In spite of the huge spending on salaries and training, most companies fail to achieve the desired productivity levels. This shortcoming results from ineffective HR solutions, policies and systems in place. This article shall attempt to highlight some important steps which could be immensely helpful for building and maintaining staff productivity.
Use of Job Analysis and Competency Mapping
Expecting productivity without clearly-defined jobs and without the presence of necessary skills is as good as a shot in the dark. Employees cannot be assigned productivity targets if it is not clearly known what performance is expected of them (which can be derived from their defined duties and responsibilities) and whether they possess the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to handle the jobs assigned to them or to achieve the productivity targets. Job analysis provides a detailed description of each job in the organization and lists out the attributes required on the part of the employees to successfully and productively complete those jobs. Through competency mapping, companies identify the key competencies or the desired behavioral attributes in employees throughout the organization. To be productive, every employee must know what their job or role is and they must possess the required technical and behavioral skills to execute those jobs.
To be productive, every employee must know what their job or role is and they must possess the required technical and behavioral skills to execute those jobs.
Relevant and Targeted Training
Every job in an organization involves certain unique knowledge, skills and expertise which do not come at tailor-made levels in the employees who are new to those jobs. However, in order to be productive, these skill levels have to be customized according to the needs and specifications of each job or of the required competency. This can be done through training and executive development programs. Through training programs, companies can fine tune the required skills and competencies of the employees thereby enabling them to perform their KRAs productively.
Through training programs, companies can fine tune the required skills and competencies of the employees thereby enabling them to perform their KRAs productively.
For example, leadership quality is one of the key competencies for team leaders and supervisors or for anyone leading a team of subordinates in an organization. Several studies and surveys have shown that poor supervision is one the most common causes of productive employees leaving their jobs. It becomes imperative for companies to provide leadership training programs to their managers, supervisors and team leaders.
Principled Organization Structure
Productivity cannot usher in a chaos and disorderly environment. Productivity requires a systematic, orderly and principled organization structure. Employees cannot be productive in spite of their best efforts if the organization structure and design lack smooth and systematic flow of work, clarity in authority-responsibility relationships, a balanced span of control, unity of command and clear communication routes.
Productivity requires a systematic, orderly and principled organization structure.
Responsive and Constructive Performance Management System
A performance management system will be effective only when its output (reports and analysis) is used to introduce meaningful and corrective actions towards the improvement of employees’ performance and productivity. Without follow-up activities, having a PMS will be rendered meaningless. Performance feedback should always be constructive and not punitive. Performance-based reward and recognition always carry a positive impact on the morale and productivity of employees. While deciding rewards and recognitions, companies should seek to strike a balance between financial and non-financial incentives. It is equally important to ensure that the PMS is executed with fairness and equity and is not biased or breeding favoritism. Performance targets should be set realistically so that there’s no burnout which could counter fire and bring down the productivity of employees.
Performance-based reward and recognition always carry a positive impact on the morale and productivity of employees.
Motivation, Morale and Well-being
Motivation and morale are the most powerful driving forces behind the performance and productivity of employees. When the employees are motivated they give their best performances which bring positive changes in the productivity levels. From financial to non-financial methods, there is a host of measures which can prove to be very helpful in bringing about positive changes in the motivation and morale of employees. Employees may derive job satisfaction and motivation from different sources like salary and benefits, career progression, a professional work culture, people-friendliness of HR policies, healthy work environment etc. Respect, fairness and equity are very important aspects of a modern-day workplace. Productive and professional employees prefer to advance in their careers and they seldom shy away from higher responsibilities and authority which makes delegation an important tool and practice in management.
Some of the best companies in the world are known for their pro-people HR practices which go beyond motivation and morale. They focus on the well-being of employees in all the other important spheres of their life (family, children, health, recreation and leisure, travel and vacation etc) by providing them with the opportunities and benefits helpful to strike a right work-life balance. Motivation and work-life balance are crucial for high performance and productivity.
Motivation and work-life balance are crucial for high performance and productivity.
Business enterprises should strongly bear in mind that although productivity may be a quantitative outcome the strategies and efforts required to keep the employees productive are more of qualitative in nature. Apart from the direct efforts like planned recruitment and training, competitive salaries, a robust organization structure and design, reward and recognition; the productivity of employees are also affected by indirect sources like work culture, friendliness of HR policies, equity and fairness in performance management, motivation and morale and work-life balance.
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