In business, productivity is generally measured as a ratio of output (products and services) to input (capital, raw materials, human resources, and technology). The higher the output/input ratio, the more efficiently a business is using its resources. In other words, productivity measures how much bang you are getting for your buck from your resources invested. For your business to increase productivity you either have to reduce what you put into your business and keep your current level of output, or find a way to get better results from the resources you are investing now.
Because the people working in your business directly affect how efficiently the rest of your inputs are applied, human resources is often the most important area in which you can invest in your business. Without the right people on your staff doing the right things, investing in a new building or equipment is useless. Getting the most from your employees is paramount to the overall productivity of your business. It is much easier to motivate people who value what you value. Properly motivating your employees to uphold and display the company’s principles and values is one great way to increase employee productivity. Once your staff is motivated, you can work together to make sure everyone in your business is a part of your plan for success, and not a part of the problem.
Improving employee motivation can do away with some major productivity issues. Does your staff exemplify your business’ principles and values in their work? Does everyone seem to be giving 100% effort toward achieving the company vision? If not, you could try firing them all and hiring a new staff, but that is not likely to work out well. A better idea might be to add productivity incentives for the employees you already have.
Hiring a new employee is an expensive process. Whether you are adding a new employee or replacing one, you must take into account time and wages for training, as well as an extra salary on your payroll. If your staff just needs a nudge in the right direction, it costs far less to provide them with incentives than it does to replace them. Of course, hiring and firing employees is a necessary part of running a business. It is just good practice to work with current employees to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction, and working together to make the company vision a reality.
Set productivity goals, and offer a reward for any employee who reaches that goal. Incentives could include a cash bonus, tickets to a concert, or even extra vacation days to name a few. When employees see the opportunity to earn something they value, they will find the drive to become more productive, achieve their goals, and earn their rewards. Incentives may even drive employees to engage in friendly competition amongst each other. A little bit of competition, so long as it is friendly, can go a long way in kicking your staff into gear. Once you have set up employee initiatives, and begun to carefully measure progress in productivity, you will be one step closer to having the people you want and the business you want. In short, a properly motivated employee is, in fact, a productive employee.