The workplace can be a stressful setting. Employers have to find ways of handling the stress because it is a fundamental part of an employee job satisfaction and productivity. It goes without saying that discontented employees cannot work hard as those who are satisfied. Even worse, discontented employees may opt to skip work claiming to be sick resulting in absences and unscheduled leaves. However, a business owner can take some crucial steps to enhance the inner working environment to create a conducive workplace where employees are happy, motivated and enjoying work. This can only be achieved when psychology principles are incorporated when planning for the workers. When principles of psychology such as motivation, feedback, creativity, and well-being are integrated into human resource functions such as employee performance evaluation, productivity and motivation and health and well-being, an organization ends up with highly motivated, teams that communicate well and are committed to the goals of the goals of the company.
When psychological concepts of feedback, goal setting, expectations, and support are integrated within employee performance evaluation, a clear communication leading to higher productivity is established. As a standard, organizational management must carry out performance appraisals for employees. Performance evaluations are meant to assess employee performance against set targets. If employees get effective feedback on their progress towards achievement of goals and necessary support from their managers, their productivity and performance will increase (Wickens, Hollands, Banbury & Parasuraman, 2015). Clear, explanatory and timely feedback helps employees realize their achievements, strengths, and weaknesses. Supportive managers will help employees enhance their strengths while citing areas to improve and eliminate the weaknesses. This is achieved through motivational talks with employees and showing them how to do it with instant feedback. Instant feedback ensures that the managers and employees communicate in a two-way manner facilitating seeking support for the employees where necessary.
Manager's expectations and goals should also be well grafted. Managers expectations about employees affect their opportunities to be productive, motivated and performance outcomes (Wickens et al., 2015). Consequently, managers and supervisors should communicate high expectations to the workers to avoid creating negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Likewise, the goals set should be short-term, specific and challenging to motivate and help employees attain self-efficacy. For example, when employees experience success with challenging goals, they will act in the capacity of intermediate risk takers, an attribute of achievement-oriented personalities. Such employees will be capable of achieving long-term goals of the organization and taking productivity to a new level.
When seeking to enhance productivity and motivation, managers can employ intrinsic motivation, creativity and show gratitude to make employees happy and motivated. Increased employee motivation is a predictor of productivity (Demerouti, Bakker & Halbesleben, 2015). Similarly, high productivity increases employee motivation. Psychology informs that various techniques such as contests, performance appraisals, sales quotas and commission pay can potentially improve motivation leading to higher productivity (Demerouti et al., 2015). Keeping employees motivated requires tactics. Psychological managers do not intimidate their employees for intimidation can only yield short-term performance which is not sustainable. On the contrary, managers who apply tactics that stimulate employees' happiness and satisfaction realize high value from motivated and productive employees who work with passion.
Central to high productivity also is intrinsic motivation. Employees who are intrinsically motivated do better than those who are extrinsically motivated (Kuvaas, Buch, Weibel, Dysvik & Nerstad, 2017). It means that psychology managers find ways of exciting intrinsic motivation by enhancing activities that promote the fundamental need of the workers to feel autonomous. Productivity and motivation, moreover, is enhanced through the psychological principle of creativity. Managers can design employee tasks in a manner that increase creativity through problem-solving. Employees should be given the opportunity to devise solutions to problems and experiment new techniques. They should also be allowed to generate ideas and put forward for implementation to solve organizational problems since providing such opportunities provide room for creativity. On the other hand, employers can show gratitude to employees for well-done work. Employees need praise and recognition to be motivated (Bradler, Dur, Neckermann & Non, 2016). Showing employees gratitude every time they do exceptional can enhance the good behavior and challenge other employees to replicate. As a way of showing gratitude, the manager can sponsor a paid trip for the employees as a reward for exceptional performance when the targets are achieved. Employees will be motivated and challenged to maintain high productivity.
Moreover, managers can embrace the principle of well-being through the introduction of health and wellness activities to help employees remain focused and committed to the goals of the organization. It is a fact that physical activities reduce stress while enhancing mindfulness (McCleary et al., 2017). Less stressed and mindful employees are highly productive and committed to the company's goals. Psychological managers should thus avail physical exercise opportunities for employees within the workplace. Within the working hours, employees may be allowed short breaks to undertake physical exercises and experience meditation for the refreshment of the mind and enhancing well-being. In fact allowing employees time to engage in healthful activities regularly leads to growth in productivity by 50%, increasing their commitment to company goals by 40% and reducing sick days by 30% (Mattke et al., 2013). Well-being enhances job satisfaction among the employees who begin to seek for growth within the organization to attain company goals for self-actualization. Health employees are always productive because they have the necessary energy level to engage in companies tasks.
There are various psychological principles relevant to workplaces such as feedback, motivation, creativity, and well-being that can be applied in human resource functions including employee performance evaluation, productivity and motivation and health and well-being of the employees to increase productivity, enhance communication and increase workers' commitment to company goals. Offering clear, explanatory and timely feedback help employees understand areas of weaknesses they need to work on and increase productivity. Likewise, motivating employees help them to increase productivity and work towards company targets. Creativity entails designing challenging tasks for employees and allowing them to try unique ways to solve them. Employees may be allowed to make suggestions for solving company problems as a way of enhancing their creativity. Finally, health and well-being enhance mindfulness of employees to company goals while reducing stress hence increasing commitment to the company.
Bradler, C., Dur, R., Neckermann, S., & Non, A. (2016). Employee recognition and performance: A field experiment. Management Science, 62(11), 3085-3099.
Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., & Halbesleben, J. R. (2015). Productive and counterproductive job crafting: A daily diary study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 20(4), 457.
Kuvaas, B., Buch, R., Weibel, A., Dysvik, A., & Nerstad, C. G. (2017). Do intrinsic and extrinsic motivation relate differently to employee outcomes?. Journal of Economic Psychology, 61, 244-258.
Mattke, S., Liu, H., Caloyeras, J., Huang, C. Y., Van Busum, K. R., Khodyakov, D., & Shier, V. (2013). Workplace wellness programs study. Rand health quarterly, 3(2).
McCleary, K., Goetzel, R. Z., Roemer, E. C., Berko, J., Kent, K., & De La Torre, H. (2017). Employer and employee opinions about workplace health promotion (wellness) programs: results of the 2015 Harris poll Nielsen survey. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 59(3), 256-263.
Wickens, C. D., Hollands, J. G., Banbury, S., & Parasuraman, R. (2015). Engineering psychology & human performance. Psychology Press.
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