How to Improve Employee Engagement: Focus on Productivity

Part 2 of the Employee Engagement Series

When an employee is engaged, they’re happier and better performers, finds Gallup. This is great news as we want a happy and productive workforce. To achieve this dual state, I look to the 12 Elements of Engagement as outlined in the Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. Since I’ve already addressed the first Element of Engagement in a prior blog, let’s go straight to number two, which screams productivity:

I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

Sounds simple enough to implement, yet why do 7 in 10 U.S. employees believe they don’t have the needed materials and equipment to get their work done right, as reported by Gallup? Why are organizations reporting that they’re experiencing negative hits on profitability, workplace safety, and quality of output as a result?

Of all the 12 engagement elements, an employee having the materials and equipment to do their work well is the strongest indicator of job stress, states Gallup.

To sum up the impact, an employee without the right materials and equipment may very well be under-performing, unhappy, not safe, and stressed out - while the organization is likely losing money, employees and customers.


Let’s fix this.

  1. Managers should have a conversation with their employees about what resources they need to do their jobs and do them better. As managers, we hope that we’re already aware of what’s missing, but we may be surprised, as it’s tough to keep up with all the new and more affordable software solutions available to offset and streamline tasks. You may be able to improve an employee’s productivity and happiness factor next week!
    • Honestly, organizations need to start these conversations earlier – with candidates. A company I know of could have avoided losing a new hire after six weeks, if only they would have had the conversation early-on about the resources available to him, which he knew wouldn’t suffice to allow him to be a productive, happy employee. Which leads us to number 2…
  1. Before you onboard your next new hire, ask the following questions to ensure every new hire has the materials and equipment they need to be productive starting day 1. If you have an onboarding software solution, you can easily have these steps and tasks managed and completed in a near-automated way:
    • What physical assets do new hires need to do their job, to meet expectations? Note that the first engagement element was on setting expectations, so you may want to refer to that blog.
    • What physical assets do they need to do their job well? For example, is there software that should be considered that could produce faster, better results?
    • Think through the intangible assets new hires need to get their jobs done, including information, personnel, other. For example, if you’re hiring a copywriter to create ads, can they do their job at all, or well enough, without a designer?
  1. When you have the right materials and equipment list, you can then review cost vs. budget, and engage approvers and procurement to make it happen. Be prepared to have to come up with creative solutions to getting what new hires need with a tight budget. Just be sure that what they need is ready for them starting their first day!


Hopefully you found this blog as a productive use of your time in helping you tackle the second element of employee engagement. Stay tuned as we count down to number 12!

Part 1 of the Employee Engagement series addressed Gallup’s first element of engagement, providing guidance on how to improve employee engagement by setting expectations with employees. You can check it out here.


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Karen Redetzki

Written by Karen Redetzki

Karen heads up all things marketing for Click Boarding including lead generation, brand, channel, events and communications. With Karen’s 17 years marketing experience in high-tech, Karen effectively delivers integrated sales and marketing programs that result in increased brand awareness and revenue opportunities.

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