5 Common Mistakes that Hinder Employee Productivity

It goes without saying that management plays a significant role in employee drive and motivation. Motivation intrinsically links to growth and productivity so why is it not cultivated as often, especially in an environment where workers spend a third of their day? While the introduction of exciting incentives may prove successful in driving up motivation levels around the office, ensuring that management operates well and efficiently still remains more viable in the long run.

Here are some common and often overlooked mistakes to keep in mind when building an effective management team.

Not being involved in employees’ course of work

One of the most common mistakes stems from a manager’s lack of involvement in their employee’s work. A hands-off manager who does not offer proper support for their employees can be extremely damaging to employee satisfaction and productivity levels. Not only does he or she not know what is going on, but their ability to make fair judgment calls or to give credit where it’s due is also shrouded. As highlighted by Quartz, many underestimate the importance of seeing employees as individuals, not just placeholders.

While micromanagement isn’t a solution, one thing managers should get into the habit of doing is to constantly check-in with their employees. Managers and leaders cannot lead without experiencing what is happening on the ground. efront notes that being involved shows your appreciation for what your workers do, and the effort made to understand and walk in their shoes also fosters the building of a learning culture that promises increased productivity.

Ignoring employees’ ideas

Expressing ignorance or nonchalance towards employees’ ideas can be detrimental. An environment that stimulates creativity is key for a business to thrive in the long run. When ideas are ignored, growth is stifled. Huffington Post and Forbes both highlight that a safe and empowering environment is necessary for increased productivity, plainly because growing a company requires creativity. Just remember that if ideas are always squashed, a culture that impedes employee productivity will eventually develop and take hold.

Pushing for results without listening to employees’ concerns and needs

The Guardian states that there is an “essential connection between engagement and financial success”. The classic example of management putting the organisation first before their employees leads to the mistake of expecting stellar results without helping your employees get there. Results may be important, but one has to invest and provide support before they can be achieved. Quartz published a study where 80% of participants indicated that they trust their employer because they felt supported by him or her. By listening to and properly addressing your employees’ concerns, management can then build a relationship of trust that increases motivation and productivity at work.

Failing to value employees’ motivations

Another important factor in boosting employee satisfaction and productivity involves motivation. While it is easy to understand that a happy worker will in turn be more productive, managers often forget that different things make different people happy. In the same study, Quartz underlines how managers can show that they value their employees’ motivations by “tailoring assignments, conversations, feedback, and rewards based on what each individual values”. Your employees are not robots; some may find motivation in work-life balance while others find drive in company benefits. Keep in mind that not every incentive is a one size fits all.

Not practising on what you preach

Ultimately, a good tip to always keep in mind is that actions speak louder than words. Forbes calls attention to how “leaders must walk the talk by modelling the culture as well as teaching and preaching it,” especially since “everybody has eyes on the boss.” By not practising what you preach, managers are subtly showing that they do not place importance in their work, which sends a similar message to the employees. Employee productivity hinges heavily on the workplace environment and the management has a major influence on shaping that culture. Always try to keep your word – a small action speaks and does volumes.

A good leader sets a good foundation in the building of team culture. In this article, Vincent Low, Canon’s Director & General Manager of Business Imaging Solutions, shares three main core values and beliefs for forging a successful team.


They say that employees leave their managers, not the company. Beyond being better able to retain current employees and boost productivity, great management also makes the company attractive and inviting to potential talent. After all, much like planting a tree in fertile conditions, good management not only encourages growth, but it ultimately leads to a continuously flourishing business. It’s a win-win for everyone!

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