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Proven Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Are you looking to make your organization’s work environment more productive? Offering fringe benefits or implementing new processes aren’t always the best solutions. Some organizations have found that promoting positive practices among their workforce — such as treating others with respect, showing compassion when others are in need, and inspiring coworkers to find greater meaning in their work — has profound effects on employee performance and organizational effectiveness.

A study by the University of Michigan found that such practices actually surpassed other traditional efforts, such as employee perks, bonuses, and strategic planning, to improve workplace productivity.

The research focused on how organizations applied the following practices:

  • Caring – People care for, are interested in, and maintain responsibility for one another as friends
  • Compassionate Support – People provide support for one another including kindness and compassion when others are struggling
  • Forgiveness – People avoid blame and forgive mistakes
  • Inspiration – People inspire one another at work
  • Meaning – The meaningfulness of the work is emphasized, and people are elevated and renewed by the work
  • Respect, Integrity, and Gratitude – People treat one another with respect and express appreciation for one another; they trust one another and maintain integrity

Kim Cameron, who led the study and published in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, cited three reasons why creating a culture of positivity works:

  • Amplifying effects:  exposure to positive practices produces positive emotions in individuals, which, in turn, lead to an elevation in individual performance in organizations
  • Buffering effects: Positive practices also buffer the organization from the negative effects of trauma or distress by enhancing resiliency, solidarity, and a sense of efficacy
  • Influential effects: Organizations characterized by positive practices foster positive energy among members, and positive energy produces elevated performance

“When organizations institute positive, virtuous practices, they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness–including financial performance, customer satisfaction, and productivity,” noted Cameron in the study about the research team’s findings. “The more the virtuousness, the higher the performance in profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.”

While many training programs instill lessons to a certain degree about creating a culture of positivity, some of DTG’s training programs that are known to help organizations implement and foster positive practices include:

Emotional Intelligence (EQ 1, EQ 2, EQ 3)

Developing emotional intelligence can help one become more resilient, improve personal and professional relationships, increase productivity, improve interpersonal communication, and give better outcomes for mental and physical health.

Gender Communication

This training is designed to help participants better recognize what men and women typically bring to the workplace. Participants also will learn specific communication techniques to help them engage in more effective gender communication in the workplace. This often-sensitive subject is presented in a neutral, non-judgmental way and is based on the findings of research from multiple perspectives.

Cultural Competency

Being culturally competent can help with your ability to interact successfully with all kinds of people. In this diversity training program, participants will cultivate their ability to understand, communicate with, and interact with people across cultures. Being culturally competent can help improve outcomes in relationships both personally and professionally.

Dealing With Difficult People

This practical, hands-on session addresses the dynamics that come into play when personal or professional interactions are difficult. It will focus on how to manage a variety of difficult relationships, mitigate conflict, and intentionally create work cultures where people can be successful.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is based on a service-first – not a leader-first – mentality. This means servant-leaders focus first and foremost on sharing power, developing people, and meeting the needs of others, rather than initially focusing on gaining power, prestige, and material wealth. It also means servant-leaders see others as partners in a transformational process that develops both leader and followers – with the ultimate goal of creating more servant-leaders, who will repeat the process.

Linda Guyette
Linda Guyette has more than 25 years of experience in the professional skills training and consulting industry, providing marketing and client account management for the training experts she represents. She has a 20+ year background in online marketing, content development, and learning management system implementation. Linda was part of the Denver-based team that executed and managed IBM's nationwide Leadership Excellence Series for more than 12 years.

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