Increase Productivity by Putting Employees First

When you put employee satisfaction first, productivity goes up. Here are a few easy ways that you can start to prioritize employee job enjoyment and make it part of your company culture.

Today’s workforce demands transparency, flexibility and recognition. Instead of rolling your eyes at “everyone needing a participation award,” consider this: When you put employee satisfaction first, productivity goes up. In an analysis of various studies by the Harvard Business Review, findings showed an average of 31 percent higher productivity and 37 percent more sales when employees are happy at their jobs.

I’ve found this to be true at my own company, where we prioritize employees’ job enjoyment as much as we do client satisfaction. We have a fairly small team, which helps with a higher involvement level from all staff, and company decisions and initiatives are routinely made with employee satisfaction in mind.

The results of this approach are clear. We’ve experienced increased productivity (Rentec has grown into a multimillion-dollar company) and 92 percent retention since our founding nine years ago. Our original five employees still work at the company; to date, only one employee has ever left the company for another opportunity! So how have we achieved this kind of success? It takes a multipronged approach to meet the needs of your employee base.

Pay and bonus
This is arguably the most important aspect of employee satisfaction. We’ve found success in compensating our employees within the top 75 percentile for the region and their job duties or title. Consider offering full-time employees additional benefits, including options to participate in bonus pools and 401(k) matching programs.

Social activities
Teamwork is essential to reach company goals, especially at a smaller company. We have taken this seriously, creating regular opportunities for positive interactions, such as treating the entire office to a catered lunch each Friday while the team plays games together. For the past few years, every employee was invited, with their partners, to a comedy show and provided overnight accommodations after the show. Whether big or small, social activities can keep teams engaged and in solidarity.

Positive work environment
Of course, attitude has a lot to do with environment, but there’s always room to make it more fun. We have a recreation area that includes ping pong, foosball, video games, TV, and comfy couches where staff can relax and socialize. Employees all have a corner desk, the option to work with three large monitors, and the option to order a stand-up desk for their personal workstations.

Community engagement
Consider participating in a local charity or sporting event to help build teamwork. We’ve found there’s nothing better than local ping pong tournaments (we practice at work), and we know other companies that have formed softball teams. Many charities hold annual events to raise money for their causes in which entire teams can participate, such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

It pays to spend some time thinking about employee engagement and satisfaction at your company. While these are just a few ideas to consider, it is important to make this goal part of your strategic plan. Increased productivity and employee retention have huge impact on your overall success.


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