Ways to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity

The Irish Times - Business - - WORLD OF WORK -

Higher lev­els of pro­duc­tiv­ity al­low so­ci­eties to rein­vest in hu­man cap­i­tal, and smart in­vest­ments re­sult in higher labour pro­duc­tiv­ity. If we stopped un­der­in­vest­ing in hu­man cap­i­tal, we could im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Here are three in­vest­ments that could rein­vig­o­rate the pro­duc­tiv­ity cy­cle:

1 Wages: Higher in­vest­ment in wages does not need to come at the ex­pense of cus­tomers and share­hold­ers. In fact, cus­tomer ad­vo­cacy and em­ployee en­gage­ment are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked.

Man­aged by Q, a clean­ing and of­fice-ser­vices com­pany in New York city, de­cided to pay em­ploy­ees higher wages than the pre­vail­ing mar­ket rate. In turn, the com­pany is achiev­ing lower lev­els of em­ployee and cus­tomer churn, and cor­re­spond­ingly lower hir­ing and cus­tomer-ac­qui­si­tion costs.

2 Time: Great ideas that drive break­throughs in pro­duc­tiv­ity come from hu­man be­ings with the time, tal­ent and en­ergy to in­no­vate. Yet, on av­er­age, man­agers have fewer than seven un­in­ter­rupted hours a week to de­vote to deep, strate­gic think­ing.

Com­pa­nies should seek to erad­i­cate the in­ter­nal com­plex­ity that leads to in­ef­fi­cient and in­ef­fec­tive in­ter­ac­tions.

3. En­ergy: Per­haps the most trans­for­ma­tional thing a com­pany can do f is to in­vest in jobs and work­ing en­vi­ron­ments that un­leash in­trin­sic in­spi­ra­tion. An in­spired em­ployee is more than twice as pro­duc­tive as a sat­is­fied em­ployee and more than three times as pro­duc­tive as a dis­sat­is­fied em­ployee. Yet, only one in eight em­ploy­ees is in­spired.

Cre­at­ing in­spir­ing jobs re­quires holis­ti­cally ad­dress­ing the factors that drive em­ployee in­spi­ra­tion. This in­cludes more au­ton­omy and agility as well as in­spi­ra­tional lead­er­ship.

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