Productivity. The eternal quest for improvement and development and greater output are what keep managers and leaders awake at night. The measurement of productivity is a sure fire way to assess success and set targets for improvement. It’s also something that is likely to encompass all elements of a business too, determining the quality of your products or services, the utilisation of time, money and resources and your level of customer service.
Not designed to be an exhaustive list, we’ve put together five elements of productivity that should be assessed to establish how well your business is performing and what potential lies hitherto untouched.
Technology, equipment and training
In manufacturing, engineering and construction type industries, being at the cutting edge of technology is increasing in importance. You can’t allow your business to be left behind as technology and equipment advances, each new development impacting greatly on productivity. However, with constant advancement comes another cost, training. It’s pointless trying remain at the forefront of your industry if the workforce can’t keep up. Maintaining ongoing training for staff keeps them fresh and up to date, dealing with new advancements reliably, safely and productively. And perhaps more importantly, further training makes your workforce feel that they are valued and gives them confidence in you as an employer, as you’re investing in them.
As an employee it’s important to show willingness to learn new skills. Take control of your development plan and suggest training courses to your employer – they’ll be pleased that you want to develop your skills in order to add value to the team.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s essential for them to feel like they’re a big part of the company. If you don’t already have one, instigate an employee review system that allows to monitor performance and work together to develop. Don’t take negative comments personally; it’s important to address all feedback, even if it’s just an acknowledgement – employees will be pleased that their voice has been heard. Make sure you deliver on anything that you agree on, and show that their development is important to you and the success of the business.
If you’re an employee giving feedback, try to stay professional; no naming names, or building mountains out of molehills. Be as honest as you can and wherever possible, try and suggest solutions issues to show that you have given them a good level of thought.
Monitor departmental structures
For any business made up of numerous departments, each one needs to be working efficiently to be productive. Maybe there are gains to be made by altering the structure of your business or the departments within it? All departments within a business should be aligned in achieving the same goal, make sure this is the case and where improvements need to be made, refocus on the ultimate aim.
Recruitment and HR
Employees always need to know that there’s somewhere they can turn if they need some help or advice. Effective HR is very important in addressing issues and concerns of employees quickly and without fuss. HR staff should be able to resolve issues in a mature and professional manner whilst also being tuned in to the ultimate aim of the business. If your business does not have a dedicated HR department, it may be worth looking to outsource this in order to ensure that staff feel that they can be really honest about any issues they have.
Whatever level we work at, it’s easy to get sidetracked or distracted from what is important. Why not develop a mission statement that relates to your business but which resonates with yourself and other employees. Make it simple yet bold and ensure that it is positioned where everyone can see it so as to become ingrained in their sub-consciousness. Be clear in your goals and if targets are applicable make them challenging yet achievable.
The key to productivity is to attack those variables to which you can make a difference and influence first. Once you’re happy that these are at optimum level, then you can begin to look at those elements harder to impact upon. Maybe there links within your supply chain that need tightening or other differentials further down the line that could be handled better. Systematically addressing each individual element of the business should ultimately improve productivity.
RE Group have been helping people find the right jobs and employers find the right people, for over 10 years. With 5 specialist recruitment divisions, Onsite staffing operations and a dedicated Training company, re resource group has much to offer employers and candidates alike. If you’re looking for top quality candidates to join your business, contact our consultants today to see how we can add value.
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