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Improving Employee Productivity, Performance
People

Improving Employee Productivity, Performance

The Energy Project works with organizations and their leaders to improve employee engagement and more sustainable performance.
Srinivasan S. Pillay, a psychiatrist and an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School who studies burnout, recently surveyed a random sample of 72 senior leaders and found that nearly all of them reported at least some signs of burnout and that all of them noted at least one cause of burnout at work, the Nytimes website reported.
Around the world, across 142 countries, the proportion of employees who feel engaged at work is just 13%.
Curious to understand what most influences people’s engagement and productivity at work, the Energy Project partnered with the Harvard Business Review last fall to conduct a survey of more than 12,000 mostly white-collar employees across a broad range of companies and industries. The survey was also given to employees at two of the project’s clients — one a manufacturing company with 6,000 employees, the other a financial services company with 2,500 employees. The results were remarkably similar across all three populations.
Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.
The more effectively leaders and organizations support employees in meeting these core needs, the more likely the employees are to experience engagement, loyalty, job satisfaction and positive energy at work, and the lower their perceived levels of stress. Engagement — variously defined as “involvement, commitment, passion, enthusiasm, focused effort and energy” — has now been widely correlated with higher corporate performance.
A 2012 global work force study of 32,000 employees by the consulting company Towers Watson found that the traditional definition of engagement is no longer sufficient to fuel the highest levels of performance. Put simply, the way people feel at work profoundly influences how they perform.
In a numbers-driven world, the most compelling argument for change is the growing evidence that meeting the needs of employees fuels their productivity, loyalty and performance.

 

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