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November 29, 2012

Employee Concerns and Productivity

Employees of any organization have a plethora of concerns, most of which have direct impact on the productivity of an individual. It is the responsibility of the human resource (HR) team and management of an organization to lend a listening ear to individual concerns and try to solve them. The policies of a company pertaining to human resources should be “employee – friendly” as far as possible.

How to pinpoint concerns of an individual

The human resource team is like a Pope sitting in the confession box of a church – people tend to bring all their issues to them. But sometimes, employees feel shy to discuss their problems. The HR team is required to observe all employees and look out for signs of stress. If deemed fit, they may call the individual appearing stressed to a one to one meeting and counsel him personally.

Confidentiality is a key factor that makes one comfortable in discussing the issues he feels in his work environment and even personal issues. The HR team has to build this trust in the employees that whatever their concerns are, details would never be shared with any unauthorized person. Suggestion boxes, complaint boxes, etc should be kept in each floor so that one may drop in his ideas or convey his difficulties. Communication vide e-mail should also be encouraged where an employee may even seek help in addressing the issue.

Person to person issues

Managers have to be strict to keep their junior colleagues and team members on their toes and ensure that no one takes their work lightly. However, at times, people tend to go overboard – they behave nastily with the team, even if the situation does not demand it. This demotivates the team largely. The juniors get a feeling that how much ever one may slog, the boss is never going to be happy.

On the other hand, there could be a difference in opinion with two colleagues at the same level, or between a senior – junior pair. If the situation gets escalated, it could result in an employee refusing to work with, and even talk with a fellow employee. The converse of this instance is when one wishes to work with a particular employee all the time. Both cases are unhealthy for the work atmosphere.

The HR team is required to take charge in all cases. They should help the bitter – tongued manager to control his temper, and put his point across effectively – firmly, yet politely. If required, he may have to be sent to a workshop on anger management. In the other case, they should encourage department heads to interchange members of various teams for different projects, so that employees can be comfortable working with one another. Also, leadership skills, responsibility and management skills may be inculcated in employees at middle management level by appointing them as project managers or team leaders for particular projects. Personal tiffs or favoritism should be discouraged openly.

Difference in compensations at same level

Often, two employees at the same level with similar experience and qualifications draw different packages as monthly compensations or perks. There could be many reasons for such differences, but this is hardly taken positively by persons with the lower salary. It also leads to lower motivation levels.

The compensation of an individual should be kept strictly confidential and employees should be warned against discussing details of their packages with anyone, even in their friend circles. If any dissent is brought forward by an employee to the HR to discuss differences in salaries, it should be conveyed that an individual’s package is guided by many factors and is the responsibility of the management.

Similar complaints about variable incentives, differential increments etc may exist among employees – the HR team and management have to discourage such feelings among them, keeping such financial details as secret as possible.

Job security

Employees feel demotivated if their jobs are not secure, especially after they have served the probation period. Even if someone is on a contractual job, he needs the security that he would not lose his job before the agreed tenure.

Job benefits

Other than the salary, an employee looks forward to the overall long term benefits that his tenure with the company. You must have seen senior people advising youngsters to try for government jobs – this happens largely due to job security and additional benefits such as provident fund (PF), gratuity, pension, quarters for staying with family, etc.

Today, most organizations offer a medical insurance for an employee and his immediate family as an additional benefit to cover for unforeseen circumstances.


One may have to attend to some personal works like banking etc on working days. He may get late for work, or may need to leave early for some purpose. There should be provisions where he can take such short leaves, work for additional hours on another day, or work from home, etc to let employees attend to such contingencies.

Work atmosphere

Surprising as it may sound, but the work environment also affect the productivity of an employee. A reputed interior designer should be appointed to choose the colours of walls and partitions to make an employee comfortable in his workspace.

A well lit desk with adequate storage for papers, stationery and his personal belongings is essential. Maximum of us have jobs that require us to sit in a chair for most of the day, and health problems like low back pain, neck pain, etc are common. The chairs and desks should be ergonomically designed, so that the individual may work comfortably. A comfortable temperature maintained through air conditioning also contribute to increasing the productivity of employees. Some organizations also have a light music playing which soothes an individual’s mind and keeps him from losing his temper. There should be a pantry hall where people can interact over lunch and mid day snacks. Clean and hygienic washrooms also contribute in an employee being comfortable at work.

A comfortable employee is a happy employee – and happy employees make a successful organization!

Tags : employees and productivity, productivity related concerns at organization, productivity of an employee

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.