Optimizing Productivity at the Workplace


Productivity is a key determinant of a company’s rise or failure. Workplace performance decline can occur due to various barriers, such as emotions, attitudes and stress, power and influence, conflict and negotiation, and organizational change. When employees face challenges in the workplace, overall performance and completing assigned tasks become a problem. This paper will describe these challenges, address ways of offsetting them, and focus on methods of improving performance.

Workplace Emotions, Attitudes, and Stress

Emotions, attitudes, and stress experienced by an employee affect their decision-making, leadership, creativity, and relation with others. Anger and sadness lead to hostility toward coworkers and disinterest in the job (Ryan et al., 2017). Organizational stress can be brought by factors such as job insecurity, lack of rewards, and excess workload. Stress impacts memory, making it hard for an employee to concentrate and prioritize tasks, evoking negative emotions, and reducing interest and motivation toward the job.

Power and Influence in the Workplace

Possessing high power is not a definition of a good leader. Employees are not likely to participate in meetings with leaders who tend to talk a lot, and it is perceived that they are usually disinterested in the junior staff’s ideas (Neves & Schyns, 2018). Employees, therefore, fail to give ideas in open discussions, which undermines the performance of the team. Abuse of power also leads to bullying of junior employees, making them feel unworthy.

Conflict and Negotiation in the Workplace

Conflict exists when people have different opinions, and negotiation takes place through conversation between both parties aimed to reach an agreement. Workplace conflict occurs due to problems related to productivity, workload, unclear goals, resource sharing, and prioritization of urgent work (Dee, 2014). Conflicts can go out of control, leading to situations where the organization’s missions and goals are put at stake, which affects the performance negatively.

Organizational Change

Organizational change comes with increased workload and time demand for employees together with decreased job control ability for managers. This leads to the reorganization of rules and responsibilities, resulting in employees having trouble organizing and prioritizing work and having limited resources to complete the extra duties (Neves & Schyns, 2018). The workers affected by the organizational change have low morale and job satisfaction, which leads to performance decline.

Plan To Offset These Barriers

A business underperforms when employees fail to complete their work within the set timelines. It would be impossible to improve a company’s output if there is a failure in finding ways of solving the barriers. Employers should strive to overcome these challenges that prevent their employees from performing to their full potential. An organization can eliminate emotional problems by listening to the employees in complicated situations, showing compassion, and trying to relate to their situation. After understanding the problem, managers can be proactive in counseling, help in looking for solutions, or refer them to specialists (Ryan et al., 2017). From the classical conditioning theory, one responds to an environmental stimulus; therefore, creating a friendly stimulus builds positive work relations and a favorable working environment.

A manager’s influence on employees helps in effective teamwork. Being flexible and open-minded creates a good environment for employees to express their opinions freely in meetings and discussions without fear (Arnold, 2013). Everyone should be encouraged to talk, and their opinions should be respected. From the operant theory of conditioning, rewarding an employee acts as a stimulus for performing much better next time; therefore, letting people understand their value builds trust, respect, and teamwork.

Conflicts can be solved by an open discussion between parties, resource expansion when conflict is attributed to limited resources, and workgroup restructuring to solve workload problems (Dee, 2014). Managers can also create an open forum to allow employees to address their concerns and listen to them. Managers need to b professional and understand the root cause while managing workplace conflicts by considering the organization’s values and beliefs.

One way of solving organizational change is by allowing employees to participate in the change planning process. They can also offer causes and training, for instance, on new technologies, which makes employees embrace the changes and improve performance (Neves & Schyns, 2018). From the contiguity theory, experiences are built on constant contact. Therefore prior training will familiarize employees with what is expected.

Methods of Improving Performance

Work performance can be improved through proper communication and increased interaction between leaders and employees by creating a room where employees can express their concerns without fear (Arnold, 2013). Letting employees participate in the planning process allows them to take the initiative in problem-solving. Showing appreciation makes a person want to do more; therefore, recognizing and offering rewards would boost employees’ morale and motivation, thus improving performance.


An employee’s positive attitude leads to accelerated work performance, but in the case of a bad attitude, it is most likely that the employee with the highest performance record will underperform. When leadership is poor, workers feel unmotivated, worthless, or unappreciated. They might consider resigning, which can lead to the loss of an experienced workforce and low output. Organizations may also incur extra costs in hiring and training new personnel.


Arnold, T. (2013). Effective leadership. Smart Business Magazine, 6(5), 4-6. Web.

Dee, K. M. (2014). Resolving conflict in the workplace. Alaska Business Monthly, 30(9), 150- 152. Web.

Neves, P., & Schyns, B. (2018). With the bad comes what change? The interplay between destructive leadership and organizational change. Journal of Change Management, 18(2), 91-95. Web.

Ryan, C., Bergin, M., Chalder, T., & Wells, J. S. (2017). Web-based interventions for the management of stress in the workplace: Focus, form, and efficacy. Journal of Occupational Health, 59(3), 215-236. Web.

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