Being sure to hire and retain the best, most qualified workers will always serve a business well, as those who learn more from Leadership Alliance will recognize. Unfortunately, even companies that do a spectacular job in these important respects often come up short of their goals and what might realistically be achievable.
A lack of productivity among employees is quite often to blame when such obvious and serious problems arise. Fortunately, most of the underlying causes can be addressed effectively by businesses that are determined to improve on the status quo. The five problems that most often cause lost productivity among workers today are:
1. Poor Health
It is no secret that many people today are not as healthy and fit as they could be. Workers who are sick, injured, or simply out of shape cost American companies about $530 billion annually in lost productivity, much of which could be easily avoided.
Encouraging employees to make more aggressive use of preventative health services covered by their benefits, for instance, can elevate the productivity level of an entire workforce.
Effective corporate fitness incentives benefit workers and their employers alike while shaping company-wide culture positively. Health and wellness should never be taken for granted, especially not in the modern workplace.
Some people seem to be naturally skilled at jumping from one task to another and back. Most workers, though, perform better when they are allowed and encouraged to focus more steadily.
Distracted workers tend to be less productive out of the gate and also end up making more mistakes that need to be identified and fixed later. That takes a hefty toll on productivity, and it is only becoming more of a problem over time.
From personal smartphones to unnecessary emails and meetings, identifying and limiting sources of distraction can boost productivity significantly.
Even workers who seem dedicated to their jobs can actually feel apathetic about them. Workers who have mentally checked out despite clocking in every day contribute to around $500 billion each year in lost productivity.
Making sure employees feel valued and appreciated will make them more likely to contribute as much as their talents allow. Disengagement can be surprisingly difficult to recognize, but there are always ways of making it less of a productivity-sapping problem.
4. Ineffective supervision
Even the most independent and self-sufficient employees benefit from appropriate, informed, strategic supervision. Some supervisors end up in positions of responsibility because of a talent for creating an impression of managerial aptitude despite lacking it.
Unfortunately, that will often leave their underlings working at diminished productivity. Companies that develop ways of encouraging and recognizing supervision that supports productivity will always benefit from the effort.
5. Inappropriate Tools
Technology is crucial to just about every type of business today, but many companies do a poor job of leveraging it in practice.
There are many offices, for instance, where intelligent, talented workers spend much of their time making up for the shortcomings of software systems instead of applying their skills efficiently. Providing workers with tools that support them better can cause productivity to skyrocket.