Top 6 Psychological Insights That Boost Productivity At The Workplace

how can psychology be used in the workplace

There are various things that an organization is concerned about in running the business successfully. And one of the most predominant ones is the productivity of the employees, because many other aspects are dependent on it.

This magnitude of productivity led to the companies coming up with different ways to measure the performance of the employees, and KPIs are one of the most common measurements used.

However, it is high time to rethink the implementation and measurement strategies using numbers. Firstly because each individual differs and setting the same kinds of standards for all doesn’t prove to be effective. This has led to the increasing concern of the organizations.

Is there a way to increase the productivity of the employees? Well, indeed there is, and let’s spend the next few minutes discovering it.

Have You Ever Thought Psychological Insights Could Help?

Let’s ask ourselves once again, have we ever given a thought that psychological insights could help employers in increasing the productivity of their employees? Well, whether we did or not, the fact is that certain psychological insights can tremendously contribute to employee’s productivity when implemented correctly.

Furthermore, it has recently been proven that apart from just the numerical, insights from behavior, economics, and psychology can also contribute to a more motivated and productive workforce.

If the traditional goal setting and KPIs aren’t giving the desired results, psychologically, it is possible to empower and engage the employees to be more productive. All that is needed is the willingness to change and renew our mindset for a better result. But “how?” is what pops up in every mind.

Here are 6 critical insights discussed to help the managers and entrepreneurs address concerns related to productivity. These simple efforts from the employer can reap plenty of desired fruits. Here they are:

Prioritize The Accomplishments Than Assignments

Gone are the days when the employees were determined only about monetary benefits, which is indeed a major psychological shift. A recent study undertaken with the employees revealed that 83% of them stated that recognition for their contribution was the most fulfilling reward.

Added to this, about 88% of them stated that they are extremely motivated when praised by the managers. The increased recognition is sure to satisfy the minds and hearts of the employees. Not just that, this satisfaction leads the employees to contribute more, and thus, it has also proven to increase the innovation and productivity of the employees by 53%.

recognitions impact on innovation and productivity
Via octanner.com

As an employer, one has to understand that there has been a huge shift in the employee’s thoughts and behaviors. Similar to the situation where recognition matters more than money, so are the concerned more about their accomplishments rather than just completing the given tasks or assignments.

Thus, there is an utmost need for employers too to shift their thoughts on what matters the most to the employees concerning productivity in the company. Refer to another statistic that shows about 37% of employees demanding recognition for contributing better.

what causes great work
Via octanner.com

Nurture And Promote Employee Engagement

Engagement is the most crucial aspect of being productive. And it is one of the most effective ways of addressing the employee’s productivity. You may wonder the reason behind this aspect to be discussed under the psychological category. But it is actually related to both the psychology of the employer and the employee, because it is all about the mindset of the people.

Employees who feel happy and engaged with the organization automatically feel responsible and willing to contribute their best. It is a part of psychology, which derives the action by default. And understanding this, the managers are expected to put in their best to create and maintain an engaged workforce.

gallup q12 survey 2012 reports
Via pt.slideshare.net

In the above statistics, we can observe the impact of the engaged workforce. And specifically, the engaged employees are capable of being 21% more productive. Another research also discovered that the engaged employees surpass their performance by 202% compared to the unengaged ones.

The statement – the emotional engagement that one has with the other makes a huge difference. And so is it to the employees. If the employee is emotionally connected to the organization, being productive is a default action. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to make this engagement possible in the organization.

Embrace Flexibility

Another psychological insight to embrace is flexibility. With the majority of the millennials we are working with, flexibility is a major demand. However, in general, about 77% of the employees say that flexibility is one of the major considerations that they look for while choosing a job. Again, refer to the statistics for the same.

flexible work arrangements
Via zenefits.com

The above statistics assure the major shift that has taken place among the new generation workforce. With the arrival of this newness, it is impossible to survive with just the traditional work practices.

Indirectly, the demand for flexibility has already posed an expectation on the employer to adapt to the newness; if not, it might be difficult to survive. Some of these demands expect employers to be flexible. The company’s rigidity can lead one to lose good talents.

Generally, an employer’s flexibility is expected in terms of remote working, embracing technology, telecommunication, co-working spaces, etc. Moreover, employers need to be aware that the company’s flexibility doesn’t just make the employees happy, but also contributes to the company’s success as well.

For instance, the sudden pandemic resulted in the majority of the workforce working remotely with no option left. While many agreed willingly, some didn’t. But, surprisingly, the outcome was unexpectedly positive as the companies witnessed an increase of about 13% in employee productivity.

Added to this, check out the below statistic that reveals about 78% of the employees defending that flexible working arrangements in their workplace have increased their productivity tremendously.

flexible work arrangements

Recommend Casual Breaks

Psychologically, it is proven that occasional breaks increase the productivity of the workforce. The capacity of the human brain is said to either reduce or become stable after a certain level of continuous work. In order to regain the capacity and strengthen the brain, breaks are necessary.

But, not many employers or employees understand the truth behind it, as they consider breaks as a waste of time. In contrast, breaks can definitely boost productivity. Refer to the image below.

why take breaks
Via brandongaille.com

Therefore, it is understood that occasional breaks improve in increasing the employee’s productivity. Moreover, apart from increasing productivity or stimulating creativity, periodic breaks also contribute to the increased accuracy of about 13% in the employee’s work. In case you are wondering what big difference the breaks could make, let me tell you that a study discovered that the brain needs rest after 52 minutes of continuous effort.

Furthermore, the study also concluded that seventeen minutes of break after fifty-two minutes of work would be the perfect strategy for increased productivity among the employees. Thus, although not all, many employers have already begun implementing the same insight.

Encourage Workplace DIY And Competition

The DIY, also known as the, Do It Yourself approach, is another effective psychological aspect of increasing productivity at the workplace. Wondering how? One of the most important workplace tactics is encouraging competitiveness.

To be specific, not just competition, but a healthy competition among the employees. Thus, as an entrepreneur, encourage the employees with the possible and achievable tasks depending on the capacity of the employees.

With the arrival of software and automation of tasks, employees are freed from dreadful and repetitive tasks. However, provide them opportunities to scrutinize and understand if there’s something that can be done by them or to be transferred to someone else.

This way, they are given a chance to be aware of their own limitations on which they can work upon rectifying. Moreover, this strategy helps in understanding where and where not to look for help. Thus, competitiveness is increased along with willpower and passion for succeeding.

While concentrating on their individual success, automatically, the productivity of the employees is improved, and obviously, businesses are benefited out of it. Thus, promoting healthy competition among the employees is yet another psychological insight helping the employees to be more productive.

Develop Openness Towards Employees’ Voice

Letting the employees be heard is another impeccable psychological insight that helps the companies. And yet, it is the most underrated strategy among businesses. Encouraging the employees to speak and listening to them is beneficial in many ways. But it is not complied with because of the positions and differences in the workplace.

When the organizations are willing to hear the opinions of the employees, it fills the latter with a sense of belongingness and value. This feeling will motivate the employees to put in their best efforts. Moreover, openness to the employees’ voices has multiple benefits, such as:

  • As an employer, you’ll have an opportunity to receive the best of opinions from those who have gained expertise in a particular task since they know certain things better.
  • As discussed, this opportunity puts forth a platform for the employees to be more engaged with the organization.
  • Engaged and happy employees feel a certain level of responsibility to make the organization happy too with the best contribution.

As a matter of fact, whether the management agrees to the suggestions made by the employees is secondary. But the impact of giving them a chance to speak is indeed tremendously beneficial. As the above image portrays, although each individual differs in many aspects, the result of the combined efforts or diversity can create and maintain a lasting impression in the organization.

Let’s Wrap Up

Psychology is primarily mind-oriented. When you are willing to renew your mind for the overall benefit as an employer, it is definitely possible to reap the most desired outcome, in our case, the increased productivity.

Change has always been a part of every individual’s life. Why not make the change much more meaningful by adapting to what can bring forth effectivity in an employee’s productivity? Therefore, let us begin to address the concern with the new mindset and right strategies to experience the overall betterment of the company.

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