Improve Profitability by Increasing Employee Productivity

Employee Productivity

Employees make your company—they are the key to your small business success.

At we believe that the people you hire directly impact your business. And that properly motivated employees can be true advocates of your brand. But how do you keep employees motivated in today’s ever-changing environment?

It’s simple; Implement a combination of these four critical things.

The 4 Steps to Killer Employee Productivity

1.  Recognition

A little bit of recognition goes a very long way. People want to feel validated and valued for the work that they do. And saying “thank you” or “good job” can make a big difference. Recognition doesn’t always have to be monetary. Often times, verbal validation can provide more meaning than any sort of dollar amount.

There are quick, easy ways to build recognition into any culture. For example, At, we have a few different types of recognition. One of them is Peer Recognition - any employee can recognize another for being simply awesome. There is no money given as part of this recognition, but each person recognized receives a small stress toy (Gold Star, Hammer (for nailing it), Donkey (for being kick-ass), or Giraffe (for sticking their neck out)).

BDC Recognition

These awards are given monthly, and we highlight the award submissions internally for everyone to read. We find that this type of personal recognition speaks volumes with our employees, and inspires them in all aspects of their work life.

2. Implement New-Age Digital Solutions

Nobody wants to spend time on back-office tasks, especially when there is a digital solution that can simplify things. Implementing cloud-based automation will free up your employees’ time. You’ll rid them of those pesky time-consuming tasks and they’ll be able to focus on the work that inspires them. You’ll find that productivity will increase exponentially.

Another way to urge motivation is by utilizing digital leaderboards. For your numbers-driven Sales folks, this will prove invaluable. Here at, we have Sales leaderboards up for all to see as well as weekly sales snapshot emails that go out to the entire company. Having sales rankings published goes along with the transparency we have in other aspects of our culture.

3. Rewards

Along with recognition, rewards can help motivate employees. From quota clubs in Sales to pay for performance, recognizing strong performance is the bedrock of any good rewards program and goes a long way towards keeping people motivated.  

There are many unique ways you can reward employees without cash. Team building events are great and can foster collaboration and connection within teams. Having an impromptu ice cream social just because it's awesome—who doesn’t love ice cream?  Bring in pizza for lunch on a rainy day. These relatively easy and fun things go a long way in motivating and rewarding employees.

Of course, monetary rewards for strong performance help in this arena too. Who doesn’t like to be recognized with more money for their hard work? Be sure your plan is applied consistently and appropriately across all employees. With a bit of thought, you can figure out some solid rewards programs. It's about making it relevant to your team. If you want good ideas, just ask your employees!

4.  Positive Employee Engagement

You may never know what is truly on your employees’ minds unless you ask them. But if you ask them point blank, you may or may not get an honest and open response. Enter—the engagement survey (we used to call them satisfaction surveys). These surveys give employees a secure and confidential vehicle to express their thoughts candidly. Engagement surveys provide valuable insight into the top of mind issues of your employees and into their experiences in a variety of areas at work.  

At we survey our employees twice a year, and allow time between surveys for data analysis, action planning, and implementation. Taking impactful action based on data doesn’t happen overnight, but ensuring your employees know you are listening can. Recently we implemented a decision-making tool built to define roles and expectations up front before starting a project. This effort ensures that meetings are streamlined and our employees get back their most valuable resource—time.  

Productivity equals profitability, and by nurturing and growing your employees you’ll find that their success is your success. Even the smallest of actions can make the difference!

March 8, 2017
Jennifer Zimmerman
HR Manager, Employee Engagement and Development,
Jennifer is responsible for engagement, recognition, and learning & development at Once on the path to becoming a college history professor, she found her love of learning in the business world. She loves animals, glitter, shiny, sparkly things, the color pink, books, sleeping in on weekends, kale, and helping people be happy!