Challenges for small businesses to overcome to motivate employees and boost productivity

Productivity is often viewed as something of a mystery by employers struggling to see it in their business. However, far from being a mystical combination of unknown factors, the productivity equation is quite simple: motivated and engaged employees = improved productivity. You don’t need to have a huge budget or be able to offer large financial incentives to employees to increase output, as the science behind productivity is a bit more subtle than that.

Factors that may impact productivity

To a certain extent, employees are responsible for their own productivity but an employer, the business culture and the way employees are treated, has a big role to play in how much that flourishes. Employees can experience all kinds of productivity challenges that may be the result of (or influenced by) the way the business is run.

Facing up to fear of failure

A failure-intolerant workplace has the potential to create a group of employees who are too scared to try. That can have a broad impact on everything, from innovation in the workplace, to motivation and engagement.

Tackling a lack of interest

Sustaining employee interest in the subject matter can be a difficult task, especially if your sector isn’t rocket science or fashion buying. Curious and interested employees who are shown their potential to improve are more motivated and likely to work harder than those who aren’t really engaged with the task or the outcomes.

Issues with confidence

Low confidence in employees is problematic because it undermines self motivation and decision making and may lead to procrastination. Productivity levels may fall, for example, because an employee is too hesitant to push on with tasks and projects without checking everything with someone else first.

The challenge of expectations

Employees who have high expectations of their employer and the business they work for tend to feel more valued and be more committed. Where expectations are low, so too is energy and engagement.

Tackling challenges in the workplace

There are many different ways that employers can support engagement and motivation in employees to help drive productivity, including:

Investing in learning

Workplace learning programmes help to drive engagement, opening up opportunities for employees to improve skills and acquire new tools to accomplish more. Investment in learning has dual positive outcomes of motivating employees to do better for their future and also providing interest and engagement day to day.

Change the business culture

Does your workplace culture address failure purely as a step on the road to progress? Is it an environment that encourages innovation and the sharing of opinions and ideas? The more you free employees from the fear of failure, the more creative and engaged they are likely to be.

Improve management

From ensuring that employees have defined goals to work towards and know what is expected of them, to giving them more opportunities to step up and manage themselves, management has a big part to play in how productive employees are. In particular, a management culture that holds employees accountable, listens to their views and needs and avoids overly hierarchical structures and systems will help employees to feel more connection to the company and be motivated to go the extra mile.

Learning has a key role to play in business productivity – we can help you to integrate that into your organisation. Contact us to find out more.

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