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Unlocking a Productive Workplace

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 06 November 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

Unlocking a Productive Workplace

Productivity relies on engaged workers who are happy and confident in themselves, their environment and their abilities. As productivity rates continue to fall in South Africa it is increasingly important to focus on providing an environment that enables people to succeed.

Research shows that “Happy” employees are sick half as often, six times less absent, nine times more loyal, 31% more productive and 55% more creative. Can your business afford not to drive the happiness agenda?

Productivity can be unlocked with a few simple steps.

Step 1:  Trust your people

Sadly, many organisations still operate under the old “command and control” management style where individuals are treated like children. To truly empower people you need to trust them. Treat your employees as adults. Provide them with the freedom to operate but give them clear responsibility and you will see an increase in their personal happiness and associated productivity.

Step 2: Encourage entrepreneurial spirit

Embrace diversity in your business and encourage individuals to share ideas, suggest new ways of doing things and participate in decision-making. Whilst you don’t have to accept or implement all of these ideas, the opportunity to contribute and design their workplace will encourage and motivate your employees.

Step 3: Lead through Evidence-Based Management 

Time does not equal results. Focus on three core areas for managing individuals – quantity (results according to target), quality, and attitude. Reward positive attitude and hard work, not just ultimate results.

Step 4: Eliminate red tape

Bureaucracy, especially outdated red tape, frustrates everyone – employees, clients and suppliers. Review your processes and streamline wherever possible. Policy and processes should be kept KISSS: 

·         Simple  - easy to explain,

·         Short - quick to implement,

·         Sustainable - usable, long-term,  and

·         Sexy - interesting/exciting.


Step 5: Eliminate conflict or complaints culture


Negativity breeds negativity. Try to nip whingeing in the bud. Implement a policy that seeks to focus on solutions, not problems. Encourage employees to raise concerns but to do so with a counter-proposal or alternative suggestion, not simply a complaint. Ensure that you listen and have appropriate mechanisms to address employee concerns and to manage expectations, particularly if the “problem” is unable to be changed.


Tags:  APSO  apsogram  complaints  culture  productive workplace  productivity  red tape  trust  workplace 

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