Practices that Kill Employee Productivity

What separates the best performing workplaces from those that remain middle-of-the-road? It’s just one single word: productivity. The top-performing organizations all understand how to generate and maintain a high level of productivity within their workforce.

In a perfect world all employees would arrive at their jobs with a fully realized, finely tuned sense of how to manage their time and energy. But none of us live in that perfect world, we live in a world where employees tend to rise and fall according to the expectations and practices set by their employers. If you want a highly efficient and effective workforce you will need to take matters into your own hands, and you will need to avoid these 10 disastrous employee practices that kill productivity! Whether or not you have a management degree, these tips will provide great framework for employee success!

1.       Running your business on negative energy.

All organizations run on one form of energy or another, and whether your organization runs on positive or negative juice depends a lot on your attitude. Instead of fueling your employees with fear, anxiousness and intimidation, provide them with abundant reinforcement and positivity!

2.       Allowing your employees to check their e-mail constantly.

Constant e-mail checking drains employee’s time and distracts your workforce from focusing fully on their tasks. Create set times when your employees are allowed to send and receive e-mails, and hold firm to these boundaries.

3.       Setting the Wrong Times for Checking Email

The best times to check email are those times when the information contained in your employee’s inbox will lead to them taking productive action. For most organizations, that means checking e-mail once early in the morning and once in the middle of the afternoon.

4.       Negatively Acknowledging Social Networking

Your employees will find a way to scratch their Social Networking itch throughout the day, even if you try to block these sites on work computers. Instead of forbidding these sites and forcing your employees to seek clever, time-consuming alternatives, simply create set times when Facebook, Twitter and their kin are allowed.

5.       Chasing Fires to Put Out Instead of Prioritizing Work

Without setting at least one clear, measurable and actionable goal a day, your employees will spend hours solving unimportant “emergencies” and completing minor tasks whose resolution amounts to nothing.

6.       Focusing on Prevention Instead of Creation

When setting goals, it’s always better to set pro-active goals (actions focusing on building something new) instead of reactive goals (actions focusing on preventing something “bad” from happening).

7.       Aiming for Perfection

An employee who aims for a “perfect” outcome is simply wasting their time. As long as you’re clear about what an acceptable outcome looks like your employees should focus on achieving their specific goals as quickly and efficiently as possible, instead of striving for an unnecessary, and often impossible, level of achievement.

8.       Not Tracking Results to Identify Truly Important Tasks

Nothing kills employee productivity like pursuing tasks, clients and priorities that don’t contribute to what matters most to your organization. By tracking the results of every task you give your employees you’ll begin to only assign them those tasks that are worth their time and energy.

9.       Treating the Workday Like a Marathon

Humans operate on what are called “ultradian rhythms,” 90-120 minute stretches of time where they experience sustained levels of high performance. Once one of these 90-120 minute cycles ends, focus plummets and high performance becomes impossible. Instead of expecting your employees to power through the day, institute mandatory breaks in line with their natural rhythms.

10.   Forgetting the “Big Picture”

Ultimately, an employee is only as productive as they are connected to their organization’s highest goals. Without the exhilarating, empowering feeling a strong sense of purpose provides, no employee can sustain their productivity for very long.

11.   Team Building

Most large conglomerates have team buildingand team building activities of some sort.  If you are unable to trust your team or inspire them, then you are committing biggest mistake.

It doesn’t take a business degree to see top-performing organizations all understand how to generate and maintain a high level of productivity within their workforce

About the author: The post is written by Wilson Campbell. Wilson provides advice on career, recruitment and other related areas. Apart from that he is of opinion that employees are not cog in the wheels, rather they are asset to organization. Employee retention is only possible through team building and team building activities.

About Allison Freeland

Allie Freeland is the Editor-in-Chief of She has been a professional writer for a decade and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She brings a wealth of information about higher education, online degrees, college life, and career advice. Follow her on G+.