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Factors That Affect Workplace Performance

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In order to amplify the output of your business or department, you have to drill down to the core of what makes your company tick: people. Moreover, if you want to maximize your human resources, you must understand what factors influence individual workplace performance. Here’s a rundown of some of the most potent elements.

Workplace Culture and Environment

People are directly influenced by their physical surroundings. They’re also affected by the intangible factors within an office, such as the company culture. If the workplace environment is dark, gloomy, and hostile, that will show in employee performance. If the workplace is positive, upbeat, and inviting, good things will follow.

Therefore, strive to cultivate a workplace environment and culture that people want to be a part of. As employees feel more comfortable and engaged at work, you’ll discover that this elevated state positively influences collaboration, communication, and creativity.

Expectations and Their Effect on Workplace Stress

Different people respond to unique motivating factors. Expectations are a good thing in business. However, you have to be careful in drawing the line between reasonable and overwhelming. When expectations are unrealistic, the pressure negatively affects performance.

“Workplace stress is a performance killer,” writes Andra Picincu, MBA. “In this competitive age, employees feel pressured to meet work demands and organizational goals. Approximately 40 percent say that their jobs are very or extremely stressful. About 73 percent of workers experience psychological symptoms due to stress, while 77 percent report stress-related physical symptoms.”

Expectations should be used to challenge and put healthy pressure on employees. However, they also need to be clear and realistic. Therefore, listen to your employees when they’re stressed. Then figure out ways to get everyone in your workplace on the same page.

Management and Leadership

Think back to the best job you ever had, the one you really loved. In all likelihood, you had a pretty awesome boss. Now consider the worst job you ever had, the one that you made you hate waking up in the morning. Your boss was horrible, right?

There’s a saying that people don’t leave their jobs; they leave their bosses. If you want to maximize workplace performance, you have to consider the company management. Are the leaders hostile and aggressive, or are they highly supportive?


Employee health matters, even in the workplace, in more ways than one. While you technically don’t have any say in your employees’ personal health issues, it’s important to recognize just how influential chronic conditions can be in terms of morale and productivity. This goes for both minor and serious issues.

For example, take something like acid reflux. Employees who suffer from chronic acid reflux are overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings of discomfort. These feelings keep them from focusing on their jobs.

It also requires them to be on certain medications—such as Zantac—which have serious side effects, possibly including cancer of the stomach or bladder. Therefore, what starts as a minor problem can become a major issue that squashes every bit of an employee’s productivity. Additionally, it can have a ripple effect throughout the workplace.

The same goes for chronic pain related to sitting at a desk all day. The less mobile people are, the more likely they are to suffer back, neck, and wrist pain. Again, you can’t fix these health issues.

However, you can put systems in place that make it less likely for health problems to arise. For example, prioritizing superior ergonomics in the design of each individual workspace goes a long way toward addressing issues of repetitive stress.


Motivation in the Workplace

According to, “Motivation is the primary force that drives a person to action. It has a multiplier effect on increasing [a person’s] ability and willingness to work. Motivation engages [that person] in goal-directed behavior which helps in satisfying [their] needs. It is, therefore, the prime force that promotes job performance.”

So take the time to get to know each individual employee within your organization. In this way, you can begin to understand what motivates people on a case-by-case basis. For one person, it might be the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. For another person, it’s strictly money. Understanding which factors motivate which people will help you implement superior leadership initiatives.

Cultivating a High-Performance Workplace

From a leadership perspective, cultivating a productive workplace that’s characterized by high-performing individuals and exceptional output isn’t easy. It takes hard work, strategic planning, and careful execution. Moreover, it must be optimized to the individuals within the four walls of your company.

However, once you have an idea of the factors that control and influence your team members, it becomes easier to push buttons and pull levers in a way that maximizes their value to the organization.

Take some time to review this article through the lens of your team and consider how you can make changes to your company’s workplace performance.

Browse our blog for more great ideas about managing your office.