Low Productivity? Here’s What Might Cause It


Any business great or small wants to guarantee productivity remains high throughout the year and into the next to ensure that expected growth and progress come to fruition.

However, it’s not always that easy. As much as you, as a manager or business owner, may strive to motivate your employees and team, productivity can still drop, taper, and even dissipate entirely.

When productivity is low, it can breed issues all around the office. The team stops hitting their targets, which means you don’t hit your goals, too. This can snowball, and soon you’ll find yourself with an office that is nowhere near to hitting its full potential.

No manager or CEO wants this, so you need to get to the bottom of things. Here are five reasons that could be affecting productivity and how you can fix them.


They Wanna Be Adored

Employees are at their best when they feel their efforts are being appreciated, and this is something you should consider regardless of your management style. Even if you like to be extra hard to please to boost their motivation and performance, you also need to recognize excellent performance when necessary.

A lack of recognition makes employees feel like there is nothing they can do to impress, and this can provide a massive blow to their productivity. You don’t need to lavish praise on them with every little thing, but you can make sure they understand that you appreciate their work when they perform exceptionally well, whether in private or to the rest of the company.

It might also be useful to reconsider your promotion and hiring policies. Employees want to know that there is room for progression, and they will try hard to get that promotion.

However, if they are overlooked continuously to make way for external hires despite excellent performance metrics, they will soon stop trying to impress, because they won’t see the point anymore.


Broken Telephone

When delegating tasks, you always understand exactly what you mean and expect others to follow, too. However, this is not always the case, and meaning can often get lost along the way, just like it would with a broken telephone.

It’s through this lack of clarity that employees never quite know where they stand, and this can make them cautious and also not feel as motivated to do the work as they should do.

As a manager, you need to be clear and concise with your instructions, and you should also allow an open door policy to let anybody come to you if they are unsure. It’s no good trying to foster a productive environment if you bark them down whenever they ask a question.

Poor management and leadership is a key cause of low productivity, so it’s vital you do everything you can to keep them engaged, but you’ve also got to make sure your actions are genuine because otherwise, your team will see straight through them.


No One Is Prepared

However, you can be as genuine and motivational as you like, perhaps even the most motivational manager in the world, but this is all for naught if your employees receive inadequate training both before starting and when they are on the job.

Much like unclear instructions, insufficient training means that they are unprepared for the potential situations that they may face while working. This means that it takes longer to complete necessary tasks, which impacts the flow of work from the bottom to the top.

It’s vital, then, that you provide the proper and necessary training to ensure that everything runs smoothly. While you can assist in some cases, you may not always be in the office, and you do not want things to grind to a halt because your team does not feel prepared for what they encounter.


Let There Be Light

While organizational and operational issues are culprits that can hinder productivity, you’ve also got to consider the environmental factors that could affect your team. A stuffy office is never pleasant, while a dim and drab one is even worse, so don’t be afraid to allow for natural light to perk your team up.

Fluorescent lighting is okay in small doses, but too much of it can cause migraines and affect concentration. This can later manifest once the employees are back at home and struggle to sleep, and this has a knock-on effect for the next day. If possible, embrace the natural light options to keep their energy and concentration levels up.

If you want to go full-pelt into embracing nature, consider improving the air quality by placing plants around the office, but make sure you put someone in charge of taking care of them, even if that person is you.


(Don’t) Bless This Mess

Finally, a massive contributor to low productivity is a messy office. With so many people in one space for so long, five days a week, mess and clutter can build up quickly, and before you know it, you can’t find anything that you’re looking for, and this usually leads to even more mess.

A messy office distracts everybody, and it becomes a standoff of who will clean up first. However, investing in a commercial cleaning services can help keep your office in top condition and ensures that everyone can get on with their work without feeling resentful of those who are not contributing to the cleaning.

However, while a cleaning service can be beneficial, you shouldn’t make the cleaning staff’s job too complicated, so encourage and incentivize keeping the office tidy so that it doesn’t seem like you are taking advantage of the service.


A Productive Environment and a Bright Future

Without consistent productivity, a business cannot continue its success for long. However, instead of panicking and taking your frustrations out on your employees, it is better to look for ways that can help regain that productivity.

Not only does this help make their job more comfortable and enjoyable, but it also enables you to improve as a manager and teaches you the bests ways to overcome slumps the next time it occurs.

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