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How to make employees more productive and fulfilled?

We can have countless discussions on how people could change their routine, mindset, and tools they use to be or at least try to be more productive. However, certain things are beyond our control as individuals. 

We, humans, are social species, and thus the people we work with and the processes our company practices have a direct and significant impact on our work. It all boils down to the organizational culture, making the employees real heroes or then turning them into regular white-collars, doing their 9 to 5 job. 

Innovative culture starts with people.

If the company aims to be at the forefront of its industry, it must continuously improve its processes and be innovative in many ways. Is there a “secret” component to it? Well, there are way too many, but one thing is sure: employees - that is what’s at the heart of a genuinely innovative and ever-growing company. 

How can then the organization ensure that people feel productive and fulfilled enough to do the meaningful work that matters the most? The excellent answer would be changing the processes that foster innovation and influential work, but there are more down-to-earth and less abstract things that can be implemented. 

Here are the 3 obvious yet practical strategies that could change the game for your company:

  1. Increase trust

Ten-year-long research by Paul J.Zak on the neuroscience of trust has shown that employees in the companies with a high trust score have more energy at work, are willing to stay in their current job for longer, and have a more positive attitude towards work. 

This again shows how meaningful interpersonal relationships are. Trust is one of the fundamental feelings that brings people the state of feeling safe. Once we have it, there is more room for creativity and effective work.

With hierarchy, bureaucracy, and power distance being an order of the day in big corporations, it’s hard to:

  • Give more authority. Make more space for your employees and let them work outside their usual scope (often narrow). When people feel trusted, they’re more inclined to trust themselves. 
  • Recognize excellence. Best idea of the month, the most creative team, an employee of the quarter - you name it. Celebrating the small successes of individuals and teams in public is more than necessary, especially for larger workplaces. This makes the winner feel appreciated and valued and motivates others to strive for excellence.
  • Address problems from the lowest levels to the highest. Instead of C-suite trying to guess what problems the company has and solving those, go and ask junior-level workers. Simple, yet many forget how important it is. 

  1. Make the workplace as workable as possible. 

From all perspectives. Both physically and mentally. 

It is probably even scarier to work in an environment where you don’t feel like you belong rather than not having any job at all. How can we even talk about “productivity,” “effectiveness,” and “creativity” if an employee is constantly stressed about his/her safety and inclusion? There have been quite many cases airing lately about senior managers holding unreasonably high power over their subordinates. That leads to constant dissatisfaction with the job and regular burnouts. 

It’s essential to have mental health support programs as there are sexual and psychological harassment cases even in the top-notch companies we don’t expect them from. “Diversity” should be more than just a fancy phrase written in the reports, with real actions taken, such as gender pay equality. 

On the other side, allowing a flexible workplace is a must-do nowadays. Sounds cliche´ but the world is changing, so should the views on the “office”. Work from home, hybrid work with both remote work and physical presence - processes should be organized in a way that supports these concepts. 

Another way to make the office workable would be having open-space offices, where people are not tied to any particular spot and can choose whatever place they want, thus having at least minor changes every day. 

  1. Make the work process smooth. 

Now that we’ve discussed rather external factors, it’s time to dig into the work process itself.  

The larger the company, the more interconnections are within it. Internal communication, information exchange, countless software programs — everything gets more complex with more stakeholders involved. 

When people trust the place they work at and enjoy the “office” itself, the last step in being more productive would be to have a smooth and trouble-free work process. At this point, nothing can be more annoying than constantly losing focus because of sending the same report to multiple receivers, uploading the same information to different apps because they’re not integrated, or copy-pasting hundreds of times from one sheet to another. 

Professionals feel fulfilled when they do what they’re good at and are passionate about, and definitely not when they do the manual low-skill tasks because of imperfections in the work process. 

That said, feel free to check our software that automatically identifies manual and repetitive stuff holding teams back. Take a moment and book a demo with us, getting closer to the manual-free work reality with more productive and fulfilled teams!

Written by

Kazyna Turdibayeva

Marketing specialist at Workfellow.