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ow productivity and efficiency at work is more common than one would think. Research suggest that only 39% of the average person's workday is spent on actual work. But why is this? What’s causing employees such issues with productivity? There are several reasons.

Why employees are unproductive

  • Juggling too many tasks -- Millennials, who compose the largest part of the workforce, cost the world economy $450 billion because of multitasking. Whether it’s all the apps they switch using back and forth or just too many tasks assigned to them, multitasking has become a problem. 
  • Too much stress -- Workers these days tend to get overwhelmed by everything they have on their plates. According to one study, this is costing organizations $600 per employee a year. 
  • Not being recognized -- Everyone wants to feel valued for the hard work they put in every day. But that doesn’t seem to be happening in the workplace. Unfortunately, less than half of all employees actually feel appreciated at work.
  • Bad management -- As the adage goes, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” 75% of employees quit because of their managers, according to a comprehensive Gallup study. 

These are just a few of the reasons employees underperform. But with effective tools and strategies, employees can be productive and efficient at work. Here are 3 inspiring examples of organizations that promote productivity and efficiency. 

1. Apple: Building Teams of Star Players

Apple had the highest net income in the world in 2020. They have built a brand that is recognized and admired by organizations everywhere. So it stands to reason that their employees are pretty productive. But how do they achieve this? What’s in their secret sauce?

It’s no mystery. Michael Mankins researched Apple and other big companies for his recent book TIME | TALENT | ENERGY: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power. He found that when Apple groups players, “They select a handful of roles that are business critical, affecting the success of the company’s strategy and execution, and they fill 95% of these roles with A-level quality.”

A great example of this played out when Apple and Microsoft were competing to release their operating systems. What took Microsoft 5 years and 10,000 employees took Apple 2 years and 600 employees, and the result was a superior Apple product. While Microsoft took the approach of rewarding individual performance, Apple was committed to rewarding exceptional team performance. 

“For every member of the team that is not a star player, productivity declines. If 100% of the team is star players, productivity is extremely high,” says Mankins. 

Google: The Value of Perks + Good Data

Google is ranked no.2 by Forbes as the World’s Most Valuable Brands - and the fact that it’s considered one of the best places to work, as well as one of the most innovative companies in the world says a lot. So what is it that makes Google employees work so hard? 

It begins with the people. Google knows if they hire someone skilled yet unmotivated, that person isn’t going to all of a sudden become motivated while working for them. They want the best and brightest problem-solvers that think outside the box and are also driven. 

To keep employees motivated to produce at a high level, Google is notorious for the perks they offer. From free meals to free dry cleaning to games, nap pods, and on-site physicians, the company knows how to keep people satisfied. It might seem like a lot to offer, but the cost of high turnover is greater. 

Google also makes use of the data they collect on their employees. For example, they learned that if the lunch line was too long, productivity would go down. But if the line was nonexistent, employees wouldn’t meet and talk to each other. What did they land on? 4-5 minutes is the right amount of time in line to stay productive and meet and talk to their peers.  

Zoom: A Heavy Focus on Culture

If you didn’t know about Zoom in 2019, you do now! While all of us were stuck at home using Zoom to video chat with our family, friends, and colleagues, their earnings soared to $1 billion. But it wasn’t just their shareholders that were happy, they also ranked #1 as the company with the happiest employees. So what’s their trick?

It began with a focus on workplace culture. Zoom’s founder, Eric Yuan, actually left his six-figure salary at Cisco Webex because he was so unhappy. So when he started Zoom, he made it his mission to ensure he hired the right people—leaders that are passionate and lead by example. When you have that kind of commitment to happiness and excellence from the top-down, employees respect that and work harder. Zoom employees rated Eric Yuan the top CEO on Glassdoor and gave him a 99% approval rating. 

Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most. For example, Zoom provides its employees a stipend each month for a gym membership. Even when the pandemic started and people couldn’t go to the gym, they still gave that money to employees for groceries or whatever else they wanted. 

Tools for success

If there’s one central theme that these three companies follow, it’s that they show their employees appreciation for their hard work. And while big companies like these can offer their employees a lot of perks and rewards, the main takeaway is that employees want to be recognized and appreciated for their hard work. By utilizing tools like MetaSpark, companies can track how their employees are doing in real-time. When employees complete a certain task, you can reward them in the form of gift cards, donations to their favorite charities, and other unique ways. 

Boost Productivity with Simple Perks

Not every company has to be like Google or Apple to find success and boost productivity. But every company can promote team performance, improve their hiring process, provide a few perks, and set an example for employees to follow. By following these simple strategies, you can improve productivity and efficiency at work. 

See How MetaSpark can Drive Productivity and Efficiency at Your Organization! Book a demo today.

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