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Top 5 Causes of Low Employee Productivity

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Low productivity throughout the workplace is not uncommon and, unfortunately, it can cost a company a pretty penny. According to Gallup’s report, State of the Global Workplace, 85% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, resulting in an economic loss of $7 trillion.[1] So, if you’re not attentive to low productivity levels in the workplace, your company is in danger of losing millions! One of the best and most proactive methods of combating a low productivity level is to identify its causes. Our workforce management team at Trackforce Valiant has listed the top 5 causes of low employee productivity.

1.      Procrastination

If employees find their work either stressful, unpleasant, difficult, or complicated, they tend to set it aside past the time it’s due. With procrastination as one of the causes of low employee productivity, it’s important to assist in areas where they’re struggling to increase their output. You must identify why employees are procrastinating in order to find a resolution to help them get back on track.

2.      Heavy Workload & Disorganization

Tasking employees with as much work as possible might seem like a good idea at first; however, it can negatively impact your team’s productivity in the long run. When juggling multiple projects, your employees won’t be able to devote their complete attention to each assignment, leading to disorganization and missed deadlines. Project and time management tools online can help facilitate the completion of their projects.

3.      Toxic Work Environment

Contrary to what some might think, workplace bullying is still alive and well. One of the significant causes of low employee productivity is a toxic work environment, and it involves employees sabotaging or manipulating the workplace culture. Such behaviors in the workplace result in unhappy team members who will start to question their future with the company. Create a more positive work environment by asking for employee input, holding 1-on-1 discussions with team members, in order to gain feedback on the toxic work environment. Use this feedback to understand what you can do to remove the pattern of negativity.

4.      Too Many Meetings

Meetings are part of Corporate America; there’s no way around it. It’s a time to discuss business matters, share new ideas, and conduct team evaluations. However, in most cases, meetings are scheduled for the smallest of matters that could have been communicated more efficiently via email or a quick conversation. Practices such as this can contribute to productivity issues in the workplace. For a more effective approach, send the meeting agenda to employees ahead of time so everyone can review it, collect their thoughts and jot down notes on each item. That way, they all show up to the meeting prepared to engage in a constructive dialogue.

5.      Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is also one of the causes of low employee productivity. According to the Health Advocate, an average of one million workers call out sick due to stress, costing companies an estimated $602 per employee, per year. [2] Job-related anxiety can lead to burnt-out employees unable to concentrate. Exploring different avenues like an employee wellness program can help reduce your team’s stress at work.


To learn more about other causes of low employee productivity, or to purchase our HR software, contact a member of our team at 516-390-1100 today!






[1] Gallup – Dismal Employee Engagement Is A Sign of Global Management

[2] Health Advocate – Stress in the Workplace

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