For any business that is being operated in any part of the world, there are a number of things that should be running smoothly and efficiently for high productivity. High productivity is important to remain competitive in the market because if you are not productive, your competitors will take cost advantages and in the worst case scenario you might be forced out of the industry. So how can you make your business productive?
The most important and valuable asset that an organization have are the employee which it hires. Firms are broadly divided into those using capital-intensive methods of production and those using labor-intensive methods. In both cases, labor is required even though in different amounts. Businesses are also distinguished by whether they are manufacturing a product or providing a service and again, employees play an important role in both types. So we now have some idea that in order to achieve the maximum possible productivity and highest possible output per worker, it is important to focus on the welfare of employees.
Employees of an organization are hired and maintained by the human resource (HR) department that may or may not be available in a business. While you will find the HR department in majority of large-scale businesses, a lot of small-scale firms may hand over the responsibility to the management. Regardless of who manages the employees, it is extremely important to help employees work in the best way possible and be as efficient as they can. Following are some ways through which HR department can improve the performance of employees thereby benefitting the organization:
1) Making them feel important: The era of division of labor and specialization undoubtedly boosted the productivity of businesses but left a great drawback i.e. employees no longer receive appreciation for their work. Since the entire production process is now divided among hundreds of employees, the task of any one employee usually goes unnoticed no matter how hard he works. This makes the employees feel unimportant in the organization due to which efficiency deteriorates as a result of low morale.
HR needs to take this issue seriously by proposing solutions that may result in employees feeling more important. For example, each supervisor may observe the performance of a few employees for the whole month and then recognize the outstanding employee of the month in front of everyone. Also, the HR may consider paying some bonus to that employee if the budget allows. This way, employees will get some importance at workplace and show efficiency.
2) Avoid a system where employees are made to feel inferior: Hierarchy must be prevalent in organizations but imposing strict measures on employees will only make them feel inferior and hence reduce efficiency. Some expert HR personnel even claimed that if the system of hierarchy vanishes from the world of business, efficiency can improve significantly due to higher motivation and absence of sense of inferiority. So the HR department should ensure that the manager is trained in a way that he treats employees as if they are equal in position to him. While too much leniency may be harmful, the relationship between manager and employees should be like a friendship where discussion is more frequently held than taking orders from manager.
HR must create a system where employees are not afraid of the manager but are bold enough to frankly discuss issues with the manager. This is only possible if the sense of inferiority is removed. So mentoring has to be done with the management rather than employees.
3) Frequent field trips and celebrations: A year full of work, presentations and dealings is the worst strategy an HR can apply in any organization. Just like students need a break after lengthy and hectic studying sessions, employees expect some form of break from the organization too which, if not provided, can demotivate the employees. Demotivated employees are the most inefficient ones so you have to keep them motivated at all times. The role of HR here is to arrange picnics, trips and celebrations so that employees do not only get a day off but also get to enjoy that day to the full.
Some entrepreneurs claim that this is an ‘unnecessary financial burden’ on the organization but studies have shown that businesses spending on such activities tend to be highly productive. Hence you will not be able to recover the spent amount only but also receive higher revenue in near future. So after every few months, organize a fun event so that employees can participate.
These major strategies will not only improve efficiency of the employees but also reduce the employee turnover rate due to increased loyalty to the firm. The longer an employee works at an organization, the better he understands the operations of the firm and hence higher will be his efficiency so retaining employees is also an important responsibility of the HR.
Author bio: Henry Marcus is an HR consultant at a multinational consultancy firm Help with Assignment based in United Kingdom. After obtaining his MBA in HR management, Henry worked in the HR departments of two reputable organizations before he joined consultancy.