4 Top Tips For Happier And Productive Employees

productive employees
productive employees

Given that we are midway through the year, the time comes of the annual mid-year performance review. For managers and HR, it could also be a dreaded period given that it is when employees voice out their unhappiness and dissatisfaction within the organisation.

According to Mercer’s Singapore Employee Engagement Index 2018, it found Singapore in the second last place for work engagement in the Asia Pacific region. The index found that only 67 percent of employees in Singapore are willing to advocate for their companies as good places to work in, compared to the regional average of 76 percent.

This figure is certainly a cause for concern and the responsibility falls onto HR and the respective managers to ensure that employees remain happy and engaged in the long run.

While there is no doubt some employees that are already engaged at work, here are five tips to ensure that employees are happier and more productive at work.

Health first

Healthier employees translate to happier and productive employees. After all, a healthy employee does not need to worry about health issues and healthcare costs. HR can do their part to encourage employees to be in charge of their health by providing them avenues to do so. These might include lunchtime fitness classes, organising regular complimentary health check-ups for employees or even providing gym membership discounts.

Personalise reward packages

Today’s workplace is made up of various generations. As such, the expectation when it comes to remuneration varies for different groups of employees. Given that a one-size-fits-all remuneration package is not always suitable for all groups of employees, it is imperative for HR to understand what works for each group of employees and then tailor remuneration packages to meet the needs of each employee group. For instance, employees with family commitments might value a flexible work arrangement for personal family matters while younger and single employees might value more paid time-off for vacation or career development opportunities.

Diversity and Inclusion

Millennials, who make up the largest proportion of our workforce today, are increasingly drawn towards organisations that place an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. Initiatives towards gender equality and LGBT can help to attract and retain these group of employees. At the same time, HR can also organise volunteer activities to provide a platform for employees to give back to society. This can help employees to find meaning in their workplace beyond their daily work tasks.

Encourage movement

Part of encouraging happier and productive employees is to allow employees the flexibility to leave an environment if it does not allow them to work to their full potential. It does not mean the employee leaving the organisation but creating spaces that allow employees to work productively. It could be having a no-phones designated space in the office or a discussion room whereby employees can have meetings without disrupting others. Not only does this encourage employees to take charge of their own productivity, it encourages employees to move around and not be confined to their designated work desks all the time.

Productive employees are a valuable asset to organisations, particularly when turnover rates are disturbingly high. While employee retention strategies primarily falls on HR’s responsibility, managers have a major role to play in these employee retention strategies as well.

Given that productive employees are no doubt the ones that managers want to keep (for as long as possible), here are five useful tips in which managers can utilise to retain these effective workers.

Clear expectations

The last thing that employees want is lack of direction. As a manager, it is important to set the expectations clearly so that employees are able to execute their tasks effectively. At the same time, clear and continual communication helps employees to understand the team’s and organisation’s goals. If your best employees have a clear understanding of their job roles, they are likely to feel more engaged and perform their best.

Professional development opportunities

Employees who find that there are no career development opportunities within the organisation are likely to feel disengaged and look elsewhere for these opportunities. Providing opportunities for employees to grow their career as well as allowing employees to seek out their own professional development opportunities is a great way to make your best employees feel appreciated. At the same time, this shows your employees that you are committed to their professional well-being.

Planned (and unplanned) recognition

The best way to recognise employees’ efforts is to reward them, be it through monetary benefits, a promotion or a simple token of appreciation. Other forms of recognition could come together with year end awards or public praise for employees. Recognising employees’ efforts, be it for a major project that they have worked on or even a small project, goes a long way in motivating employees.

Work-life balance

A stressful and overworked culture is likely to result in even the top performers to lose motivation. As a manager, it is important to respect and accept employees’ management of their own work-life balance. There are peak periods whereby the entire team needs to be on board. Employees need to be aware that they have the flexibility to take time off and recharge. Providing that flexibility to employees allow them to perform better at work and motivate your best employees as well.

Regular feedback and check-ins

The annual performance review is a good way for employees to reflect on how they have done within the year. However, regular feedback helps employees to continuously improve throughout the year. Sometimes, employees might feel disengaged due to a lacklustre work environment or the overwhelming workload. Providing constant feedback with employees helps you to understand your employees’ workload and how the team can support. This is a great way to help bring out the best in each and every one of your employees.

Productive employees are no doubt rare gems in the large talent pool. In order to retain these effective employees, managers need to come up with retention strategies to ensure that these employees feel motivated and rewarded. It would certainly require effort on you, as a manager. The efforts invested in your productive employees will help to develop a productive and supportive team in the long run.

Every person has different motivations for working. But, we all work because we obtain something that we need from work. The something we obtain from work impacts our morale and motivation and the quality of our lives.

Work IS about the Money

Some people work for love; others work for personal fulfillment. Others like to accomplish goals and feel as if they are contributing to something larger than themselves, something important. Some people have personal missions they accomplish through meaningful work. Motivation is individual and diverse.

Whatever your personal reasons for working, the bottom line, however, is that almost everyone works for money. Whatever you call it: compensation, salary, bonuses, benefits or remuneration, money pays the bills. Money provides housing, gives children clothing, food and sends them to college, and allows leisure activities, and eventually, retirement. To underplay the importance of money and benefits as motivation for people who work is a mistake.

Fair benefits and pay are the cornerstones of a successful company that recruits and retains committed workers. If you provide a living wage for your employees, you can then work on additional motivation issues. Without the fair, living wage, however, you risk losing your best people to a better-paying employer.

What’s Next for Motivation?

Surveys and studies dating back to the early 1980s that demonstrate people want more from work than money. Managers predicted the most important motivational aspect of work for people would be money, personal time and attention from the supervisor was cited by workers as most rewarding and motivational for them at work.

While what people want from work is situational, depending on the person, his needs and the rewards that are meaningful to him, giving people what they want from work is really quite straight forward.

People want:

  • Control of their work inspires motivation
    Including such components as the ability to impact decisions; setting clear and measurable goals; clear responsibility for a complete, or at least defined, task; job enrichment; tasks performed in the work itself; and recognition for achievement.
  • To belong to the in-crowd creates motivation
    Including items such as receiving timely information and communication; understanding management’s formulas for decision making; team and meeting participation opportunities; and visual documentation and posting of work progress and accomplishments.
  • The opportunity for growth and development is motivational
    Includes education and training; career paths; team participation; succession planning; cross-training; and field trips to successful workplaces.
  • Leadership is the key in motivation
    People want clear expectations that provide a picture of the outcomes desired with goal setting and feedback.

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