy and yearn for more success in what they do. This will increase productivity at the workplace. If the employee sees that what they do at work affects his/her living conditions at home positively, and affirms his//her standing in the community from where they come from (and within the organisation), this affects the employee’s level of happiness with what they do, and how much more of it they wish to carry on and do!


Productivity in the workplace measures the ratio between the quality and quantity of work produced over a specific period of time. In order to increase productivity in the workplace employers should institute effective workplace policies which balances these ten principles equally with due consideration to the needs and values of both the employees and employer.

Getting along with others is the essence of getting ahead, success being linked with cooperation. ” — William Feather



Written by Robin Bryan & Portia Mbete