How to Develop a Happy, Productive Workforce

It’s much easier to build a successful business when everyone’s pulling in the same direction. It’s not enough to just have a team of employees. For a business to reach its full potential, it needs to build a skilled workforce that’s happy, productive, and works as a team. Businesses that assume their employees can self-organize into a productive workforce that pulls in the same direction are playing a dangerous game. It’s not guaranteed that even hiring talented people will produce the desired outcome without leadership, motivation, continual training, and routine feedback! Read on to learn more about how to build a productive workforce that helps you reach your goals.

build a productive workforce
Photo by William Fortunato :

When you build a productive workforce, we recommend that you, as the leader, take a proactive approach to managing your team of employees. Ensure that you’re doing all you can to build a happy and productive workforce by ensuring that you have the right hiring practices and management policies to achieve your goals. This will not only benefit your staff but also have a demonstrably positive impact on the business as a whole.

Here’s how you do it.

Building a happy and productive workforce

Invest in leadership

All members of the organization impact the overall corporate culture, but some employees are more influential than others. Many businesses, especially young businesses, end up with leadership teams that perform their functional roles well but lack the training or ability to inspire their employees to bring out their best.

Not everyone is a born leader, so investing in leadership training courses will help to develop leaders. In contrast to older management styles, today’s leaders are more like coaches and cheerleaders than bureaucratic leaders, more accustomed to giving orders than encouraging performance. This older management style is ineffective, especially with younger employees.

Pay well — and on time

Employees look for more from their employers than a paycheck, especially these days, but there’s no doubt that it’s still the number one factor that influences an employee’s relationship with the business they work for. So, first and foremost, make sure you pay competitive salaries and that your payscales increase with inflation and remain competitive over time. While piece work may not prove the best option for getting the most from employees, encouraging them to acquire new skills or take on new responsibilities by tying these actions with pay increases works great.

priceAlso, remember that nothing frustrates employees more than late payments or inaccurate payments. Working with a payroll services company can ensure your valued team members receive their wages on time, that appropriate adjustments for taxes and benefits are withheld, and that payments are accurate. In prioritizing salaries, you won’t just help keep your team motivated — you’ll also improve the company’s employee turnover rate, which can result in a large financial saving for the company and enhanced productivity as new employees often experience lower productivity until they learn the job.

Pay isn’t everything

Although there’s no substitute for properly dispersed wages, pay isn’t everything. Here are some other considerations when building a productive workforce.

Setting clear goals and expectations

Clearly defining roles and responsibilities for each team member improves performance and reduces conflict between departments and employees. Setting clear, measurable goals helps employees focus on what’s important and aligns their efforts with the company’s objectives.

Employees are also happier when they know exactly what’s expected of them. When goals are tied to performance evaluations and wage increases, the company can reach its goals while giving employees more control over their income. Profit-sharing programs are also a great way to keep everyone on the same path.

Employee engagement

Foster a work environment that encourages communication and feedback. Engaged employees are more likely to be productive and have a clearer understanding of what’s expected. Communication helps breed cooperation so everyone moves in concert. Engaged employees are also encouraged to share their ideas, which often results in reduced costs, more efficient operations, and even new product ideas. When employees feel they gain a stake in their ideas, the company gains more ideas. That’s the story behind Post-It Notes, and we all know the value that represents for 3M.

Regularly check in with your team, offer recognition for achievements, and listen to their feedback and suggestions.

A good work environment

Create a supportive and productive work environment. This includes ergonomic workspaces, tools for collaboration, and a positive workplace culture that promotes teamwork and reduces stress. Consider elements like parking and facilities for relaxation between tasks. For instance, Google offers nutrition stations spread throughout the workplace so workers can recharge with a salad or some other healthy snack when their energy levels dip. Don’t forget climate control, as no one is their most productive when they’re too hot or cold.

Scheduled breaks every couple of hours means workers can recharge for peak productivity.


Offer flexible working arrangements when possible, such as remote work options or flexible hours. This can increase job satisfaction and productivity by allowing employees to work in ways that best suit their lifestyles.

Performance management

Implement a performance management system that not only tracks outcomes but also provides insights and developmental feedback to employees. This should be a continuous process rather than an annual review.

Health and well-being

Promote physical and mental health initiatives. Healthy employees are more capable of performing at their best. Consider wellness programs, mental health days, and activities that encourage a healthy work-life balance. Some businesses offer stress management activities or on-site healthcare to keep employees working at top performance. These programs reduce absenteeism, which can really derail your company’s efforts.

Other considerations

Hiring and onboarding

Start by hiring the right people for the right roles. Use a thorough recruitment process that assesses both skills and cultural fit. Once hired, provide a structured onboarding process to help new employees integrate smoothly and quickly into the team.

Training and development

Offer continuous learning opportunities to help employees advance their skills and stay updated with industry trends. This not only enhances their productivity but also boosts morale and job satisfaction.

Build a culture of trust

Utilize technology to streamline processes and reduce manual labor. Tools like project management software, communication platforms, and automation tools can greatly enhance productivity by saving time and reducing errors. However, don’t overuse tools for surveillance. Developing a culture of trust has benefits that impact both the employee and the business. From the employee’s side, no one likes to be micromanaged, and no one likes to feel their superiors are scrutinizing them. If your employees are allowed to work from home, then make sure they really feel that they have the freedom to reap the benefits. That means avoiding the use of any tracking software and having a results-focused approach. So long as high-quality work is being delivered, then that’s all that should matter.

Gather employee feedback

You’ll have some ideas about how you can best serve your employees. But unless you’re a mind reader, you’re unlikely to figure out everything that they’d want. The solution? Ask them directly about their experience of working for your business and what they’d like to see changed. As well as helping to identify the changes that will make them more comfortable at work, it’ll also show that you genuinely care about your employees. And that’s something that can have a huge, long-term benefit to your organization.


By integrating these strategies, companies can build a more productive workforce that is capable of achieving business goals while maintaining a high level of employee satisfaction and well-being.

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