5 Workplace Issues That Affect Employee Productivity

Ago 22, 2019 | Performance Management

Are you wondering whether your workforce could become more productive? It’s time to examine the key factors, like company culture and interpersonal relationships, that influence an employee’s ability to maintain peak performance.

Any employee concerns naturally affect productivity, from interpersonal challenges to the availability of training. Any issues that cause stress for employees can affect their mental and physical wellbeing, undermining their ability to perform at their best, according to the World Health Organization.

Let’s examine the five leading issues that can affect work performance.

Managerial Skills

Having a capable manager helps employees to work more effectively. Skilled managers know when to trust employees to carry out tasks effectively rather than micromanaging them. Having a higher level of control over how they execute their work increases employees’ mental health and overall wellbeing.

Great managers also check in with employees periodically, providing the coaching they need to complete a project to the best of their ability. Having a strong relationship with a manager enhances employees’ confidence and reduces stress dramatically as they know they can always turn to their boss with questions. 


When people don’t feel overworked, they make fewer errors and do their job better, research has found. That’s a big reason why factory owners reduced the workday to eight hours in the 19th century. As employees grow tired, their productivity decreases dramatically. Alleviating a heavy workload can help an employee complete tasks more effectively. They’ll rest and enjoy their downtime more when they’re able to leave work on time, returning refreshed the next day.

If employees feel overworked, provide time-management training to help them learn how to work most efficiently. Also, talk with each employee one-on-one to assess their responsibilities and decide whether to reassign, postpone, or eliminate any of them. Employees will feel valued when you take the time to help them balance their workload and priorities.

Communication and Relationships

Strong interpersonal relationships between team members and people in other departments help tasks and projects to flow more smoothly. With strong communication, people stay on the same page about project objectives, deadlines, and details, clearing up any concerns that arise as quickly as possible. Stress plummets when people enjoy working with one another as well. Thus, building strong relationships across the workplace can noticeably increase employee productivity.

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Working to create a positive workplace culture will encourage individual employees to develop good relationships with one another. When they see leaders and HR staff sharing gratitude with others regularly, they’ll adopt the same attitude. 

Level of Support in Their Growth

Having the training and resources to advance in their careers keeps employees working hard to excel. This support enhances their job skills and keeps them enthusiastic about performing at their best because they can envision a bright future for themselves with your company. 

“Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity,” Forbes notes. Deloitte advises offering self-directed learning options as well as real-time feedback from leaders. A software program with self-guided learning modules, combined with frequent feedback and mentoring, can strengthen performance immensely. By providing employees with the training they need to increase their job responsibility, you’ll keep them highly engaged and maximize productivity.

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Clarity on Goals and Objectives

Having clarity about the company’s overall goals and vision will bolster engagement and help employees work more effectively as a team. Everyone should understand the purpose behind what they do each day. This clarity will greatly increase both morale and productivity. 

All employees need to have clarity about their individual goals and objectives, too. This will help them to prioritize effectively—a key element of time management that will boost their productivity. Managers should check in with employees regularly to make sure they understand their current priorities as well as long-term goals. They should also communicate the company vision clearly so that everyone can work as an effective team to achieve it.

Address any potential issues that arise in these areas, and you’ll have the most productive workforce possible. You’ll see motivation and morale increase across your team or organization as people become happier and less stressed (read this post to learn why happy employees are more productive). Train managers across the organization to take action in these key areas, and you’ll also notice increased commitment, loyalty, and job satisfaction.

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