It’s early Monday morning, and statistically you have a better chance of having a heart attack or facing sudden death than at any other time. Many people hate their work, and the dread starts the minute the alarm rings. Their chest tightens in anticipation of the commute to work. Once they arrive at work, they’re ensconced in a cocoon of negativity. Worse, they have five full days before their next reprieve. This is no way to live a life, and it’s no way to run a business.

Down the Productivity Drain

Too many workplaces operate like prisons. Minor infractions carry grave consequences. What used to be considered normal behavior is now deemed aberrant and/or unprofessional. When an employee has a family to feed, the last thing he or she wants to do is “step out of line.” Many employees have long since had the creativity beat out of them, and they more closely resemble potted plants than vibrant human beings. Without a clearly defined path of advancement, employees are little more than worker drones. As high as the toll of a negative work environment is on employees, the cost to companies is even greater when productivity swirls the drain due to employee dissatisfaction.

Diagnose the Problem

A sustained drop in productivity, creativity and employee attitude is likely an environmental problem, and we don’t mean the paint job. Something’s rotten in the workplace, and it’s likely the corporate culture.

Flip the Switch

It’s time for a corporate culture makeover. Forget the cries of the 1980’s MBAs; start putting people first. That’s how to flip the productivity switch almost instantaneously. It’s not about the money—unless employees are grossly underpaid and overworked. People want to feel appreciated, they want to feel they’re making worthwhile contribution, and they want to know that if they do a good job, the ladder to success is within their reach.

Propel Career Advancement with eLearning

Career development is probably the most important and most underutilized area for eLearning. It’s expensive to recruit and train employees, and it’s costly to recruit management from the outside. By offering eLearning modules on technical and soft skills and using career advancement courses as incentives, a business can create loyalty while it creates an educated workforce.

While it might sound counterintuitive, a solid career development eLearning program can also put the soul back into a workplace. Social learning can break down silos, ridding the working of the “we vs. them” mentality that permeates mature companies. An employee can find mentors, set up a Personal Learning Network (PLN), and advance his or her career while helping others to advance theirs. What better way to advance a career than by tapping into the expertise of others. And what better way to reward current employees than by giving them the tools to advance their career.

It’s a clear win/win with a minimal investment. Showing appreciation for employees and making them feel valued by rolling out a career development program can help to put the workplace on a positive path.