March 29, 2016

Productivity: Keeping it Positive

Dr. Tracy Brower, PhD, MM, MCRGlobal Vice President of Workplace Vitality™Mars Drinks

No company can succeed without productivity, but managing for productivity can also backfire, when it’s not done right. And productivity has a close relationship to the process of creating engagement, collaboration, and well-being.

We know, because we studied productivity as part of our global research[i] on Workplace Vitality™.

Our survey demonstrated that engagement, collaboration, well-being, and productivity are all interrelated. Positive effects in one area, tend to produce positive effects in the others. But there is one exception: Productivity.

We learned that focusing on engagement, collaboration, and well-being tends to result in better productivity. But the opposite was not the case. In fact, when companies place too much emphasis on productivity, then engagement, collaboration, and well-being tend to suffer. The Goldilocks rule seems to be in operation here. Like the fairy tale where Goldilocks needed the ‘just right’ temperature for her porridge, companies benefit by encouraging productivity and holding employees accountable to it, but they also need to temper an emphasis on productivity by ensuring employees feel valued, connected, and important.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and specialty drinks also have important roles to play related to productivity.
• Specifically, 72% of people say they are energized, focused, and better able to collaborate when they have coffee and tea.
• 8 out of 10 people report they are happier when great-tasting coffee and other drinks are available at work.
• In addition, nearly ¾ of people say that coffee and tea boost their morale, attitude, and productivity.

Pride is also a critical element of productivity. In our literature review and our subsequent study of 4,000 people across the US and Canada[ii] conducted in October 2015, we found that among all the elements of productivity, one of the most important was a sense of pride. People want to do good work, they want to produce results, and they want to feel a sense of accomplishment.

The role companies have to play is in creating the conditions for employees to produce great results. It’s about removing barriers and enabling results. When companies can create the conditions for employees to be successful – through great leadership, aligned objectives, tools to get the work done, and great coffee – positive productivity will follow.

For more on productivity and its role in overall Workplace Vitality, download our white paper by clicking here. And for more about the key drivers of productivity, access our blog on productivity here.


[i]  Global research of 3815 people conducted by Mars Drinks in June 2015.

[ii] Conducted in October 2015.