The quest for productivity
The first thing we learn on our journey through the work environment is the word productivity. There are many opinions on what productivity really means. Most managers perceive this as an instruction to work harder in order to achieve targets set by the organization.
My experience in productivity tells me that it is achieving the targets in the most efficient manner and at the best cost that will deliver a quality outcome. You don't need to work harder to be productive. Productivity is doing the right thing at the right time using the correct methods.
Sometimes it is necessary to be innovative in order for you to find new ways of increasing your team's productivity. But before you do that you can just have a look at the basics and you will find these five tools already in place to use.
The organization's recruitment policy and procedures
This policy was designed with the view of standardizing the way in which your organization recruits new employees. It also came with a set of procedures and guidelines that will guide you through the process of ensuring that you are getting the best person for the right job.
It is important that before you recruit a new employee you are fully aware of what it is that you need, how the employee will fit into the organization and what your expectations are for this new employee. A misfit from the start go can affect the productivity of your whole team considerably.
By applying the policy you will ensure that you have done everything possible to find the right recruit that will fit into an existing productive unit. Bringing new skills and innovative thinking into your team can only improve productivity.
It is very important to have a job description that will encourage productivity in the workplace. By focusing on the tasks of the position you will be able to predetermine what the employee will need to do in order to ensure continuous improvement in productivity.
Generic job descriptions do not support productivity at all and need to be job specific. With a little bit more effort put into compiling job descriptions management will have control over their productivity.
The employee will also know what is expected and his awareness that productivity plays a major role in the organization will encourage him to the perform accordingly.
Key performance indicators
These are there for the benefit of management to measure current activity against target set. Each function or process within the organization plays a role in the overall performance. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that measurements are in place and feedback collected.
It is also important for management to know what these indicators are and how they will affect the business. Identify and monitor these key performance indicators on a regular basis and you will immediately notice any changes in performance and productivity.
Training and development policies
Without these, there will be a big struggle for your organization to maintain productivity levels consistently. It doesn't matter what business you are in your employees will always need to be informed and updated about changes in the industry.
Training and development start with the induction of employees and is a continuous process of developing them into a productive unit. If the employee does not get the opportunity to grow within the organization the organization itself will not be able to grow or improve its current market.
Annual performance reviews
This stage of an employee's career is normally the most painful for both the manager and the employee. Most managers feel that through continuous communication it will not be necessary to have an annual review. For the employee, it can sometimes mean that he feels criticised and not see it as an opportunity for self-improvement.
For the organization, this is a critical stage as it provides the opportunity to rectify any anomalies that might exist in the employee's performance. Full productivity to survive it is necessary for you to highlight these anomalies and advice have the employee can improve. It is, however, necessary to coach and follow the employee's performance throughout the year to ensure that he stays on track.
These are important tools that are already in place and as a manager, you should be exploring its effectiveness and apply it correctly in order to improve your productivity.
There are many other tools already in place that you can identify and make work for you in order to increase your productivity and the productivity of your team.