A Candid Look Through The Employee's Lens

By Julie Goh

It is every employer's ambition to boost the productivity of their employees. Increased productivity translates to more output, higher profitability, and overall business success – everyone knows that! However, the reality often presents a contrasting picture that merits careful consideration. From the employee's perspective, the conventional 9-to-6 work model might inadvertently stifle motivation and innovation, leading to a downward spiral in productivity levels.  

  1. The Time-Work Paradox: Employees are often bound by the constraints of an 8-hour workday, paid not for the value they generate but for the time spent in the office. The compulsion to fulfil the designated hours, regardless of workload completion, can diminish the drive to excel and deliver exceptional results.
  2. The Deterrent of Additional Workload: Additionally, employees might feel disheartened by the additional workload often thrust upon them due to their colleagues' incomplete tasks. This can lead to a sense of disillusionment and a lack of motivation to go above and beyond.
  3. The Lack of Motivation: The absence of incentives for exceeding expectations or showcasing innovative ideas can contribute to a stagnant work culture. When the prospect of recognition or reward seems distant, employees may become complacent, leading to a decline in their commitment to achieving organisational goals.

The Solution

To bridge the gap and foster a more conducive environment for heightened productivity, employers can consider the following:  

  1. Promote a Culture of Appreciation: Implement recognition and rewards programs that highlight exceptional performance and contributions. Fostering an environment that values employees' efforts can inspire loyalty and dedication to their roles.
    • Employee of the Month Program: Implement a monthly recognition system to appreciate outstanding performers. Highlight the selected employee's achievements through newsletters, company-wide announcements, or dedicated bulletin boards. (At the same time, those who constantly need their colleagues to help them complete their work should undergo the Performance Improvement Program).
    • Personalised Notes of Appreciation: Encourage team leaders and managers to write personalised notes or emails acknowledging individual achievements and contributions, emphasising their value to the team and the organisation. Strictly no general or one-size-fits-all!
    • Annual Awards Ceremony: Organise an annual awards ceremony to celebrate major milestones and exceptional contributions. Present awards such as "Innovator of the Year" or "Customer Service Champion" to recognise exceptional employees.
  1. Encourage a Culture of Innovation: Cultivate an inclusive culture that welcomes new ideas and initiatives, creating opportunities for employees to contribute creatively and feel a sense of ownership in the company's vision and mission.
    • Regular Innovation Workshops: Conduct regular workshops or brainstorming sessions dedicated to generating new ideas and solutions. Encourage employees from diverse departments (and all levels) to collaborate and contribute to the development of innovative strategies and solutions.
    • Innovation Challenges or Competitions: Organise company-wide innovation challenges or competitions, encouraging employees to submit their innovative ideas or proposals. Provide incentives for winning ideas, such as the opportunity to lead the implementation of the proposed project or additional professional development opportunities.
    • Dedicated Idea Implementation Teams: Form dedicated cross-functional teams responsible for implementing innovative ideas and initiatives. Allow these teams the autonomy to experiment and execute innovative strategies, providing necessary resources and support for successful implementation.

By actively addressing the obstacles that hinder employee productivity, companies can create a robust work environment that not only promotes engagement and innovation but also fosters a clear path for identifying and nurturing internal talents. Such a proactive approach not only enhances the overall work culture but also plays a vital role in streamlining succession planning initiatives. When employees feel appreciated, motivated, and encouraged to innovate, they are more likely to contribute wholeheartedly to the company's growth and expansion endeavours. Ultimately, this symbiotic relationship between a company and its workforce lays a solid foundation for achieving long-term success and prosperity.