Three ways to increase productivity in the workplace

One way to increase staff productivity is to pay your workers higher wages.

One way to increase staff productivity is to pay your workers higher wages.

Higher levels of productivity allow societies to reinvest in human capital, and smart investments result in higher labour productivity. If we stopped systematically underinvesting in human capital, we could greatly improve productivity.

Here are three investments that could reinvigorate the productivity cycle:

1. WAGES: Higher investment in wages does not need to come at the expense of customers and shareholders. In fact, customer advocacy and employee engagement are inextricably linked.

Managed by Q, a cleaning and office-services company in New York city, decided to pay employees higher wages than the prevailing market rate. In turn, the company is achieving lower levels of employee and customer churn, and correspondingly lower hiring and customer-acquisition costs.

2. TIME: Great ideas that drive breakthroughs in productivity come from human beings with the time, talent and energy to innovate. Yet, on average, managers have fewer than seven hours a week of uninterrupted time to devote to deep, strategic thinking.

Companies should seek to systematically eradicate organisational drag – all the internal complexity that leads to inefficient and ineffective interactions. Many tech companies have experimented with giving employees unstructured time to explore new ideas through initiatives such as LinkedIn’s InCubator and Microsoft’s Garage.

3. ENERGY: Perhaps the most transformational thing a company can do for its workforce is to invest in creating jobs and working environments that unleash intrinsic inspiration. An inspired employee is more than twice as productive as a satisfied employee and more than three times as productive as a dissatisfied employee. Yet, only one in eight employees is inspired.

Creating inspiring jobs and engaging working environments requires holistically addressing the factors that drive employee inspiration. This includes more autonomy and agility as well as inspirational leadership. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017