Why Productivity Is the Key to Efficiency and Efficacy in Every Business
Efficiency is confused mostly for productivity when, in fact, the two varies vastly. Most business managers in Singapore make the mistake of using them as synonyms interchangeably. It is however to note that strategically, it is important for leaders to focus on productivity to restore growth in their companies. With the rapid progression of startups and the huge shift in the business environment in recent times, most company leaders and managers have started the lead to review their company structure and take measures for restoration in a bid to keep up with their peers and competitors. A productive-driven mindset in every business leadership is perhaps the most straightforward and effective strategy.
The persistent focus on increasing productivity is a critical way to successful organizational processes. In times of economic uncertainties such as this in Singapore, it is extremely important to work smart in seeking methods to pay off. All focus such as strong organization, policies, and procedures should motivate staff to maximize productivity.
Efficiency versus Productivity
Efficiency defines the number of labor hours needed to complete specific tasks according to the set standards. To assess efficiency, you need to compare the actual number of hours used to complete the task against the industry average or the expectations previously set forth by the company. Reviewing one’s definition and metric of efficiency frequently followed by a post-review attempt to improvise one’s workflow can help a company see an improvement in the volume of work produced. Though this might directly impact the profit margins of a company, it might see a reduction in the labor required and a shift in the skills and structure of a company.
Productivity may appear similar but it focuses on the ration of the output of products or services to hours devoted to achieving it. To measure productivity, you need to compare the number of goods and services against the input used in production. This means productivity is about accomplishing more production with the same resources. Growth in labor largely depends on output per hour, which in turn relies on the living standards of the country. Singapore is poised for improved productivity thanks to the relatively high standards of living giving the workers the ability to produce more goods with the same amount of work.
Here are eight verified techniques to help your company improve productivity.
- Open Communication
Taking time to communicate openly with the teams involved will help to bring everyone into agreement and effort towards the common goal. Reveal both short and long-term goals and prove how all of them are vital participants. Let them feel free to offer their honest opinion and contribution towards improving your productivity. The junior staff should be free to express their concerns, observations, and most importantly; suggestions.
Equal participation helps to eliminate the likelihood of rumors and mistrust among team members. Try to keep everyone informed on company issues concerning them. If you do not inform them, they are likely to find out eventually anyway. It is better when they get the formal communication of the information upfront.
- Instill Accountability
Make your staff cautious and meticulous to the detail of their tasks. This will help to reduce the frequency of errors and the risk imposed by them. Instilling accountability in workers gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. They will find pride in the company and protect it from malice. Knowing they have a stake in a company, which appreciates them greatly improves their performance.
- Avoid Micro-managing
Effective managers should be careful not to let the employees depend on them on the minutest of issues. The employees should be confident enough to make decisions in their areas of jurisdictions and be responsible for them. This can be easily done by developing trust in your junior staff and showing them your confidence in their work and decisions. If you are comfortable with them taking care of tasks without your direct supervision, you are poised to achieve a strong team. Consider that fact that they were hired because you decided that they were qualified for the job.
Although motivation sounds like common sense, it plays an important factor in the performance of workers. You need utmost performance to bring the high levels of productivity, constantly devise new creative methods of motivation can help keep your employees at their best. Ideas like an impromptu team gathering or a team day off work to thank everyone for their hard work might seem insignificant but we are pretty sure that such an initiative would be greatly appreciated. A motivated team of workers would at any time beat an overpaid and extensive team of unhappy workers.
- Equipment/Technological upgrades
Regardless of the industry of your business (unless you are the business owner or a manager from one of the giant tech firms), there has to be a function in your business that requires an upgrade. Something that you might have noticed but not acted on. A more efficient way to track your employees’ performance, attendance and leave schedule perhaps? Or an internal system upgrade that might streamline the process of your employees, a CRM for example. To adopt and to grow with the current trend will not only keep the business in pace with your direct competitors, you can be sure that your employees can be reassigned to more important tasks for increased productivity.
- Allow Upgrades and Updates
Provide opportunities for the staff to upgrade their skills. Send them to training courses to equip them with the latest skills. There are multiple subsidies provided by our stat boards in support of skills upgrading and productivity improvement. The initiative with the stat boards, coupled by some initiative by your company will keep your employees up to date with the necessary knowledge. As a result, they will be capable of introducing new and more efficient ways of doing tasks.
- Break Routines and Internal Mobility
Although you may have the right people for the job, it is boring to keep them in the same positions performing the same duties every day of the week consistently. Break the monotony by rotating job responsibilities frequently and introducing new roles when possible. Exposing your employees to new roles will not only enhance their knowledge and skills, research has shown that 87% of the companies across the globe believes that high internal mobility can help better attract talents and retention efforts.
- Strictness on Absenteeism
Letting absenteeism creep on your company will constantly drain your budget and lower productivity levels. This does not mean you should restrict legitimate and genuine leaves. However, you need to ensure the importance of respecting the work policies on absenteeism.
We know it is never easy to head a team or project. Let alone run an entire company. But as Benjamin Parker says, “With great power comes great responsibilities”. If productivity improvement has been sitting there on your to-do list all these while, we certainly hope that with this article, you can strike that off your list in the near future.