10 common issues that are killing your workplace productivity
27 October 2022 | 12 mins read
- HR resources
As business owners and employees, we know how important workplace productivity is in the office – but what are the underlying causes that effect it?
As we know, every workplace has its own set of quirks and issues. And while some are minor, others can be more severe. No matter what industry you’re in, it’s inevitable that you’ll face some common workplace issues.
From communication breakdowns to office politics, these problems can affect your productivity and bottom line.
In this article, we’ll go over the 10 most common issues in the workplace, how they affect employees and workplace productivity, and some solutions on how to deal with them.
10 common issues that are killing your workplace productivity
1. Poor communication
As we know, communication is key. The way in which managers communicate with their employees can make or break a workplace. If there is a lack of communication, or if the communication is poor, it can lead to all sorts of problems in the workplace.
A lack of communication between employees can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. While the lack of communication between an employee and their boss can lead to frustration and a feeling of being devalued.
Not only is the lack of communication between employees and their supervisors a major issue, but the way in which co-workers communicate with each other can also have a big impact on the workplace. These days, the way we communicate with each other has changed dramatically, thanks to technology.
With so many different channels of communication, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on. In addition, things that are said face-to-face can easily be misconstrued when communicated through email or text. This can lead to miscommunication and conflict among employees, which is one of the top reasons people end up quitting their jobs.
Solution: There are a few things that can be done to improve communication in the workplace. First, it’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Have regular meetings (weekly or monthly) where you can go over what’s been happening and what needs to happen. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and reduce the chances of miscommunication.
In addition, try to be as clear as possible when communicating with your employees. If you’re sending an email, make sure that the subject line is clear and concise. And if you’re sending a text, avoid using abbreviations or slang. Be as clear and concise as possible to avoid any confusion.
2. Lack of trust
Just like supervisors want to hire employees they can trust, employees need to feel like they can trust their managers. A lack of trust can lead to employees feeling like they are not valued or appreciated, which can lead to them becoming burnt-out, unmotivated, and eventually quitting. Which, ultimately, further destroys workplace productivity.
Honestly, ask yourself: Why did you hire them if you don’t feel like you can trust them?
When employees feel like their supervisors don’t trust them, it can lead to a feeling of being devalued. This is because when we don’t trust someone, we tend to see them as less competent and capable. And since the lost of trust usually happens over a period of time, it can be hard to rebuild that trust once it’s gone.
As a result, employees who don’t feel trusted are more likely to become disengaged and eventually quit — leaving management scrambling to find a replacement.
Solution: The best way to build trust is to start from the beginning — during the onboarding process, take the time to get to know your new employees. Have regular check-ins with your employees so that you can get a better sense of how they’re doing and what they’re working on. Let them know that you’re there to support them and that you trust their abilities. This will also give them a chance to voice any concerns or issues they may be having.
Another great method for rebuilding trust between coworkers and supervisors is through team-building activities. These activities can help coworkers get to know each other better and build trust. They can also help managers get to know their employees better and build trust.
3. Unclear expectations
When starting a new job, it’s important that employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. If there is a lack of clarity when it comes to expectations, it can lead to confusion and frustration. Employees may feel like they are constantly guessing what their boss wants from them, which can lead to them feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and eventually quitting.
This is most commonly seen when it comes to job descriptions. Job descriptions should be clear, concise, and accurate. They should list the essential duties and responsibilities of the position, as well as the qualifications that are required.
If an employee feels like they are constantly being asked to do things that are outside of their job description, it can lead to frustration and a feeling of being overworked.
Solution: Be clear about your expectations from the beginning. During the hiring process, take the time to go over the job description with potential candidates. Make sure they understand what the position entails and what will be expected of them.
And once they’re hired, have a meeting to go over the expectations again. This will help ensure that there are no misunderstandings and that everyone is on the same page. And if there are any changes or updates, be sure to communicate those as well.
Let’s be honest, nobody likes to be micromanaged.
It’s suffocating, and it makes employees feel like they are not trusted to do their job. This can very quickly lead to lack of motivation, disengagement, and eventually quitting.
When employees are micromanaged, it sends the message that their boss doesn’t trust them to do their job. This can be extremely demotivating and make employees feel like they’re not valued or appreciated. In addition, micromanagement can also lead to a feeling of being unchallenged and bored. After all, if your boss is constantly telling you what to do, there isn’t much room for creativity or innovation.
Solution: The best way to avoid micromanaging your employees is to have regular check-ins. This will give you a chance to see how they’re doing and what they’re working on, without being too overbearing.
In addition, it’s important to give employees the opportunity to voice any concerns or issues they may be having. This way, you can address any problems before they become too big. And finally, try to avoid micromanaging when it comes to small tasks. Unless it’s something that absolutely needs to be done a certain way, let your employees use their own judgment.
5. Lack of recognition
Nobody likes to feel like their work is going unnoticed. It’s human nature to want to be recognized for a job well done. So, it’s no surprise that a lack of recognition is one of the most common issues in the workplace.
When employees don’t feel like their hard work is being noticed or appreciated, it can lead to disengagement and eventually quitting. After all, why would someone want to stay at a job where they don’t feel valued?
When employees feel appreciated and like a valued member of the team, the effects are the opposite. They’re more likely to be engaged and motivated, and less likely to look for a new job. Employees who are recognized for their work efforts are also more likely to be loyal and stay with the company for a longer period of time.
Solution: Make it a point to recognize your employees for a job well done, both verbally and in writing. This can be done in a number of ways, such as verbal praise, written recognition, or even a simple thank-you note — a simple “thank you” can go a long way.
And when it comes to giving feedback, be sure to focus on the positive as well as the negative. Go beyond just saying “good job.” Be specific about what they did that you appreciated. This will help them understand what you’re looking for and motivate them to continue to work hard.
6. Inconsistent leadership
Inconsistent leadership is one of the biggest issues in the workplace. When there isn’t a clear leader, or when leadership changes frequently, it can lead to confusion and a feeling of instability. This can be extremely frustrating for employees, and it’s one of the main reasons why people leave their jobs.
When leadership is inconsistent, it often leads to a lack of direction. Employees may not know what their goals are or what is expected of them. This can lead to a feeling of being lost and uncertain, which can be very frustrating. In addition, inconsistent leadership can also create a sense of insecurity, as employees may fear that they could lose their job at any time.
Why would your employees want to stay at a job that makes them feel uncertain and insecure?
If their supervisors are constantly quitting or being fired, it’s only natural that they would start to look for a new job as well. After all, who wants to work in an environment where there is no stability?
It’s no wonder that inconsistent leadership is one of the main reasons why people quit their jobs.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to avoid this issue in your workplace.
Solution: If you want to avoid having inconsistent leadership, it’s important to have a clear chain of command. There should be a designated leader, and everyone should know who that person is. In addition, it’s important to have clear guidelines and expectations. Employees should know what their goals are and what is expected of them. It’s also important to be consistent with your leadership style. If you’re someone who likes to micromanage, don’t switch to a hands-off approach halfway through. Employees will appreciate the consistency and it will help avoid any confusion.
And finally, it’s important to provide employees with stability. They should feel secure in their jobs and know that they won’t be let go without a good reason. By providing your employees with stability, you’ll create a workplace that is more likely to retain its employees.
7. Poor work/life balance
Another big issue in the workplace is poor work/life balance. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s common for people to feel like they’re always working and they never have time for anything else. This can lead to burnout, and it’s one of the main reasons why people quit their jobs.
In fact, with 2020’s “Great Resignation” movement, work/life balance was one of the top reasons why employees quit their jobs.
When you have a poor work/life balance, it’s easy to feel like you’re always working and you never have time for anything else. This can lead to burnout, which is when you’re so tired and stressed that you can’t function properly. Burnout can lead to a number of issues, such as depression, anxiety, and even physical health problems.
If you’re constantly working, you’re also likely to miss out on important events in your personal life. You may miss your child’s soccer game or your best friend’s wedding. This can lead to feelings of guilt and regret. In addition, you’re also likely to feel like you’re not doing your best at either your job or your personal life.
Employees today are putting their mental and social health first more than ever, and are opting to not work at all rather than stay in a job that doesn’t respect their time outside of work.
Solution: If you want to avoid having employees quit because of a poor work/life balance, it’s important to create a healthy work environment. Employees should feel like they have a good work/life balance and that their personal life is respected.
There are a few things you can do to create a healthy work environment. First, try to be flexible with your employees’ schedules. If they need to leave early for a doctor’s appointment, let them. Second, encourage your employees to take their vacation days. It’s important for them to recharge and come back feeling refreshed. Finally, try not to overload your employees with work. If they’re constantly working late nights and weekends, they’re going to burn out quickly.
By creating a healthy work environment, you’ll be more likely to retain your employees.
8. Intimidating or hostile environment
Believe it or not, but a lot of people have quit their jobs because they felt intimidated or harassed at work. In fact, a study done by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35% of employees have experienced bullying at work.
This can obviously have a detrimental effect on workplace productivity and overall employee retention.
An intimidating or hostile environment can make going to work every day a nightmare. If you’re constantly feeling like you’re walking on eggshells or you’re afraid of your boss, it’s going to have a negative impact on your mental health. In addition, an unhealthy work environment can lead to physical health problems, such as anxiety and even ulcers.
Some common signs of an intimidating or hostile environment include:
- feeling like you’re always being watched
- feeling like you can’t make any mistakes
- feeling like you’re not allowed to voice your opinion
- feeling belittled or humiliated
- feeling threatened or harassed
Sometimes, an intimidating or hostile environment is created by a toxic boss. But it can also be created by a toxic work culture. If your workplace is full of gossip and backstabbing, it’s going to be very difficult to feel safe and comfortable.
Solution: If you want to create a workplace that is more likely to retain its employees, it’s important to make sure that the environment is respectful and professional. Employees should feel like they can voice their opinion without fear of retribution. They should also feel like their work is valued and that their contributions are important.
There are a few things you can do to create a more positive work environment. First, make sure that your employees feel like they can come to you with any concerns. Let them know that you’re open to feedback and that you’re willing to make changes based on what they say. Second, try to encourage a more collaborative environment. Encourage your employees to work together and help each other out. Finally, make sure that your workplace is free of gossip and drama. If you see something happening, nip it in the bud quickly.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by using an internal communications tool like Konsistent, which monitors internal communications for potential red-flags, and alerts users before they hit send about how their message may be perceived by the recipient.
9. Discrimination or harassment
According to the 2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey of January 2021, 30 percent of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work. This can include things like name-calling, rudeness, and even cyberbullying. Overall, an estimated 48.6 million Americans are bullied at work.
Discrimination and harassment can make going to work every day a nightmare.
If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly because of your race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, it’s going to have a negative impact on your mental health. In addition, an unhealthy work environment can lead to physical health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and sometimes even suicidal thoughts.
Some common signs of discrimination or harassment include:
- feeling like you’re being treated differently than other employees
- feeling like you’re not being given the same opportunities as other employees
- feeling like you’re being passed over for promotions
- feeling like you’re being belittled or humiliated
- feeling threatened or harassed
Keep in mind that harassment is not always physical. It can also be verbal or emotional. If you’re constantly being made to feel like you’re not good enough or you’re being treated unfairly, that’s harassment.
Solution: If you want to create a workplace with high workplace productivity that is more likely to retain its employees, it’s important to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. Employees should feel like they are valued for their contributions and that they have an equal opportunity to succeed.
There are a few things you can do to create a more positive work environment. First, make sure that your employees feel like they can come to you with any concerns. Let them know that you’re open to feedback and that you’re willing to make changes based on what they say. Second, try to encourage a more collaborative environment. Encourage your employees to work together and help each other out. Finally, teach your employees the proper communication and conflict resolution skills. This will help to prevent any future issues from arising.
One of the best ways to do this is with Konsistent, which includes a built-in conflict resolution module. This module helps employees to resolve conflicts quickly and efficiently, before they arise. Employers can also monitor the analytics to see which areas of the workplace may be more prone to conflict, so that they can address the issue head-on.
10. Lack of career growth
When an employee feels like they’re not being given the opportunity to grow in their career, it can be a major source of frustration. If you’re not seeing any opportunities for advancement, it’s only natural to start looking for a new job. After all, why would you stay somewhere if there’s no chance of moving up?
Lack of career growth is one of the main reasons why employees decide to leave their jobs. In fact, a recent study found that 60 percent of millennials would leave their current job if they didn’t feel like they were being given the opportunity to grow.
Common signs that an employee is feeling frustrated with their lack of career growth include:
- asking for more responsibility
- expressing interest in new projects or initiatives
- talking about wanting to move up within the company
- applying for new jobs internally
- looking for jobs outside of the company
Employees now more than ever are willing to leave a job that doesn’t offer them the opportunity to grow. In the past, people would stay at a job for years, even if they were unhappy, because it provided stability. But now, with the rise of the gig economy and the availability of online courses and certifications, employees feel like they have more options. They’re no longer willing to stay in a job that doesn’t offer them the chance to grow and develop.
Solution: If you want to keep your employees from leaving, it’s important to offer them opportunities for career growth. This can be in the form of promotions, new responsibilities, or even just access to training and development courses. Employees need to feel like they’re constantly learning and growing in their careers, or they’ll start to look for a new job.
One of the best ways to offer career growth opportunities is to create an internal talent development program. This can include things like offering online courses, providing access to industry-leading software, or giving employees the opportunity to attend conferences and workshops. By investing in your employees’ development, you’re showing them that you’re invested in their future.
Another way to offer career growth opportunities is to create clear paths for advancement. Employees should know what they need to do in order to move up within the company. There should be a clear progression from entry-level positions to management roles. By creating these paths, you’re giving your employees a roadmap to follow.
Finally, it’s important to have regular conversations with your employees about their career goals. These conversations will help you to identify any roadblocks they may be facing and offer guidance on how they can overcome them. By having these conversations, you’re showing your employees that you’re interested in their career development.
Improved employee well-being = increased workplace productivity
While there are many reasons why employees decide to leave their jobs, these are some of the most common. By understanding these issues, you can take steps to prevent them from happening in your workplace.
If you want to keep your employees happy and engaged, it’s important to make them a priority. Offer opportunities for career growth, invest in their development, and have regular conversations about their goals. By taking these steps, you can create a workplace that employees will want to stay in.