Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ingredients of a Highly Productive Workforce

Susan Sasiadek, Ph.D

Every company wants employees that go above and beyond. Individuals that contribute to the overall success of their company through contributions and high level of productivity. But how is this achieved? Three ways to achieve high standards of productivity include empowering employees, creating a culture of trust and understanding employees in terms of what motivates them.

Employee empowerment; a term often used in the workplace. For some cultures this may mean assigning more tasks by reinforcing that one is now empowered to do more?  According to Richards (2016) “employee empowerment has been defined in many ways but generally means the process of allowing employees to have input and control over their work, and the ability to openly share suggestions and ideas about their work and the organization as a whole” (Para1).  Empowerment is not an action but an adaptive culture of trust within the organization. Employees that are empowered are willing to share and contribute to the overall success of the company. They have an intrapreneurial spirit of wanting the best for the organization, its stakeholders and the overall success. 

Can the culture of positive employee empowerment increase productivity?  Perhaps the first step in understanding the elements that attribute to employee and organizational productivity is the basics of what productivity is.  According to Mohanty (1993) “productivity improvement has often focused on the persuasion of people through influence, rewards, incentives, guidance and control” (pg 8). Understanding one’s employees and what motivates them will help in terms of productivity within the organization as these motivational strategies are applied. As stated by Hanson & Miller, (2002) “ by understanding the content of an employee’s motivational pattern, managers are in a position to make more accurate decisions about how best to use the employee to get the job done” (pg 6).

The key element that drives both employee empowerment and motivation within any organization is trust. According to Tan and Tan (2000); trust in organizations can affect many levels of organizational commitment and turnover intention, whereas trust in one’s supervisor affects innovative behavior and the employee’s satisfaction with the supervisor.

Looking back at the original question of “every company wants employees that go above and beyond. Individuals that contribute to the overall success of their company through contributions and high level of productivity; but how is this achieved?” There is not one single factor that attributes to high productive employees, but instead multiple variables that together create this level of productivity. The ability to motivate employees, build a culture of trust, which is also supported by empowering employees all attribute to a dynamic highly productive organization.



Hanson, M. & Miller Jr., A . (2002) . The productive use of strengths; a shared responsibility . Industrial and Commercial training . 34

Mohanty  R. (1993) . Productivity management; a soft system approach . Workstudy . 42:1, 8-10

Richards, Leigh (2016) . What Are the Benefits of Employee Empowerment? Retrieved on October 3, 2016, from

Tan, H. & Tan, C . (2000, May) . Toward the differentiation of trust in supervisor and trust in organization . Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 126:2, 241-261

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