Motivation and Productivity


Ways To Boost Productivity


To do anything effectively usually requires hard work. But here are nine simple ideas to help you increase people productivity.


Explain clearly what you want from them. One of the biggest problems that obstructs productivity is that people do not know what they’re really trying to do, what they’re trying to achieve, or even why they are doing what they do. So clarity about what it is they’re doing is absolutely essential. In simple terms – communicate.


Ask your staff for ideas on improving productivity. If they are asked and their ideas are subsequently implemented, this becomes very motivational as they feel ownership. This makes them more productive. So how effectively are you drawing on the expertise and ideas of your own staff? Could you do more?


Define what your customer needs. Lack of clarity is demotivating for staff. The more tightly defined the need is, the clearer the objective, and this allows staff a greater chance to deliver it and hence be more productive. Plus, delivering customer needs clearly and effectively increases customer satisfaction and profitability. 


Introduce flexitime into the working environment. It is not the length of time that people work that is really important or measuring how long they spend at the job, rather how productive they are and what results they achieve. Clearly we have to adapt this policy to the type of business and the demands of particular roles. However, it is important to understand that we can give people some flexibility in their time commitment to the organisation; this can be extremely motivating for them because it increase their internal locus of control – this is a major contribution to their sense of freedom and well-being and produces greater levels of productivity.


If you want staff to be productive, then you need to motivate the leaders, the team leaders. Without the team leaders themselves being motivated it is highly unlikely staff will be. The best way of motivating the team leaders is to run a programme initially profiling them using Motivational Maps.


Having communicated effectively, explaining clearly what you want, think about simplifying all processes. Using complicated processes confuses staff and customers.  How can we simplify them and how can we make them more user friendly? Make our processes fit for purpose; people like it and are happy when things work the way they are supposed to. That happiness translates into productivity!


Invest in technology. Not for the sake of technology, but for the sake of the productivity it can produce. We all know that technology is moving forward at a cracking pace, and we’ve all seen organisations using old technology on the unstated premise that they are getting a full return on the initial capital investment. But in getting the most from it, and by carrying on using an old technology, which really doesn’t serve the customers or the staff well, we find  that customers move away and staff become frustrated, demotivated and less productive. 


Address the correlation between pay and performance. Performance is what drives greater productivity and leads to enhanced profitability. And it is motivation that drives performance. Do we have a clear link between pay and performance, one that is fair, equitable, and transparent? Are we increasing motivation to make this link meaningful?


Look at revamping the working environment. This can make such a massive difference to the motivation of the people working for you. If your environment is dark, boring, grey, then you can only expect non-stimulation in your staff, encouraging lacklustre performance and ultimately a lack of productivity. Investing in a great working environment is investing in them. What do people like? Nature? Art? Music? Colour? What is your environment like? What can you do to improve it? Consider the lighting, air quality and so on. You might want to measure the difference it makes – before and after.

9 Ways to Boost Productivity is an edited extract from the writings of James Sale 

James Sale FRSA is an inspiring public speaker, writer, business consultant and the creator and licenser of Motivational Maps.

He is a recognised expert on motivation and Motivational Mapping with many years of intensive experience in training and mentoring managers, developing teams and appraisal systems, and creating the conditions for change and growth in organisations through understanding how people are incentivised and optimised. 

Motivational Momentum uses James Sale’s methods with companies, the public sector and individuals to provide insights and improve performance.