How to increase productivity in employees

Josje Hoek

Productivity and how organisations can help employees become more productive continues to retain a key place in the thinking of nearly all levels of management in organisations. The question is: what should management focus on in order to increase productivity in their teams?

How to increase productivity in employees

In our previous blog on productivity, my colleague Nik Penhale Smith discussed the 2 crucial elements for productive employees. In summary, the blog discusses how productivity is a recurring concern for many organisations, and that in order for organisations to enable productivity in employees, there are two crucial elements for productive employees: energy and direction. In order to create energy organisations should create opportunities and a stimulating working environment, and in order to create direction, organisations should regularly communicate where the organisations is heading.

What’s more, energy and direction are key to social innovation, which also plays a key role in increasing productivity in your employees.

As a follow up to Nik’s article, I want to discuss the findings from our recent investigation into the key influencers on employee productivity, and what managers can focus on in order to increase productivity in their teams.

3 steps to increase employee engagement

What factors influence productivity?

In order to ascertain the key influencers on productivity, we recently conducted a detailed analysis of the results of our global employee survey. Our global employee survey was conducted in 52 countries, with each respondent being asked more than 100 questions each. From the employee survey responses, we then calculated a score for each country on the 17 key HR themes (including employee engagement), which allowed us to rank the countries in terms of score per HR theme.  

After ranking the 52 countries on score for productivity, we extracted the top and bottom ten scoring countries for productivity, and using correlation analyses, we then listed the most significant influences on productivity.

The result gave us two important analyses, one on the top ten scoring countries for productivity in our global survey, and one on the lowest ten scoring countries. What both analyses showed was the twenty (ten positive, ten negative) most significant influences on productivity for the top and bottom ten scoring countries.

From there, we were able to cross analyse the results. In short, if the same question appeared in the positive section for the top ten, as in the negative section for the bottom ten, then the question had a noticeable influence on productivity.

Global Employee Engagement Index™

A comprehensive overview of employee engagement with benchmarks from 57 countries with essential lessons for your HR strategy .


6 influencers on productivity

Based on our analysis, we’ve identified six statements from our global employee survey that have a positive influence on employee productivity:

  1. I am proud of my organisation
  2. I feel I fit in at my organisation
  3. There is open communication between employees
  4. I have confidence in the management
  5. My organisation offers me a challenging working environment
  6. I feel that I am appreciated

Providing a focus for management and organisations

When management or organisations want to address productivity, the above 6 statements provide a great basis on which to start. By focusing on the statements above (rather than on the much larger theme of productivity), organisations and management teams can work on creating concrete and achievable action points for teams. In doing so, not only will there be actions created that will positively influence productivity, but there will also be a clearer direction for both management and employees.

In essence, it is much easier for organisations, management and teams to work on addressing a specific questions or statements (as above), than work on a much wider concept or theme such as productivity.

 Is your manager really open to feedback?

Want to know more on how Effectory International can help you with insights into productivity or other HR themes? Drop us an email on or give us a call!