So far in this Productivity series, I’ve provided tips for improving the productivity of working methods, employment sourcing and hiring, and several HR processes. This post will wrap up the series with process improvements that can apply to employee engagement and corporate culture, as well as tracking tips for collecting actionable data.


Employee Engagement and Corporate Culture

According to BambooHR’s Top HR Productivity Killers infographic, HR thinks it should spend more time on:

  • Professional development (54%);
  • Conducting training (47%); and
  • Managing and overseeing company culture (37%).

Each of these functions falls under the umbrella of employee engagement and have been shown to contribute to a business’ success, which is why engagement has been a major HR focus of the last few years. Engagement initiatives may be considered time-consuming and expensive to implement, but they don’t have to be.

improv719. Motivate & nurture – Knowing how a task contributes to organizational success is more motivating than mom’s old standby, “because I said so,” and will engage employees.

You can also motivate employees by providing a small incentive. My company gives out commemorative poker chips for work performance and employee participation in engagement and professional development initiatives. Some people even treat it as a fun competition with coworkers.

20. Provide training and professional development – People like to learn new things and training employees makes workforces more versatile. Use a companywide survey to find out what your employees would like to learn, and put together workshops or computer-based training modules on those subjects. Common areas for professional development include technology training and business skill development.

21. Start a mentor program – Pair lower-level employees with leadership once a month and have them practice high-level operations, decision-making, and goal planning exercises together.

22. Health & Wellness Program – To facilitate health and wellness, you can provide nutrition classes, exercise workshops, daily fitness challenges, and invite wellness speakers to share tips with your employees.

23. Provide Feedback – Employees want to know how they’re doing and how they can improve, so provide them with the feedback they need to accomplish your organizational goals. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming formal review, but can be as simple as giving quick feedback as work is completed.

24. Gamify – Turning work into a game can make it more interesting to complete and encourage productivity. In the past, we have offered bonuses to employees who could break processing records during our peak operating month. As an organization, we were able to successfully complete peak without bringing on many extra temps, so the bonuses paid for themselves several times over and our employees were more productive than ever.

25. Be available & helpful – What have been some common issues and questions within your organization? You can improve your productivity by addressing these in a special companywide session or recurring email campaign, which would free up more of your time to be available and helpful to those with uncommon issues and questions.

Track Everything

We can’t celebrate our successes or learn from our mistakes if we don’t identify them, so it’s important to track our efforts to expand on what works and get rid of what doesn’t. We can often track the quantitative with reporting and analytics, and the qualitative with surveys. Leverage data and employee feedback to keep productive processes and end fruitless ones.

26. Cost/benefit analyses – Does the cost of your HRIS/HRMS or ATS provide equivalent or ample benefit? Is there a cheaper or more effective software available? You can track the costs and benefits over time and compare them with previous initiatives to learn what would work best for your particular organization.

improv827. Best recruiting sources – If you use online job boards, you probably get a ton of applications for each open position. Are those applicants better qualified than candidates recommended by current employees or sourced through social media? Track the amount of applications you receive through various sources and compare that with applicants you actually hire who stick around for, say, at least a year. That should give you a good idea of which recruitment source is providing the best quality candidates.

28. Time-to-hire – Try using online applications or switching background screening providers to reduce time-to-hire, and track the results so you know how to tweak your process for maximum efficiency.

29. Employee engagement – Is your new health and wellness program improving your employees’ engagement? You can use free online surveys to collect anonymous responses from your employees and track initiative efficacy. Survey employees before each new program to establish a baseline against which you can compare the program results.

30. Program efficacy – Measure a productivity baseline before implementing any initiatives and track the results. If your employees become more productive after you implement time limits on meetings, for example, then you may want to make the limits permanent or companywide.

How have you improved productivity in your department or organization at large? Share your ideas!

Looking for other HR tips? Check out my recent blog posts.

About Tammy Cohen

In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has been recognized on Security Magazine’s Security 500 list and Workforce Magazine’s Hot List for several concurrent years. Additionally, InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.

About InfoMart

InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has also been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for ten consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit or call (770) 984-2727.