What are the most common obstacles faced with employee productivity?
I am writing my dissertation on conflict resolution in the workplace and employee productivity (or lack thereof) is one main factor. I would appreciate your input to help me learn more about this phenomenon in its practical aspect. Thank you.
Employee productivity and conflict resolution are two separate issues and need different treatment. Employee productivity could be a employee issue in which case counseling, cajoling and warning may be the recourse. It could also be an issue with work method. Ths is when people remain busy, but fall short in terms of outcomes, timeliness, quantum of output and/or quality. Part of the solution could be in the way we assign responsibilities, measure and recognize productivity. Often people focus on process alone and keep themselves busy. I found if we keep the eye only on outcome (output, timeliness and qulaity), the productivity starts improving. Employees are then forced to develop intelligent methods and ways of working smarter. Their work related internal process improvements, needs to be part of their goal. For instance creating work assets that can be reused so that same or similar tasks can be performed much faster. This will create additional bandwidth to do more and consequently increase productivity.
Take a look at 'psychological contracts'. When one feels that this contract has been broken for whatever reason the individual begins to disengage with the company resulting in poor productivity and absenteeism. At worst it can lead to 'workplace deviance' where they may make deliberate, malicious attempts to sabotage the organisation.
I think the most common obstacles are
Everyone deals with money concerns occasionally --- employees are no exception.
Job security stress is another common problem that affects workers. When workers are unsure about the company's future or their personal success, they may not work to their full potential.
Where your employees work great impacts their ability to get work done. Too many companies ignore this. Noise, clutter, inadequate facilities. All of these reduce your team’s effectiveness.
Senior leadership (and HR) loves to implement policies without regard as to the productivity impacts they create. No offices. No closed door policies, etc. One company I worked with eliminated all offices to encourage team unity. Within 3 months, no one could get any work done because they were all over each other. Team members couldn’t even hold a conversation because they had eliminated all the office walls.
Technology is supposed to be a work enabler. It is supposed to allow workers to get more done, not to hinder them. Yet, many companies continue to struggle with technology. Needless restrictions. Inadequate tools. And simply non-working systems.
“If you don’t do it right the first time, you will end up doing it over.” This applies from the smallest status update to multi-million dollar corporate projects. Unfortunately, many companies do not learn this until after spending the millions.
Solutions that be used:
-Instead of continuing to ignore the productivity issues in your company, tackle them head on.
-Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. (Because often it is not working…)
-Stop doing the things that are sapping your team’s ability to get their work done.
-Enable your employees with common sense and a work environment that allows them to actually work.
I always start with detailed job descriptions for each of my staff members. Begin with their job title. From there, list each task in job. This also helps when hiring staff. The job description should match the staff members qualifications including education and experience. A second item to consider, if someone is not producing, there's a reason for it. Could be illness, bored with the job, a major change such as a death or divorce in their immediate family, and a change in leadership. Job descriptions also make it easier at annual review time and when you need to coach a staff member when they are struggling. Also, if a staff member wants to learn another job in the company, let them. A valuable staff member is gold even if they are not reporting directly to you. It's about the company being profitable, right?
When people do not know what they are supposed to do next from lack of direction from management people procrastinate. I know when I was unsure of how to proceed with a project and there was no one to go to, my work progress obviously faltered. Good management leads to employees knowing what to do and how to do it and if they are stuck there is someone to go to to help. Just my experience!! Good luck!
Hello Diana, I have to share this with you it is really up to the company because from many surveys done, it was always the company that effected the employees productivity, I know you may not fall in any of the categories I may mentions, but at least it will provide something for you to review, First question is what do you do for your employees? by way of benefits, environment of workplace, team building, employee events, support system, management, promotions program, community events, incentives etc. this is just a few things that matter and the list goes on. Especially Motivation review these things above and there lies your answer.
Have a home based business staff work remotely and it is a real struggle to know if they are doing the right thing or even what they are doing at all. I am convinced I have staff claiming hours that have not been worked but I am finding it impossible to clarify.
My company helps organizations with workforce performance so everything we do is about employee productivity.
There are some great answers here - particularly the immediate supervisor's role (up to 70% of people are sitting on an issue that is impacting their performance, and half of them aren't addressing it due to concerns about their leader), and the impact of negativity at work (it takes 8 positive and productive employees to counter the effects of one negative employee).
Our company considers that there are four main elements to ensuring productivity (we call them the 4 pillars):
1. Ensuring the individual knows why they are there. That's about clear roles and performance expectations, but also believing in the mission and vision of the company
2. Feeling that they belong : that's about being part of a high performing team, and feeling that their opinion matters. The organization needs to treat the employee as more than a number.
3. That they have the tools and resources to be successful: that might be equipment, but it might also be about how they are empowered in their job
4. That they know how they are doing : what gets measured gets managed and what gets rewarded gets repeated. People need feedback and recognition to ensure they become and remain productive.
These are functions of three things : culture, immediate leadership and team. Team is growing in importance as organizations become more matrix and flatter, but equipping the immediate leader is a great place to start because they impact the individual every day, have influence over team dynamics and help shape culture.
Hope that helps. If you would like to discuss further, feel free to connect.
I think the old saying 'one bad apple can ruin the whole barrel' applies here. I've seen where one lazy, grumpy, or know it all employee can rub off on the whole crew. Who wants to be the one working his or her tail off when other(s) are standing around visiting. Furthermore, it seems to me that this 'bad apple' is also the one that complains about everything, won't take orders, or thinks up ways to do what you told him but still somehow manages to not get the job done right. The solution is to rid yourself of those types ASAP.
I know one fellow that owned a truck wash (18 wheelers) and he said he would only keep 2-5% of his help past the first week. I know that seems like a lot of 'work' to hire and let go that many but his operation was successful and profitable.