"On average, Australian workers spend 16% of their day
on activities that waste their time and effort."
How do you measure productivity within your team?
Some statistics I came by recently are from an ongoing series of surveys with responses gathered from 2100 individuals across seven Australian industries. The findings were quite interesting and held what I think will surprise a lot of business owners.
Top Time Wasters In Business
The top three areas where time is lost in business is in these areas:
- People can't get on with their work due to delays waiting for someone with more authority to review their work, or waiting for additional input from other parties. (16%)
- Time-wasting emails (15%)
- Technology waiting time. (13%)
Not All Employees Are Equally Productive
There is a tendency for some business owners to equate time spent on the job with productivity. In fact the survey results show this is quite wrong.
There is no correlation between time at work and productivity. Indeed, the least productive employees often spend the most time at work!
The most productive employees are particularly likely to be wasting time waiting on technology.
The least productive group are wasting their time in unproductive meetings.
Qualities of productive employees and unproductive employees were striking to say the least. As shown in the survey, despite the gender pay gap and the difficulty older people have in getting employment, the most productive workers were more likely to be female and older workers.
|Characteristics of Most Productive Employees|
|Characteristics of Least Productive Employees|
Yet typically the recruiting processes commonly followed are likely to screen out those very people who are potentially MOST productive employees!
Productivity By Industry
These industries represent those surveyed and this is their productivity ranking.
Declining productivityWhere productivity has declined over time, the reasons employees cite for this are issues controlled by management. While of these four reason given, one is defined as poor management communication, the other three can also relate to a communication issue.
Workers attributed productivity declines to:
- Poor management
- Lack of motivation and incentives
- Staff being treated poorly
- Poor management communication
The Role of Managers In Productivity
While it may be the individual workers' combined efforts that lead to higher productivity, getting the best from the team is a job for and a reflection of the owner and manager.
Killers of high productivity
- Needless complexity
- No environment that values and provides training
- Tasks given to employees, but not the authority required to go with the responsibility
- No performance management strategy
- No vision for the employees to buy into
- Time wastage due to inadequate technology
Productivity Improvement: The Upside
As you can see from these sets of data, the gains in productivity can be huge by just improving some areas of business.
That means taking stock of what's happening in the business, and taking steps to improve the efficacy of the business, and the competence of the management, and the flexibility to adapt to a changing marketplace.
That's good news for those businesses willing to improve their productivity and face their own internal devils.
Like to discuss your business? Contact Lindy Asimus on 0403 365 855 or use the contact form on this page. Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
Subscribe to Actionbites Blog