Workplace Productivity Killers: 7 Best Ways to Overcome Them

According to the Zippa survey, operation margins for businesses with productive employees are 30-50% higher than their less productive counterparts.

When resources are productive, they complete tasks on time, ensuring timely delivery of projects. It also helps enhance customer experience and ultimately improve profitability.
However, it is easier said than done. Factors such as unclear roles, sub-optimal
resource utilization, unfavorable work environments, etc., can significantly disrupt
workplace productivity.
Therefore, it is the need of the hour for firms to watch out for various productivity killers and implement measures to overcome them to foster a healthy workplace.
This blog uncovers the 7 essential productivity killers, ways to mitigate them, and how the SAVIOM tool can be beneficial.

Let’s get started!

Major productivity killers at the workplace

Reduced productivity among the resources can hinder the project's advancement and diminishing profit margins. Some of the productivity killers employees encounter in their firms are:

Undefined roles and responsibilities

When employees lack clarity in understanding their roles and responsibilities, it becomes difficult to discern their tasks within the firm. Consequently, they struggle to grasp how their contributions tie into the project goals, resulting in decreased productivity.

Unnecessary meetings

Unnecessary meetings and calls, especially those lacking clear objectives, waste employees’ time. Additionally, when managers include every team member in meetings where their input isn’t needed, it hinders their ability to focus on important tasks, ultimately lowering productivity. 

Uneven workload distribution

When resources are excessively utilized, it can result in fatigue and burnout, while underutilization can lead to disengagement. Both of these situations drastically impact employee productivity.

Toxic work environment

In an unsupportive workplace, employees encounter challenges like gender inequalities, office politics, unclear expectations, favoritism, etc.
Due to this, they tend to lose focus on their work and feel undervalued, which
aggravates their job stress and reduces productivity.


When managers lack trust in their employees, they often
micromanage, closely controlling every aspect of their work. This behavior can reduce the creativity of employees, leading to decreased productivity.

Lack of employee appreciation

If employees are not acknowledged for their hard work and contributions to the organization, they may feel undervalued, which can lower their morale and cause demotivation, thereby reducing productivity.

Absence of professional growth opportunities

Continuously assigning resources to identical projects or tasks over an extended period can result in monotony and career stagnation. Moreover, a lack of new opportunities for skill development can cause job dissatisfaction, adversely impacting productivity.
The following section discusses the best ways to combat the above productivity killers.

7 effective ways to mitigate productivity killers in the workplace

Here are some of the best strategies to tackle the productivity killers in an organization: 

Clearly outline the key roles & responsibilities

When managers clearly distinguish the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the organization, it provides a clear understanding of their expectations. This reduces confusion, and the need for frequent revisions, and enables employees to take ownership of their tasks and strive to meet expectations.

For instance, an AEC firm is building a new residential complex and requires architects, engineers, contractors, and laborers. If each resource is aware of their respective tasks, subtasks, and the timeline for completion, they can work together efficiently, leading to enhanced productivity and successful project delivery.

Establish standardized communication protocols

According to the Think Talent report, organizations with effective communication strategies are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.

Managers must set proper protocols for the synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication. For instance, managers should organize meetings only for critical matters and invite only the required resources.

Besides, they can circulate the meeting minutes to the team and add only the necessary employees in an email or messaging platform. This way, firms can streamline communication, minimize time spent on unnecessary interactions, and enhance productivity.

Ensure balanced workload distribution

Before allocating resources to projects, managers must check their availability and capacity. This will prevent double bookings and overutilization. Once assigned to a project, they can periodically track and monitor utilization levels to avoid instances of over/underloading.

In the case of discrepancies, managers can apply various optimization techniques like resource smoothing and leveling, where the timelines can be adjusted, or more people can be added to share the work. This ensures an even workload distribution among all the team members, enhancing productivity.

Cultivate an inclusive and supportive work culture

A Deloitte survey shows that 83% of employees are actively engaged when they believe their organization fosters an inclusive culture.

Organizations should prioritize the development of a diverse and positive work culture to combat productivity challenges in the workplace effectively. By fostering an environment where resources are treated equally and given a platform to express their opinions and concerns, companies can enhance motivation, engagement, and overall performance.

This inclusive atmosphere empowers employees to maximize their potential and instills confidence in their capabilities. As a result, productivity levels are likely to increase, benefiting both the organization and its employees.

Empower employees to choose projects of their interest

When employees are given the freedom to choose projects of their interest, they will take ownership of their work, which improves their engagement and motivation.

Additionally, this autonomy enables them to think outside the box, thereby enhancing the quality of their work and eliminating the need for micromanagement. Thus, it leads to greater productivity and high-quality results, ultimately fostering a more fulfilling work environment.

Recognize and reward employees for their efforts

When organizations acknowledge the hard work of their employees, they feel more valued, resulting in increased motivation and commitment. Moreover, when high-performing resources are appreciated and rewarded for their efforts, it sets an example for other team members to give their best.

To implement this, firms can implement formal and informal ways to recognize employees, like offering increments, bonuses, promotions, or giving them a shoutout on social media, etc. These practices boost productivity and contribute to a more dedicated workforce.

Facilitate effective training and development programs

Equipping employees with new skills elevates their productivity levels. Further, upskilling helps resources perform tasks more efficiently and bring added value to their roles.

Thus, managers can formulate an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each employee that provides a career growth roadmap. Besides, facilitating L&D programs, shadowing opportunities, etc., will help employees boost their portfolios and prepare them to take on challenging projects in the future.

Now let’s know how advanced ERM tools can help firms enhance employee productivity.

How can futuristic resource management software help improve productivity in the workplace?

Leveraging a robust resource management tool like Saviom can enable organizations to drive productivity and achieve business goals.

  • The tool’s 360-degree visibility and advanced filters enable managers to identify and allocate resources based on their skills, competencies, experience, etc.
  • Real-time forecast vs. actual, utilization reports and color-coded heatmaps let managers identify over/underutilization and take corrective measures to enhance productivity.
  • The open seat feature allows managers to factor in employees’ preferences when delegating tasks, resulting in improved engagement and productivity.

This is how modern resource management tools can enhance employee efficiency.

Final thoughts

Effective productivity occurs when employees are efficiently utilized to their maximum potential, actively contributing to the success of projects and enhancing revenue margins. By integrating the aforementioned strategies with an advanced resource management tool, organizations can adeptly manage their resources, improve overall productivity, and boost profitability.


Dan Smiljanić

Dan is a practitioner of project management and our resident geek. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire. When Dan not writing code, you will probably find him cycling and hiking with friends.

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