Strong productivity in the workplace is vital to building a successful company. It leads to higher output, which means increased profits for your organization. High productivity also boosts employee morale.

On the other hand, the effects can be detrimental when employees fail to complete their work in the allotted time.

From stress and communication to the proper training and tools, there are numerous reasons why your employees may not be getting much work done. But before you can fix the problem, you have to identify the cause of the issue.

Here’s a look at five common productivity killers that may be affecting your team and how you can resolve them.

1. Lack of communication

Without proper communication, it can be impossible for a workplace to run efficiently. Employees might not know what you expect of them or lack confidence in their role. They may also feel uncomfortable opening up about any issues.

Instead of asking for help, employees may act as if everything is okay and continue struggling on their own. This often results in low quality work or decreased productivity.

What to do 

Excellent communication consists of discussing problems or performance issues with your employees. It’s your responsibility to engage with employees and provide helpful feedback.

You can clear up any confusion and encourage accountability by making sure everyone is clear on their job responsibilities right from the start. You might also find it helpful to set new hires up with mentors or more experienced teammates so that they can turn to them if they need help.

Make sure you establish an active line of communication with employees so they’ll feel comfortable approaching you when problems arise.

2. Insufficient training

When you hire someone, they may not initially have every skill needed for the position. Also, many industries evolve quickly and require additional training later down the road.

However, a study by Axonify reveals that only 31% of the workforce receives formal job training. Employees who don’t receive proper training are likely to make mistakes or struggle to complete their work. This can cause frustration and hamper productivity.

What to do 

You can quickly fill in any gaps in an employee’s experience or knowledge with on-the-job training. Cultivate a work environment that values continuous learning. Identify skill gaps and opportunities for employee development and training.

Preparing team members with the skills they need will increase their job satisfaction and productivity while providing a path for mobility within the company.

3. Inadequate tools and equipment

Your employees can only be as successful as the tools you give them. Not having the right supplies can massively hinder their ability to get work done.

Every employee has different needs. For instance, a team member may work more effectively with a dual monitor setup or an ergonomic keyboard.

What to do  

Don’t leave employees to be resourceful and figure out their own solutions. Show them you value their needs by supplying them with tools that enable them to do their best work.   

Also, be sure to update all computer systems and software as needed. Employees will waste a lot of time if they have to wait a while for their computer to boot up before they can get started on their work.

4. Too many meetings

Employees face many distractions in a typical workday. From buzzing cellphones to loud conversations, it can be challenging to focus when a lot is going on around you. Meetings, however, are one of the top distractions in the workplace.

A study by Atlassian shows that employees, on average, spend an hour a day in meetings, for a total of 31 hours per month. The same survey found that almost half of employees believed meeting to be the number one time-killer at the office. It’s difficult for employees to get any work done if back-to-back meetings fill their workday, or they have limited time between multiple meetings.

What to do  

You can cut down on time spent in meetings by finding ways to help employees run them more efficiently. You can also try implementing a meeting-free day once a week.

5. Stress

Whether it’s work-related or personal, periods of high stress can lead to missing more days of work, lower employee engagement, and decreased productivity. It can significantly impact an employee’s ability to focus and complete tasks.

What to do  

During times like these, it’s crucial to offer team members the support they need to recover. Pushing them to get work done will only increase their level of stress and lead to burn out.

You can make team members feel supported by regularly holding one-on-one meetings between employees and their managers. Checking in on people allows them to open up during difficult times.

Giving your team a productivity boost

There are likely going to be times when you notice a decline in your employees’ productivity. The tricky part is identifying the reason why they may not be getting much work done. However, once you know the cause, you can work with them to resolve the problem and get their productivity back on track.