Productivity is an important indicator of corporate performance and a basic idea in modern economics. When it comes to defining or quantifying productivity for your specific organization, it can be quite difficult.
To top it off, the term “productivity” is frequently used to refer to worker performance in a broader meaning. A few examples are useful in explaining the significance of productivity in a new firm.
Productivity Improvement: Meaning
On the surface, productivity is a straightforward concept that refers to the amount of output in a business relative to the amount of input. In fact, the Economics Library defines it simply as “output per unit of input.”
Productivity improvement, then, means getting more done – more output – with the same amount of input. Even better, the best improvements can allow your business to increase productivity while decreasing cost.
Measuring Outputs and Inputs
In the real world, documenting all the inputs and outputs that make up a complex business can make for a challenging task. As noted by the Harvard Business Review (HBR), measuring actual productivity can be a challenge, in some businesses more than others.
A business (or a business unit) creates outputs. The output of a factory producing cars, for example, can be as simple as a count of the vehicles produced. However, because no two vehicles are alike, determining cars against trucks, base models vs. deluxe features, and so on complicates the count.
Using revenue (sales) as your core statistic is frequently the greatest method for monitoring output. What are the sales data for your human resources department, for example? For some businesses, getting a handle on productivity outputs can be a difficult task.
Inputs can also be configured in a number of ways. Labor costs, raw material costs, energy use, and facility overhead, as well as services like insurance and legal fees, all contribute as inputs to your business expenses.
HBR warns against oversimplifying costs to a single item (such as direct labor costs) and makes the case that fully understanding and documenting a variety of costs is important to establishing a productivity baseline and, ultimately, to measuring improvements in productivity.
Factors Affecting Productivity Increases
Technology is usually regarded as one of the most important components that, when correctly implemented, can help to boost productivity. Investing in expensive new technologies that don’t work out, on the other hand, can be a costly mistake that hurts overall productivity, at least in the short term.
The usage of robots on the manufacturing line, for example, has been a key role in enhancing the industrial sector’s total productivity over time. However, investing in robots that are glitchy or too complicated for workers to utilise can result in poorer factory productivity.
The division of labor can also contribute to dramatic productivity increases, as Adam Smith demonstrated almost 250 years ago in his classic work, Wealth of Nations. As workers specialize in a specific task, their level of output tends to improve as their skill level at performing the task increases.
Increasing Personal Productivity
Of course, productivity also has its everyday meaning. You may strive to become more productive at work by refining your daily habits. The New York Times suggest you focus on the following:
- Set goals and make incremental progress towards meeting them
- Minimize distractions like social media
- Beware of multitasking, as the human brain is best at focusing on one job at a time
There’s nothing more important to a small business than its employees. If your employees are happy, their productivity will increase, and that’s exactly what you need to help your business grow.
Making small changes to habits will drastically improve the levels of productivity and office efficiency in your business. This will allow you to get more quality work done in a shorter period of time as well as reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary tasks.
Here are eight top tips on how to get the most out of your employees and ensure that their productivity is kept to a maximum:
1. Be Efficient
Consider how your company is now run and be open to the possibility of changing things up. Remember that, especially in a small firm, making short-term and long-term lists is just as crucial as prioritising tasks.
Is there a better way for employees to plan their days so that they can meet their daily objectives? Provide each employee with a plan and encourage them to prepare a list to guarantee that they finish their assigned tasks on time and remain focused throughout the day, resulting in efficient work.
Delegation comes with an element of risk, but increased responsibility is important for improving the morale and job satisfaction of your staff. Give responsibilities to qualified employees that have a proven track record with success in a certain field, and trust that they will perform the tasks well.
If you allow employees the chance to gain skills and leadership experience, it will benefit your company and provide your employees with a sense of achievement and direction in their own careers.
3. Reduce Distractions
Social media can be a huge productivity killer, but it isn’t practical to have a no-phone policy. Instead, try to keep employees focused and engaged while allowing them breathing room.
Encourage employees to turn off their mobiles but take regular breaks during which they can be free to check their phones. This will ensure that the time spent at their desk is more productive.
4. Have the Right Tools and Equipment
It is critical to provide staff with the appropriate tools and equipment so that they can do their tasks efficiently and on schedule. Nothing is more inefficient than wasting time waiting for documentation to print because you don’t have a quick printing printer.
Not only can high-quality, current programmes and equipment benefit your staff, but they also improve how your organisation is perceived. Use equipment like an MFP, which can serve as a printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine to save time and effort.
5. Improve workplace conditions
A comfortable working temperature is between 68 and 70 degrees F (20 and 21 C). An environment that’s too hot or too cold distracts from concentration, as employees will spend more time walking around to get their coats or an electric fan. Ensure both the heating and air-conditioning systems are in working order for when the relevant season comes around.
6. Offer Support and Set Realistic Goals
A common problem for managers is having no clear, strong sense of whether their employees are high-performing or not.
Do your employees need an incentive to stay on track? Help them by offering goals that are achievable. Provide clear direction to supervisors and employees to help clarify expectations. This will help to increase their productivity, as they will have a clear focus and clear goals.
7. Practice Positive Reinforcement
Encourage, motivate, and reward. Give constructive criticism and tell employees they are doing a good job. Most importantly, offer personal incentives for doing the job well—could they get a free holiday or a free takeout coffee for performing above and beyond their roles?
You should clearly indicate the success of one employee to other staff to cultivate a sense of fulfilment and motivate others. When you motivate your employees to work harder and receive rewards in return, they’re more likely to put increased productivity high up on their to-do list.
8. Ensure Employees Are Happy
A stressful workplace will not yield results. Workers that constantly operate under highly stressful conditions are found to be less productive and have higher levels of disengagement and absenteeism… They need to be happy!
Showing employees how much the company appreciates, respects, and values them on a personal level is gratifying and often overlooked. This is just as important when you are starting a new business or trying to make an existing business more successful.
If you want your staff to work to the best of their ability, try out a few of these tips and enjoy the benefits.