Let’s face it: The workplace productivity is pretty low these days. And it is happening all across the entire globe. As a definition of productivity is “a quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services” – seems like the organizations aren’t keeping up with new workplace demands fast enough.
Gallup’s report on State of the Global Workplace exposed the current situation regarding this issue.
Only 32% of working-age adults across 155 countries are employed full time. And only 15% of those are highly involved in and enthusiastic about the work and a workplace. Of course, engagement level differs significantly by country and region, but the proportion of the employees who are gladly engaged in their job never exceeds four in 10, no matter what country we look at.
A general conclusion made after this poll is that the main difficulty for the productivity level might be in keeping up with the pace of social and technological change. Organizations and institutions are usually lethargic to adapt to the transformative spread of information technology, the globalization of markets for products and labor, the rise of the gig economy, and younger workers’ unique expectations.
Things that should be in the center of attention of every manager are those basic needs humans have towards the quality psychological engagement. Positive workplace relationships, continual (but always earned) recognition, and, of course, opportunities for personal development.
As you guess, the managers have the crucial role in implementing a system that cares good care of employee’s performance and engagement. Any system that is strength-orientated actually helps to maximize productivity through the strong and positive inner relationships. That is the key to a healthy and happy workplace. And did you know that an unhappy employee often leaves his job because of poor relationships, both with a manager and other employees?
The world changes and any organization must adapt accordingly. When we say organization, we actually mean every single person, regardless his position or place in the very structured hierarchy.
Start with well preparing yourself for that challenge. We bring you 10 books that will help you get the whole picture and learn what should you change about yourself – which habits you should improve and which ones you should definitely eradicate…
Start it on Tuesday as it’s the most productive day of the week. And be patient as it takes approximately 30 days to establish a new physical or emotional habit.
- How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress by Anna Maravelas
An alarming 88% of Americans cite hostility, desk-rage, and workplace incivility as top concerns. So, we decided to start there. This book is very utile for any executive, supervisor, and manager in charge to protect a good name, profit, and productivity that might be in jeopardy due to these toxic emotions.
A frustration is never welcomed in any organization and driving wedges between people destroy any effort to maintain unity and thus the productivity of both leaders and employees.
How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress teach you how to protect productivity even during periods of uncertainty and rapid change. Learn how to:
• Handle the daily onslaught of frustration without losing momentum,
mood or confidence.
• Avoid the conflict and cynicism that drains profits, resources
• Discover why anger makes people irrational, lonely, and depressed
and how to quickly calm agitated colleagues and customers.
• Experience the fiscal and personal benefits of being “hard on the problem
and soft on the people.”
• Replace bitterness about the past with shared responsibility for the future.
• Create a blame-resistant, emotionally resilient workforce.
His Majesty, the Time – one strict and merciless ruler that never allows us to finish our to-do list. But, there is a catch that all successful people know about. They simply never try to do everything. Focusing on the important tasks is something that will save you a lot of time and that will skyrocket your productivity.
They eat their frogs, as the book would say. What does it mean?
There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re done with the worst thing you’ll have to do all day.
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time is a manual for best organizing your day. This step by step guide teaches you to use technology wisely while maintaining your focus in this era of constant distractions, electronic and otherwise.
Throughout the entire book, the author is underlining three keywords that hold all the wisdom of smart organization: decision, discipline, and determination.
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Paperback by Atul Gawande
What do you say about the simple idea that our checklists reveal everything there is about the complexity of our lives? This author claims it is so.
This is the world of know-how. There is a manual for every single thing one must do. But, there is a huge downside of that. The volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We know more, we learn more, we want more. This is why we learn and work more and still continue to fail even more.
This is where the checklist enters in all its splendor, no matter how simple and easy it might seem (and thus, not very reliable, according to the majority of people). Don’t be doubting Thomas, try it and then criticize later, if you have to.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are those who thrive.
- Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management, Productivity, and the Future of Work by Maura Nevel Thomas
A quality employee experience is a key to success, regarding this ever-growing knowledge economy.
The biggest enemy of the harmonic and productive workflow is an omnipresent stress that always leads to a burn-out. Trust us, you don’t want to manage a team that is susceptible to this kind of energy wasting. As a leader, your duty is to protect the team from this.
Today’s “always-on” work culture actually prevents you and your team from producing what really matters: ideas, innovation, and meaningful results.
Create (intentionally) a workplace culture that nurtures creativity and improves productivity by focusing on high-quality employee experience through:
• Work-life balance
• Holistic well-being
• Significant results
• Attention management vs. time management
• Effective communication strategies
• Office design that supports both collaborative and focused work
• Vacation and downtime
• Off-site work with healthy boundaries
- On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them OutKindle Edition by Eric Chester
This book is a bit different. The author claims that employee engagement isn’t the ultimate goal. He turned the tables and now, according to him, it’s merely the starting point.
The book is created from original examples and stories the author compiled through the series of exclusive personal interviews with over 25 founders/CEOs/presidents of companies like Marriott, Siemens, BB&T Bank, Wegmans, 7-Eleven, Hormel, Canadian WestJet, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Container Store, along with smaller companies like Firehouse Subs, the Nerdery, and Build-A-Bear.
Straight from the horse’s mouth. And we are talking about purebred champion racing horses.
- Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes, and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity by David Sibbet
Meetings. One can easily get frustrated and bored to death in just thinking of those never-ending and torturous meetings.
Bet you did not know it does not have to be like that. Or, you might know it, but never met the solution. Well, allow us to present you the best buy you can find in order to take it to another level.
Visual Meetings explains how anyone can implement powerful visual tools, and how these tools are being used in Silicon Valley and elsewhere to facilitate both face-to-face and virtual group work. This richly illustrated guide brings you a handful of tricks to refresh the atmosphere in that dreadful conference room. Among those, you will find:
• Graphic recording, visual planning, storyboarding, graphic templates, idea mapping, etc.
• Creative ways to energize team building, sales presentations, staff meetings, strategy sessions, brainstorming, and more
• Getting beyond paper and whiteboards to engage new media platforms
• Understanding emerging visual language for leading groups
- Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
It’s time to get the job done and deliver results. Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, with an impressive track record of delivering results. Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors.
We trust that these two really know the reasons and its sources of why some companies are successful and others are not.
What is noticeable throughout the entire book is the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization. Any business that is based on intellectual honesty and realism, will deliver results measured in quality people, excellent strategies, and well-done operations.
No harm in giving it a chance, right?
- The Human Relations Matrix: The Secret to Workplace Productivity by Jeremy Henderson
There is a new kid on the block. And he is genius: the Human Relations Matrix!
This innovative methodology engages employees at absolutely every level there is in the business strategies your organization prepares. This is a powerful source of the numerous ideas and good decisions made by employees.
Focusing on their talent and giving it a chance, the management announces clear its priorities – the people.
Through a holistic group of strategic and tactical elements, the Human Relations Matrix will give everyone from the executive team on down the tools they need to increase productivity and accelerate the achievement of your business strategy.
Waited a long time for something like this? Well, the waiting paid off finally.
- How to Motivate Every Employee: 24 Proven Tactics to Spark Productivity in the Workplace by Anne Bruce
24 Ways to Motivate Every Employee provides creative and ready-to-use tools and techniques for ensuring enthusiasm, energy, and employee morale. Some of them are:
• Turn employees into partners
• Encourage intelligent risk taking
• Offer incentives and morale boosters
• Build trust
• Spread power around
• Encourage accountability
• Attack de-motivators
• Make employees want to stay
This pretty much employee-friendly book was written by Anne Bruce, worldwide recognized speaker and workshop leader. She has written a number of books, including Building a High Morale Workplace, Motivating Employees, and others.
By using results-oriented strategies used by Disney, Starbucks, and Levi Strauss, this author shows us how to build a world-class-like company, regardless the size of your organization.
- Vitamin C for a Healthy Workplace by Luke De Sadeleer
And, in the end, a bit of the most valuable and energizing vitamin! Vitamin C.
Metaphorically speaking, identifying and developing strengths while managing weaknesses at the same time, has the same effect on your organization as the huge dose of Vitamin C has on your body. It will grow stronger, more agile and successful.
Based on a theory that each and one individual can do at least one thing better than any 10,000 other people, this book will teach you to align talents and skills with goals. Vitamin C for a Healthy Workplace provides a prescription for aligning the passion of the people with the mission of the organization.
And when you use it, you will be passionate about what you do. Same as your team. Mondays will never be so scary anymore!