On Keeping a Productive, Happy Workforce


Organizations often undermine their credibility by not valuing the importance of a bond of trust with the employees. Many a times, fairly small misinterpretation lead to disaster for the company because employees cannot see the concern they expect from the employers in the way they are communicated, treated or kept.

For instance, issues of mundane nature such as salary adjustments, bonus treatment, tax calculations, or leave pay could lead to misunderstandings that breed the seed of a feeling of unfairness or apathy in an employee’s mind. This is the kind of situation to avoid, because at the end of the day, this leads to ill-feeling about the overall workplace, reduced productivity and negative energy all around.

How could this situation be avoided?

By making sure the following, such uncalled for events can be minimized, if not eliminated:

  • Every new employee is given a proper orientation program lasting a couple of days, where company policies and work related information is effectively communicated to them.
  • All employees are kept informed and posted on any changes inĀ  company policies and be adequately involved, or at least given time to raise their concerns about the changes to be implemented.
  • Effective HR Information System (HRIS) in place whereby all employee-related information is readily available in the most updated fashion. In smaller companies, effective record keeping and courteous human resource staff could make up for the HRIS.
  • Bi-annual statements issued (through email/postal mail) by the HR department outlining updated leaves’ status for employees, and account of any changes in policies to be implemented in the coming six months.

More than anything else, progressive organizations need to be sure that the element of fairness and equity is never compromised at all. Once an aura of a culture of “Doing the Right Thing” sets in place, the going is going to be far more smooth.

Decide today if you want a happy, productive and competent workforce – and ACT. Otherwise, don’t do anything and be left with only “deadwood” eventually. Make your choice, because not choosing is a choice too.

The basis of trust

Relationships are often based on trust. In some cultures, mutual trust is of utmost importance, to the extent of even economic loss in the short term. For instance, generally Japanese companies look for mutual trust and put relationships at the forefront of financial matters. Whereas financial numbers are very important, however, they would like to do business joint ventures and partnerships based on compatible relationships. In other cultures, relationships, especially commercial ones develop mostly through economics of the projects.

The question, however, remains what is trust based on?

It is based on performance vis-a-vis expectations. I ask you to do a certain thing and you over-deliver to the extent that I am impressed. The very moment I nurture some more trust on you. So, it would not impress me to the similar extent if you really performed exactly the same task the same way but my expectations were aligned higher there. People love positive surprises, it just sends in an adrenaline rush through the brain that amplifies excitement and happiness together.

How do you make the most out of this simple human psychology? You can benefit out of it by under-committing and over-delivering. This is a daunting task and might look foolish to the short-sighted, but this is the only sure-shot approach to succeeding. Going an extra mile all the time assures competence, professionalism, enthusiasm, drive and commitment all at the same time. So, in the longer term view, such people are sought after – and as per the basic law of demand and supply, the scarce commodity is priced higher than the readily available ones; therefore, you get to charge premium and clients still love to work with you.

Look at the big picture and keep outperforming. Dazzle everyone with your performance to win trust, to nurture relationships that last.