September 4, 2019 Blog, Toronto, Canada

The Top 5 Causes of Low Productivity Levels

By Fida-E Zaheer, Read 5 mins

Worried about low productivity levels?

Worried that it may hinder efficiency and profit margins?

There is no reason to stress.

Causes of Low Productivity Levels

You can identify the causes at their roots and combat them head-on. The causes for low productivity levels are, unfortunately, more often than not, internal issues that have boiled over, over time.

The first step in addressing low levels of productivity at your company is to understand why the issue originated to begin with and rectify it to develop solutions based your business needs.

productivity levels

Lack of Employee Training:

The most common cause for low productivity at work can be traced back to employees’ lack of proper training.

When workers aren’t adequately trained, it will automatically hamper time management and resources.

They will need supervisors to oversee whether their tasks are being completed, you will need other employers to correct and go over their work to check for mistakes.

Untrained workers will inevitably require more time and resources than is necessary and bring about a decrease in your productivity rates.

Ensuring proper training of every employee is the key to eliminating this problem and increase productivity at work.

However, if in some cases, an employee fails to meet the standards even after training, you may need to consider a transfer of departments or even termination.

Ineffective Management and Supervision:

It is important to have effective managers and team leaders to ensure workplace efficiency.

Low productivity at work can result from managers who are lacking in leadership qualities and fail to motivate employees and keep them performing at peak standard.

Poor management can be characterized by inconsistent, improper communication and micromanaging to such an extent that employees become wary of making even the smallest of decisions without approval and aren’t rewarded for a job well done leading to an increase in de-motivation.

Low employee productivity will often give you the signs you need to evaluate your management.

It is your duty to talk to your employees about whether your managers are empowering them to perform at the standards necessary for success or de-motivating them.

Your manager might not be sufficiently trained, or they may need to understand how to better handle those employees that work under their supervision.

Either way, it is your job as a company leader to identify trouble spots in the management / employee relationship and seek to make corrections for increasing productivity.

Ineffective Organizational Structure:

In some instances, a low-productivity employee is the victim of an organizational structure that doesn’t maximize that person’s skills and talents.

You should encourage employee participation and take into consideration their ideas.

Setting up a top-down structure, in which you, as the company leader, are the sole person responsible for generating ideas and strategies, which, then, are redirected to your managers and supervisors, and then, ultimately your employees are told what to do, creates monotony and a sense of dissatisfaction within your employees.

In that scenario, you may need to restructure your organization to a flat organizational structure, in which every employee is allowed to engage and participate in the formation of new ideas and strategies, which is then, analyzed by everybody else, before they are approved.

By making this change, you now empower your writers to take ownership of content, and you motivate them to increase productivity.

Workplace Stress:

A big contributor for low productivity is stress.

A study by Health Advocate shows that there are about one million employees who are suffering from low productivity due to stress, which costs companies $600 dollars per worker, every single year.

When employees are plagued with job-related anxieties, it is hard to concentrate, and therefore, employees get distracted, resulting in non-completion of tasks, bare minimums, and a lack of indulgence in their jobs.

This also occurs when you employees and overworked and over-burdened. If your employees are constantly worried about the completion of their next task, there is a good chance that none of the tasks will be up to par.

It is important to seek to reduce stress for your employees, and get extra help, if need be, if your workers are constantly overworked.

Because resulting from excess work place stress is a lack of productivity that will in eventuality, hamper, workflow, work ethic, resources, and profit.

Toxic Workplace Behavior:

If you want to increase productivity in your workplace, you need to start encouraging good behavior and strongly discourage the bad.

Often, toxic behavior in the workplace happens because there are some people trying to sabotage and manipulate the work environment.

This can be more often seen in bigger organizations, where some employees use sneaky methods in order to advance their careers and climb higher up the corporate ladder.

This type of behavior will make the affected team members unhappy, which will force them to think about their position in the company in the long term.

Toxic behavior among employees may ultimately lead to stress and (like mentioned in the previous point) lead to a lack of workflow, work ethic, and productivity.

The solution to every problem starts from communicating it with the necessary people.

When you want to implement positive changes, you need to set-up a continuous flow of knowledge sharing between you and your team / employees in the form of the so-called “feedback loops”.

This way, whatever the problem in your business may be, once you manage to find it early – because of the continuous feedback process that you have implemented – you will also succeed in eradicating it much easier.

These are some of the more prominent causes that become great reasons for poor productivity in a workplace specifically in the manufacturing industry.

There is a very good chance that, at least, one of these reasons is hampering your workflow and efficiency.

If you take into consideration the root causes of low productivity levels and see to correcting or eliminating the reasons, your productivity levels will undoubtedly increase.

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