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Improving Employee Productivity
As you may already know, improving the employee productivity is one of the most important goals In any business. But, In spite of this, a lot of human resources professionals do not consider this field very relevant. Even though most of the human resources professionals do admit that their job Is all about establlshlng schedules and rules concerning people management, only a few of them succeeds in bonding all these connections, in order to be able to increase productivity.
John Sullivan (2011) refers in his article to several factors divided in a few categories, which are onsiderably influencing not only the individual productivity, but also the team productivity. Employee productivity is the main leading power behind a company’s profitability and Its growth. Momentarily, the demand for employee productivity Is Increasing more and more, making this a feature that Is actually missing In todays workforce and also leaving most of the managers wondering what they should do next and what the causes are.
This is the result of all the distractions and all the separate activities happing in the work environment. Nowadays, it seems that mployees are too busy tweeting, updating their statuses or chatting on Facebook, or simply texting. Because of that, most employees are not taking their tasks to an end, they are not finishing their work and they miss their deadlines. Another key aspect of this problem concerns the employee training tools. unfortunately, this aspect receives too little attention.
Most of the time, the provider with the lowest costs is often chosen, even though the most effective provider is recommended. As a result, the recruitment is also poor, because of having as a main goal to minimize costs as uch as possible, but without enough consideration of the quality and the capability of each employer. No matter how you think it, the drawn conclusion here Is that the human resources department, Instead of being more Interested In finding solutions for Increasing the productlvlty, they are actually less Interested In doing transactions and more interested in cutting off the expenses.
In order to increase the employee productivity and the performance of the workforce, considering the help you can expect from the human resource department, you must know and understand the factors that are influencing this rocess. Overall, taking In consideration John Sullivan’s article, I have selected the most Important 16 factors from four main categories, which are going to be discussed next. As for the categories, the first one taken In consideration Is “Foundations of Productivity. According to John Sullivan (2011), a first factor mentioned here is “High- performing and Innovative employees are the foundation of productivity.
By working together, managers and human resources professionals can find, hire, grow and keep high performing employees. It was proved that the most important factor in orkforce and productivity is hiring and keeping employees with the best capabilities. Unfortunately, even the best people may sometimes need help. Without the head managers, much-needed resources and proper guidance, It’s very hard to achieve your goal. Another factor measured in this category, according to John pawns are the second most important productivity factor because they play a very important role in defining the roles and the goals of the workforce.
More is the pity that many managers are the weak ring in the productivity chain, therefore most of the time not only the employees needs guidance and education, but also their eaders. The second category taken in sight is “Direction and Guidance”. According to John Sullivan (201 1), a first mentioned factor here is “A corporate strategy and plan that builds commitment”. Most of the time, a very good business strategy and planning will increase the chances of having a successful and committed organization.
Moreover, if the strategy is very clear and very well communicated, your employees will be more focused and their motivation will considerably increase. Another factor measured in this category, according to John Sullivan (201 1), is “A defined purpose for teams makes roles clear”. The managers need to develop a clear communicated purpose that has to be persuasive and also has the role to make their employees from their department to feel important. Employees sometimes can contribute even more to their work and tasks if they had a role in creating and understanding the main purpose.
Still according to John Sullivan (201 1), next factor mentioned here is “Team and individual goals”. Defining some clear goals will let everyone know what is expected and what really has to be done. Also, giving some heads up on some perfect clear goals will also contribute for their employees to nderstand exactly what is and what is not important. Another factor measured by John Sullivan (2011) in this category is “Prioritization for impactful resource allocation”. Establishing some clear priorities will help to better assign resources and funds, in order to achieve more important objectives.
Next factor mentioned by John Sullivan (2011) here is “Performance metrics for continuous improvement”. Measuring performance in a successful way strengthens both individual and group goals. This will provide more attention, better feedback and better results for an ongoing improvement. Last factor measured in this category, according to John Sullivan (201 1), is “Effective rewards drive performance”. When the rewards are more connected to one goal, you double the strength of the message related to the importance of the Job that needs to be done.
The third category taken in consideration is “Support Factors”. According to John Sullivan (201 1), a first factor mentioned here is “Team member support increases individual performance”. Only a few tasks can exclusively be done by an employee. If the employees are not working together with other people in a group as a team and if they are also not receiving all he necessary support from their managers, productivity will be lost. Next factor measured in this category by John Sullivan (2011) is “Best-practice sharing and collaboration improve productivity’.
Productivity will considerably improve when the other people outside the team collaborate and brainstorm together. When the employees are using the “trial and error” method, all the growth of your business will slow down. Another factor mentioned here, according to John Sullivan (201 1), is “Support for innovation can dramatically increase productivity’. Having in mind as a oal to be on top of their business environment, companies struggle to achieve a double digit percentage improvement in their productivity (at least 10%, sometimes even goes to 25%) for every year.
In order to reach this, a sustained level of sometimes not enough in order to provide a double digit rise. Because of this, the human resources department must develop training measures, good processes, and stimulants that help the innovation. Still according to John Sullivan (201 1), next factor measured in this category is “Control and authority can result in a better decision aking process”. When there is a certain balance between freedom and control, so that employees have the authority to take most of the operational decisions, at that point we can talk about maximum productivity.
Another factor mentioned here by John Sullivan (2011) is “Non-monetary factors that can also excite employees”. In addition to the usual rewards (as money), the managers can also provide a few non- monetary rewards, such as: feedback on their Job, appreciation for their work and so on. This is one of human resources department’s most important responsibilities to e sure that the managers are using all of these methods in a right way, in order to increase the productivity process. The fourth category taken in sight is “Skills, Communication and Information Factors”.
According to John Sullivan (201 1), a first factor mentioned here is “Employee skills and knowledge must be continually updated to maintain productivity’. Because of the changes brought by the high level global competition, the expectations of the employee’s skills are much higher. The main role of the human resources department is to develop a plan that helps in an ngoing increasing employee’s knowledge and training. Next factor measured by John Sullivan (2011) in this category is “Effective communications and feedback reduce errors and frustration”.
As feedback is one of the most important strategies in the process of motivation, the failure of providing good feedback will lead to a poor work quality and maybe errors. You can best avoid this kind of situation if a company comes up with a well-organized internal communication channel (like an intranet). The last overall factor mentioned here, according to John Sullivan (201 1), is “Providing he right information improves decision-making”. In order to take the best decisions and to increase the productivity, the managers and the employees will have to use the right information and to process the data.