Employee productivity is one of a litany of determining factors that increase the possibility of success in business. It goes without saying that having Productivity in every facet of a workplace enables employers to maximize revenue whilst simultaneously incentivizing the workforce. So, what is it that drains businesses nationwide of this productivity and how can it be amended? This is a question that has plagued employers and HR managers all over the world for decades and the answer is comprehensively simple.
A well motivated, happy workforce. Although the answer may seem overtly uncomplicated, it is painstakingly true, negativity thrives on employee unhappiness and deters countless companies from fulfilling their potential and achieving growth. Employees who are happy, ambitious and well motivated will not only increase their own productivity but also that of those around them.
In 2013 Gensler conducted a U.S. Workplace Survey of over 2,035 randomly workers nationwide. The study accurately examines the design factors that create an effective, productive workplace and how improved company morale can better foster workforce satisfaction and engagement. The statistics of the study were truly startling from an employer’s point of view, highlighting the inefficiency of staff as a result of losing focus or becoming distracted.
The study indicated that over 53% of employees are “disturbed by others when trying to focus.” While this may seem a paltry sum on first inspection, let’s put this into perspective. Over half of the workforce at any given time in America, is being irked when trying to maximize productivity, resulting in an inevitable drain on morale. When employees are becoming distracted by less enthusiastic co-workers it stifles growth and initiative and ignites unwanted negativity. The study continues, highlighting the fact that 42% use “makeshift solutions to block out distractions in the workplace.”
This is a drain on precious employee time that could be spent on areas of the company that require improvement. When 42% of your workers are spending their valuable time fighting off easily preventable distractions it breeds negativity. As such the employees causing these distractions are ensuring that the ambitious workers are feeding off their negativity. The study also indicated that 69% of employees are dissatisfied with distractions or a lack of communal focus at their primary workspace. This dissatisfaction will eventually turn into disgruntlement and ultimately, a negative working environment.
Negativity does not arise spontaneously in any work place. It comes about slowly, often without the knowledge of employers. The employment of workers who have hidden apathy for their employment is detrimental to communal positivity. For example, an employee who has no interest in his or her field, or the position in which he or she begins in a job, may initially put forth his or her best effort for the purpose of a salary. However, reports indicate that eventually, this employee will inevitably become bored or disinterested with the work because there is no intrinsic motivation to succeed.
Finding the daily job mundane reduces the individual’s desire to show up to work and to do the job well. In this case, the employee may continue to come to work, but his or her efforts will be minimal and will take any and all opportunities to lambast the daily tribulations. As a result, any given employee can breed negativity, even unwittingly, through complaining to co-workers.
A recent study conducted by Virginia Tech stated that approximately 15% of workers in the United States are currently experiencing “stress from poor financial behaviour to the extent that it negatively impacts their productivity”. This is detrimental to communal employee morale and renders even the most enthusiastic of HR managers obsolete. According to the study, employers are beginning to acknowledge the impact of this negativity on the work environment and indeed the work ethic of the employees. The report states that at least “25% of workers feel stressed at work every day” and about “40% of employers offer on-the-job assistance for handling stress”.
Sometimes employers, through no fault of their own, are deemed unethical, apathetic or just plain cruel by their workers. They may be viewed as such because they seemingly appear to care exclusively about company revenues and growth, at the expense of the employees that are working for them. This perception of an employer may lead to job dissatisfaction and in turn, result in an “us against them” attitude amongst certain individuals. This attitude may be purveyed to other members of staff creating an internal, unnecessary, toxic rift.
Negativity thrives on this kind of exposure. Divisiveness in any given workplace occurs as a result of employee unhappiness, something that should be tackled as soon as possible. In 2004, Hewitt Associates published a study entitled “What Makes a Best Employer? Insights and Findings From Hewitt’s Global Best Employers Study”. The study highlighted the inadequacies of less successful business owners, and the gulf in priorities between the proverbial little guys and big guys.
The study also found that employers who engage with their employees on a regular basis are more likely to be successful in all facets of their business. The average number of times the CEO communicates business information to employees per year with the most successful companies was 23. The average times the less successful companies engaged in this practice was 7. Furthermore, 85% of the more successful companies use some kind of formal program to encourage employee suggestions compared with 53% of other less successful enterprises.
These statistics truly represent what it is that leads to the slander of employees and ultimately employee unhappiness. It’s undeniable that ignoring a viable, consistent form of communication between employers and their workers, will inevitably give rise to employee slandering and negativity.