Worker productivity is at an all-time low. U.S. worker productivity dropped by 2.7% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year.  

Many leaders are stressed about this drop in productivity, and workers are not sure what can be done to increase their productivity and motivation.  

Employees are essential for a business to be successful, so it is important for leaders to find out what is causing productivity to drop and find ways to avoid it in their company.  

Send out frequent employee surveys 

Surveys are a great way to gather feedback from employees. Many employees do not feel comfortable voicing their true thoughts in person, so sending out surveys can be a great way to receive candid responses from your employees.  

On these surveys, ask your employees what they personally think about their productivity and then what can be done to improve it. The responses may allow leaders to determine what may be causing a decrease in productivity and what can be done to help fix it.  

Provide your employees with stability 

66% of employees say that financial stress affects their work and productivity. With the constant increase of prices, changes in the economy, and rise in layoffs, there is a lot for employees to be stressed about. All of these changes create uncertainty for employees instead of stability.  

If you have employees who are successful at reaching their goals and getting work done, now more than ever, is the time to celebrate them and make them feel like they are essential to the company. Making employees feel noticed and appreciated can help lift some of the stress that they may be feeling.  

Stability can also mean having a progression plan and sticking with it. If an employee is following the progression plan and is expecting to advance, making that possible for the employee will help create more stability for not only that employee, but for all employees seeing that progression is possible.  

Listen to your employees  

Set aside time to talk with your employees that are struggling to be productive.  Listen to what your employees have to say and come up with ways to help them. For example, if you have an employee that has to drive 45 minutes to the office every single day, and he is struggling financially, consider offering him a hybrid or remote position to help lift his financial burden as much as you can.  

Employees will recognize and appreciate it when you listen to them and put effort into trying to help in any way you can.  

Trust your employees 

Trusting your employees is a lot easier said than done. But, leading with trust and assuming the best in your employees will immediately improve your working relationships. Set clear expectations and trust that your employees will perform.  Trust also includes not micromanaging your employees but trusting that they understand what they need to do in order to reach goals.  

Many employees feel like they are not given independence in the workplace, which can also cause a major decrease in productivity. However, if leaders put more trust into their employees and give them space, it can help employees feel like they are trusted in the work they do.  

While productivity may be at an all-time low, there are ways to avoid dips in productivity in your company. Through communicating, creating stability, listening, and trusting your employees, you can help increase productivity with your employees and business.