Bad to Worse: 6 Ways to Kill Workplace Productivity

In an attempt to increase morale and productivity, organizations will attempt anything. I recently read an article in The Wall Street Journal ( about how to liven boring meetings. Leaders allowed crayons and water pistols for creating productivity. Such rote behavior is meant for recess, not productivity.

The problem with organizations today is with leaders who cannot lead and workers who have little passion. Rather than repair the issue, leaders place band-aids on surgical incisions. Fix the problem.

1. Got Talent. Talent is innate. Skills cannot be taught and organizations constantly place the wrong people in the wrong positions. There are denizens of selling professionals enacting as sales managers that should be fired. Place individuals where they will succeed and aligned with talents. Eradicate the sloths.

2. Conflict. Supervisors and managers fear conflict in the workplace. Managers fail to hold those accountable because they fear conflict. The inability to confront subordinates about poor performance seriously undermines productivity.

3. Accountability. Everyone has a job and must do it. Timeframes and tasks must be upheld. Those that do not comply should be dealt with.

4. Observed behavior. Review it constantly and ensure it upholds the mission, vision and values of the organization.

5. Stop the Circus. Save the ridiculous animal tricks, the flying canons, poster board and crayons for recess and kindergartners. Treat adults as such. If John and Peter do not like each other, one hour of mountain bike riding with a case of beer only ensures one of them will not return. This does nothing for productivity and wastes needed income.

6. The Last Supper. Allow all to eat at the table. End the aristocracy and allow democracy. Innovation flourishes from those closest to their customers. The concept is difficult to grasp, but fruitful since all organizations exist for one reason -“ the customer!

Productivity begins with candid relationships between employer and employee. It is imperative to note that individuals do not leave companies — they leave poor managers.

To dilute the productivity impact, take time to build relationships with employees through personal interaction. Employees need candid feedback to increase morale, productivity and ultimately accountability.

There are 7 techniques that impact employee performance. E-mail [email protected] for the free report.

Drew Stevens, Ph.D. helps organizations accelerate business growth. He is the president of Stevens Consulting Group in St. Louis and the author of “Split Second Selling” and the soon to be released “Ultimate Business Bible -“ 12 Strategies for Ultimate Success”. With over 25 years of sales experience and business leadership, Stevens has extensive experience in assisting both entrepreneurs and selling professionals to experience higher efficiency and effectiveness. He can be reached at or his blog

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Richard Blanchard
Rick is the Managing Editor of Corp! magazine. He has worked in reporting and editing roles at the Port Huron Times Herald, Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News, where he was most recently assistant business editor. A native of Michigan, Richard also worked in Washington state as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Anacortes American. He received a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix.