There are many theories and propositions as to what keeps an employee productive. At the end of it all, one can pinpoint three umbrella factors: direction, role, and purpose. When employees know where the company is heading, what they can do to help, and why they’re doing their work, they have more motivation to work.

There are times when employee performance is in a slump. There can be a number of reasons behind this dip in performance. What can employers and managers do to counter that problem? Here are suggestions.


Encourage Independence

When there is a pressure to meet deadlines or target revenues, the tendency is to stick to tried-and-true methods. Managers may think that controlling every aspect of the situation will lead to good results. That is not necessarily the case.

Micromanaging discourages employees from taking accountability for their work, and those who are underperforming will not be found out. Micromanaging causes unnecessary delays. Additional steps like needing a manager’s approval in every step, for example, will slow down the project implementation.

Aside from that, micromanaging curtails an employee’s opportunities for career growth because it does not foster creativity. When employees are given autonomy, they can explore their repertoire of skills and ideas. Employees can also reflect on ways they can correct errors and resolve issues by themselves.


Give Incentives, Rewards, and Recognition

High-performing employees are the secret to a successful organization. They don’t become so overnight. It takes years, failures, mentoring, and experiences to groom employees into top performers. Because of the painstaking process of growth, you have to make sure you keep your employees satisfied.

Your revenue targets and earnings dictate the cash flow in the company, but that doesn’t mean you should shortchange your employees. A clear and well-structured reward system will make employees feel that their efforts are recognized. This sense of fulfillment gives employees enough reason to give their best in all their endeavors.

Giving employees their due will keep them from leaving.


Encourage Work-Life Balance

A healthy workplace should nurture physical and emotional wellness. Catering to a well-rounded lifestyle helps employees achieve personal and professional growth.

Coaching and counseling sessions encourage employees to decompress and talk about distressing concerns. Healthy conversations allow employees to think clearly, look at alternative perspectives, and seek support.

Health initiatives such as fitness programs and wellness lectures encourage employees to live healthy. In states where marijuana use for recreational or medicinal purposes is legal, testing employees for marijuana allows them to check the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their bodies.

When employees are healthy in the physical and emotional sense, they can perform better.


Ditch Double Standards

“Walk the talk” is a creed that managers and executives should live by. Employees will find it demotivating when they see that they follow rules and are punished for transgressions while managers walk away scot-free.

It is not a matter of having privilege that comes with the position and authority. Rather, it is about upholding good business practices and setting the right example to employees. Setting double standards destroys the integrity and credibility of an institution.

Last Thoughts

Increasing or improving employee productivity requires a thoughtful consideration of what drives each employee. When employees feel they are valued and have outlets for expressing their creativity, they can contribute more to the organization.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to