Profiles International - Victoria    eNewsletter   July 2010 

Productivity: Engaged, Equipped and Beyond      

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
-Will Rogers

That quote from Will Rogers caught my eye. Maybe it’s because I measure productivity for a living, so I think about it all the time. What makes people productive?
What keeps them moving in the right direction? And how can each of us learn to be more productive on the job – and in our lives?

When it comes to productivity, being on the right track is a good start. But that’s all it is. Once you’re on the right track, you want to keep moving. That means having the right engine, the right fuel and the right know-how.

In other words, good intentions may be required for productivity, but they’re not quite enough.

Over the years, as I’ve been involved in measuring and improving productivity in workforces around the world, I’ve gained a few insights. In my experience, employees who are the most productive – regardless of the type of work they do – are more than just on the right track. In fact, these employees are:
• Engaged: Are your employees engaged in their work? Remember day one when the possibilities, the loyalty to the organisation and the determination to succeed seemed limitless? How much more productive would your employees be if they were as engaged on day 100 as they were on day one? There’s a lot written about employee engagement, and I can’t stress how critical it is to success.

• Equipped: Do your employees have the tools and resources they need to work effectively and efficiently? For example, imagine that you have to deliver one message simultaneously to 100 people across four different time zones. If you have email, that’s a pretty easy task. If not, it could be a challenge, regardless of your motivation and commitment. All the good intentions in the world won’t build a house unless the contractor is equipped with the right tools. Being equipped also means being well-trained. The most productive employees I see tend to work for organisations that provide effective “on-boarding,” job training and ongoing development.

• Aligned: Are the work processes and systems in your organisation aligned with the jobs? Jobs can change over time based on the people who hold them. When one person leaves a position and another steps in, does the replacement have the same skills as his or her predecessor? Does the job description reflect the current duties of the position? If not, even engaged and equipped employees can become unproductive. That's a shame, especially when they want to perform. One solution is to conduct periodic “job description inventories” to ensure that each and every jobholder’s capabilities match the job description.

Provide people with the right tools, resources and training. Make sure they can do what you're asking them to do. Frustration kills productivity. So make sure your employees aren’t just on the right track, but moving in the right direction!

FROM BUD HANEYS DESK: Bud Haney, President Profiles International

Did You Know?

Companies with low levels of employee engagement had a 33% annual decline in operating income and an 11% annual decline in earnings growth. -Towers Perrin
Working more than 50 hours a week has been correlated in a raft of studies with less sleep, less physical activity, higher job dissatisfaction and ultimately worse performance. -Harvard Business Review
Three Ways to Ensure Employee Utilisation

Employee utilisation seems to be one of those over-used business terms that poorly describes one of the most important elements in productivity. The most productive companies know that successful employee utilisation is an active ingredient in their overall success. When human capital planning is at the top of a company's priorities, they are sure to achieve their goals despite a potentially lean number of employees.

So, what do the most productive companies mean when they say they have impeccable employee utilisation? To successfully utilise employees, organisations should consider three elements:
• Each employee should have a detailed job description
• Employee engagement should remain a top priority
• Employees are assigned an amount of work that is manageable and based on their personal capabilities.

Despite the complexities that seem to be involved, human capital planning tools have made these processes easier to achieve than one would think.

Each employee's job description should be detailed and thorough. Just because an employee holds a specific title does not always mean that the employee will understand what is expected of him. Setting clear boundaries for employees allows them to acknowledge their goals, and understand what they are expected to accomplish.
Employees will be utilised based on their job descriptions, and will aim to be more productive if they know their limitations.

Employee engagement is another major facet when considering how to use an employee to the best of their abilities. Employees who are disengaged are less likely to achieve their goals, and more likely to avoid exceeding expectations. Employees who feel respected and valued will produce double the work that a disengaged employee produces. Personalised assessments are valuable tools that managers can use to better understand how to engage employees. Not each employee will respond to the same motivators, but a good manager recognises these differences and works with them to create a productive work environment.

Finally, the amount of work employees are expected to produce is the quintessential element of employee utilisation. Workload capabilities are just as diverse as an employee's engagement level. Organisations need to understand that an employee's workload capabilities do not always directly correlate with their intelligence or activity levels. Each employee can handle a certain number of tasks at a time, but this number will vary greatly throughout all levels of the company.

Strategic human capital management tools can assist organisations with the complexities involved in the employee utilisation process. The results from assessing employees can teach managers about an individual's workload capabilities and engagement levels. Managers should also consider open communication when trying to encourage that employees work to their full potential. Weekly one-on-one meetings or an open-door policy will encourage employees to communicate when they are having trouble managing their projects or meeting their goals.
In order to successfully master productivity, companies should administer accurate job descriptions to each employee, keep employees engaged, and adjust each employee's workload so that they never feel tired or burnt out. Using employees to their fullest potential will result in higher productivity and a happier workforce.


Productivity: Engaged, Equipped and Beyond

Did You Know?

Three Ways to Ensure Employee Utilisation


Partner Training:
Training scheduled for 27th July. 

There is no seminar scheduled for July.



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Profiles International  -Victoria  

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    (1300 776 345) 

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