Productivity is essential to the success and growth of organisations – and the wealth of nations – but it can seem an ethereal concept which is difficult to address. How in reality can we harness our business practices to improve productivity? That’s the question being tackled by Dr Pietro Micheli in a white paper for Crown Workforce Management Systems.
Dr Micheli, Associate Professor of Organisational Performance at the University of Warwick Business School, has focused on three areas where practical application can pay dividends – process management, employee management, employee engagement.
The report, which has also been turned into a free-to-watch video, provides essential pointers on the factors which influence productivity such as finance, infrastructure, economic incentives and regulation.
Dr Micheli is quick to point out that although these may be determined by policy makers, processes can be applied at a tactical level to improve output.
Improving processes to ensure the correct availability of materials and equipment, reducing waste by eliminating over-processing and introducing ‘lean management’ systems are all methods of enhancing productivity through process management which automated systems can help bring about.
“Understanding our processes end-to-end, the sequence of activities that we have to undertake to deliver products and services and how we get a better flow across those processes to better satisfy customer demand, is what we need to discover in order to make improvements where necessary and make those processes more efficient,” he says.
Within employee management, ensuring that people have the right skills and are employed in the right jobs through effective planning and rostering is still something which is not achieved effectively by many organisations, he reveals.
“It’s about getting the right people, at the right time, in the right place with the right skills and at the right cost,” he summarises.
Within employee engagement Dr Micheli advises on how businesses can get its people to be better motivated, more aligned and more willing to contribute to organisational goals.
He pinpoints goal, role and process clarity and encouraging goal commitment in staff by involving them so that they relate their contribution to the wider business plan.
“It’s not just about knowing something but feeling more attached to it, having that buy-in. It may be that we have negotiated those goals or participated in setting them, or least understand where they come from,” he outlines.
Mindset and better use of resources – the ability to capture and understand business intelligence by data generated by processes and resources – are essential if productivity is to be adequately addressed.
A synopsis of the white paper is available to download free and is accompanied by an 11-minute though leadership video. A taster version can be viewed here: www.crownworkforcemanagement.com/videos/productivity/
David Hughes, Head of Marketing at Crown Computing says the resources are aimed at HR professionals and business leaders.
“Issues such as productivity can seem so immense that many struggle to know how to begin to address it, but like anything else, broken down into practical areas for application, it becomes easier to see how we can use the data at our fingertips to make improvements to our processes and motivate people to get better results.”