Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lift Productivity In Your Business With This Knowledge

Business owners are always conscious of the money going out in the business. They want to get good value from every dollar spent. When it comes to productivity though, it can be hard to see if the money the business is giving a good return on the expense. They would do well to pay attention to also what the hidden cost of not spending some money might have in terms of productivity gains being stifled.

"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:

  1. 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%)
  2. Time-wasting emails (15%)
  3. 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. 

productive employees characteristics
Characteristics of Most Productive Employees

unproductive employees characteristics
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.

productivity by industry australian EY survey

Declining productivity

Where 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.

Business articles 

Like to discuss your business? Contact Lindy Asimus on 0403 365 855 or use the contact form on this page. Lindy Asimus Business Coaching

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