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Did you know January is typically the least productive month of the year?

This statistic may surprise you, particularly given the clichés we hear around this time about hitting the ground running and getting a jump on the new year.

Of course, leaders are eager to get back to business after a much-deserved break, and still, the data suggests that employees may need time to return to their most prolific selves.

In my mind, that makes January an excellent time for your teams to design strategies to support employee productivity so that practices are in place when employees naturally get back into their groove.

How Talent Development & HR Play a Role in Productivity

There are many factors that impact employee output and performance – beyond time of year. While managers are often incentivized to drive results within their teams, they are not the only ones who can impact productivity.

Talent Developers and HR professionals can also drive programming to support the overall efficiency and success for employees. After all, these teams have insights into the entire organization. They can see the whole picture and identify successes within individual teams that could elevate the company more broadly.

As you strive to help your organization find success, consider the following three areas of focus.

Hone Your People Practices to Increase Employee Productivity

1. Boost Productivity Through Employee Engagement

A study by Gallup revealed that organizations with a high level of employee engagement reported 22 percent higher productivity than those with low engagement.

As you seek to impact performance, I invite you to reflect on Quantum Workplace’s 2019 Employee Engagement Trends Report, which shares some of the most important factors impacting engagement, including:

  • Opportunities for employees to use their strengths
  • Trust in the leadership team and the future of the organization
  • Belief that the company values its people
  • Strong recognition programs
  • Career and professional growth opportunities
  • Challenging and interesting job roles

This list alone may illuminate a number of ways your Talent Development and HR teams could channel your efforts whether that’s using strengths-based programs like Emergenetics® to understand how to engage and challenge employees, focusing on professional development trainings or ensuring your recognition programs are motivating.

Prioritize your efforts by assessing how your organization is currently supporting these engagement factors. Do you have initiatives in place that align to these considerations? Are they working well? Could they use some tweaks? What areas may be overlooked entirely?

Identifying gaps can help bring focus to your programming and support overall performance.

2. Build Positive Workplace Environments to Increase Productivity

When a company’s culture is marked by negativity and undue pressure, productivity suffers. More than $500 billion is lost in the U.S. economy alone due to workplace stress.

SHRM identified five of the top workplace stressors for employees, including:

  • Low salaries
  • Lack of opportunity for growth or advancement
  • Too heavy workload
  • Unrealistic job expectations
  • Long hours

The American Institute of Stress also cited workload, people issues, job security as well as juggling work and personal lives as top challenges for employees.

To support productivity, Talent Development and HR teams can focus their efforts on programs that promote employee well-being and help reduce anxiety in the workplace through:

  • Wellness initiatives
  • Flexible work options
  • Recognition programs
  • Career development opportunities
  • Coaching to support healthy working relationships

If creating a positive workplace environment is high on your priority list, consider working across functions to take a more holistic view of benefits and wellness to include career pathing and coaching programs or development opportunities like Emergenetics.

3. Develop Systems and Practices that Support Productivity

Your Talent Development and HR teams have the benefit of working with many groups across an organization, which puts you in a unique position to identify highly productive teams and dig into the factors that set them apart.

Once you’ve identified a few groups that are producing at a high level (and a high quality), sit down with their manager and team members to learn about their technology and practices.

You may find that they are using specific tools to support productivity or you may find successes that lie in the group’s processes, such as:

  • Scheduled and uninterrupted work time
  • Daily stand-up meetings
  • Unique motivation or recognition systems

These bright spots can help inform what you share as best practices or new initiatives you put in place to support organizational performance.

Clearly, there are many ways you could focus your time to drive efficiencies and support employee productivity.

To provide more focus for your programming, keep an eye out for three additional blog posts in the coming weeks, which will focus on strategies and tips to drive productivity through the lens of employee engagement, positive culture as well as technologies and processes.

Can’t wait for our next post? Fill out the form below to connect with our team today to learn more about how Emergenetics can support productivity in your organization.

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