August 24, 2016

The Productivity Paradox: Making a Difference

Dr. Tracy Brower, PhD, MM, MCR Global Vice President of WORKPLACE VITALITY™ MARS DRINKS

People want to be productive, and they want to have a sense of pride in their work. Give them these, and in turn enhance the four pillars – engagement, collaboration, well-being and productivity - identified through MARS DRINKS WORKPLACE VITALITY™ research.

Having an impact also counts. Through our research, we learned that in order for people to feel most engaged, they must feel that their work has an impact on the organization, and in order for them to have a sense of well-being, it is important for them to have a sense of control over things that are important to them.

In addition to having choice and control related to where they work and when/how they work, (see our previous blogs on choosing well and on the proliferation of choice), it’s also important that they have some control over what they work on.

In our study, we found that people reported a divide between their own work effectiveness and the impact they felt they had on their company. They reported that they were very productive in getting work accomplished and having a lot of pride in their work. However, their lowest ratings indicated that they didn’t necessarily feel they were adding value for their employer or exceeding organizational standards. There was a disconnect between people feeling good about their individual work, but not necessarily feeling a connection to the broader company performance.

But organizations can close this gap in many ways, here are a few examples:

  • Provide opportunities for people to have input and some control over the projects they are assigned.
  • Give people the opportunity to influence the ways their tasks and their projects are prioritized.
  • Host coffee chats with leaders who can reinforce the vision of the organization and how the work of the team contributes to meeting customer’ needs.
  • Provide coffee areas that encourage communication between teams so that team members can learn more about how their work affects the work of others.

At the end of the day, for people to be most productive, choice plays an important role – in terms of what people are working on and in terms of how their work matters. And of course coffee is another important factor in bringing people together and providing the opportunity to enhance their sense of impact and connectedness.

Find out more about MARS DRINKS’ WORKPLACE VITALITY™ research.

Tags: Workplace Vitality