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People spend a great chunk of their lives at work, and workplace challenges are often a great source of stress and unease for many. While a company can strive to make their work environment one without conflict, the truth is workplaces will always experience challenges. 

From employee productivity to keeping up to date with new technologies, workplaces need to be adaptive in order to deal with these common challenges and meet them with creative solutions. This article presents the 5 most common workplace challenges and how companies and their employees can address them. 

1. Staying engaged and motivated

Motivation in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges and roadblocks to productivity. If employees are lacking in motivation, they aren’t as engaged with their work and the company suffers as a result. Engaged employees are cited as being involved in, excited about, and committed to their jobs. 

Research has shown that a higher level of engagement among staff impacts a company’s innovation, productivity, and profitability. To overcome this workplace challenge, managers and company owners need to provide employees with motivators to work. This could include prizes for hitting KPI’s, weekly office parties, or paid time off work.

2. Keeping up with new technologies

Employees in the workplace are continually having to keep up with changes in technology. Advances in computer programs and devices mean that the workplace is continuously growing to adapt to these new technologies, yet many managers fail to deliver the right training for employees to grow with these changes. 

For older workers, the need to keep up with new technology can be hard. Only 69% of seniors feel confident they would be able to keep up with future innovations in technology. Formal training is a must. Managers should provide employees with on-the-job training and inductions to new technologies if they are to run a successful company.

3. Lack of communication

Navigating communication in the workplace is a challenge that most managers and employees face. A lack of effective communication can hinder a team’s efficiency as well as trust among co-workers and management. Regular communication between managers and staff helps to foster an open environment at work. 

If there are issues needing to be resolved, changes coming, or the implementation of new technology — discussing “what is happening” and its potential impact on the workplace will help to maintain workplace morale. That’s why proactive communication first starts with managers setting up a formalized review to address employee concerns.

4. Lack of employee recognition

It’s nice to be thanked for your hard work. Unfortunately, one challenge many workplaces face is the lack of recognition for an employee’s job well done. Management should make a real effort to recognize their workers and praise them for their good work. 

There is always something positive that can be said to an employee, even if it’s simply thanking them for being a calm presence in the office. Workers who are recognized for their accomplishments generally feel like they’re being seen and heard; motivating them to perform better at their jobs. 

5. Employee mental health 

Whenever you have different personalities in one room where everyone’s roles, communication styles, and expectations vary — there’s always going to be some form of conflict. Throw in the pressure of deadlines and you’re bound to see tempers flare. These sorts of conflicts can have a toll on the mental health of employees. 

As such, certain workplace issues can cause negative psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Work-related stress is a significant problem, with an estimated 40% of workers describing their job as very or extremely stressful. 

Companies and their managers should take a serious approach to employee mental health. From setting up initiatives like workplace mindfulness classes, free yoga, and on-site counselling sessions, employers can ensure their employees feel safe and happy while at work. 

Overcoming workplace challenges

The workplace challenges mentioned above can present a source of tension among workers and managers. These challenges can get in the way of productivity, creativity, and innovation. They may also cause a negative working environment where employees suffer mentally as a result. 

As a consequence, communication, adapting to change, keeping people motivated, and the need to “feel valued” are all universal challenges that workplaces face today. By becoming familiar with these common challenges and addressing each one within the workplace, managers can help to promote innovative ways to tackle them.

Luke Fitzpatrick

Written By Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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