As reported by The Star Online, AIA Vitality’s 2017 Healthiest Workplace Survey reveals that 53% of Malaysians experience work-related pressure, resulting in substantial productivity loss. This means that employers are not likely to yield positive development if the employees are burnt out. There’s a fine line between ‘hard-working’ and ‘overworking’.

Don’t underestimate the potential risks of having your team to work overtime too often. You may get more tasks done but eventually, your team will suffer from low work quality due to stress. It takes a good manager to ensure employee commitment while boosting their productivity to accomplish the organisational goals.

Continue reading to find out our advice on how to improve productivity without overworking your employees.

Lead by Example

Leadership is not just about setting rules and monitoring people, in fact, it’s neither of that in the first place. A good leader is someone with the ability to inspire and influence his or her followers to grow together as a team. If you expect your team to go the extra mile to accomplish a project, be the one who guides the way and takes the initiatives to deliver the results beyond expectation.

The same goes to setting a work culture that promotes work-life balance. It’s important that you take care of yourself the way you expect your employees to be treated. In most corporations, people still have the mentality that they cannot leave the office before their bosses, you wouldn’t want to have it ingrained in your team. The proper way to encourage a healthy work culture is to provide the support that everyone needs in order to meet the deadlines or simply delegate tasks strategically to ensure the right tasks are handled by the right team member. Most importantly, try not to become a workaholic yourself.

Embrace Flexibility at Work

Counterintuitively, employees with a fixed working schedule (the so-called nine-to-five jobs) are less productive as compared to their flexi-peers. If you factor in the habitual routines in the workplace, you’ll understand why. Since different individuals have their own preferences, having the same working hours may not benefit each and everyone in the team.

Another way to embrace flexibility at work is to make remote working a part of the employee perks. Although the answer to whether office environment or home-based environment is better for productivity is still an ongoing debate, the influence of remote work is still significant when it comes to certain types of work.

Based on an article on remote working published on QUARTZ, you can determine the right policy for your team’s level of flexibility following these criteria:

  • The portion of their work week that workers telecommute
  • The culture of the organisation in general
  • Teamwork requirements
  • Personal room for creativity and innovation

Prevent Employee Burnout

Understanding the signs of employee burnout, cause, and how to prevent it from happening is a vital role to any team leader.

With technological advancement in place, many people crumble under pressure of getting replaced by robots. It has also raised the bar for employees to constantly improve themselves in order to fulfil their job requirements, which often leads to productivity obsession.

As a leader, you have to make sure that every employee is well equipped with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to accomplish the given project. If deemed necessary, it is expected of you to also provide training before assigning tasks to the team. This is crucial for boosting productivity as soon as your employees get started, otherwise they’ll face the obstacles to comprehend the tasks. The lack of experience will force your employees to spend extra hours at work, which is the primary cause of burnout.     

Pay Attention to Workspace and Office Culture

It’s been proven that physical workspace does have an impact on employee experience, which means you can improve your team’s productivity simply by creating the right environment where everyone can thrive. Start by deciding if your organisation is more adaptive to an open office space, conventional cubicles, or maybe both. Furthermore, it’s best to have the office design match with the work culture that you have established so that the employee experience is consistent.

Depending on the individual preferences as well as the organisation’s culture, there’s no one-size-fits-all design that guarantees higher productivity. What you can do is observe how your team prefers to work and accommodate their lifestyles to the office as much as possible.

Have Fun at Work

Most employers don’t associate ‘being productive’ with ‘having fun’, but the fun element is the key to one’s career satisfaction. In other words, you can’t push your team too hard without allowing them to really enjoy their work. Team bonding and fun activities are vital to keep your employees engaged and in return, increase the overall productivity.  

There is a multitude of fun practices that you can introduce into the workplace. Whether it’s personal or group activities, what matters most is the fact that your employees will have the opportunities to make their work more fulfilling.

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

At times, employers and employees are not always in-tune with each other on daily tasks. It’s inevitable that your employees may feel off-balance as they push themselves to meet their performance expectations and requirements.

With that said, you need to provide your employees with sufficient feedback or constructive criticism as part of their career development. The more frequent you offer improvement plans to your team, the more empowered they’ll be to take on new challenges without the fear of failure. An open feedback culture helps reduce stress and improve productivity significantly.

Remember, you can’t demand productivity by overworking your team. Employees will lose their excitement for work the moment they feel overwhelmed, so don’t make that costly mistake! It’s time to rethink the true meaning of ‘hard-working’ and build a happier workforce.  

SHARE ON