Have you ever had to change a tyre manually? Hard work, isn’t it? Although we’ve all got tools to change a tyre in the boot of the car, how much effort do we need to put in to achieve this? I’m no expert myself, but I suspect that within a matter of time; after watching YouTube tutorials, combined with excessive physical labour, you could eventually get the job done, wipe the sweat off your forehead after your exertions, and get on your way.
If you are fortunate enough to get your car to the local mechanic or a nearby garage, they can complete the job much more efficiently and quicker because they are equipped with the necessary tools to do so. Although experience does play a part, the right tool set is integral in boosting productivity – who would rather go through the pain of changing a tyre manually, when it can be done in minutes by experts with the right tools?
Every organisation wants to increase revenues, improve profit and beat their competitors, but how many organisaions are truly enabling their employees with the right environment and tools to catalyse productivity to achieve this? Often, we believe there to be a disparity between the requirements of our jobs and the tools provided to meet these requirements. Frustrating, isn’t it? If organisations strengthen their cultures and provide employees with the skillsets and tools needed to do their jobs more efficiently, wouldn’t they get more done?
There is an ever-present conceptual shift towards employee engagement and the necessity to stimulate an engaged workforce. The service profit chain stipulates that a more engaged workforce produces a more satisfied customer, which is conducive to an increase in productivity. If employees are integral to profit, then surely enabling employees with at least the necessities to operate effectively should be a start.
Conversely, tools aren’t always confined to the constraints of physical objects, but rather a methodology of stimulation. Learning is one of the most effective yet undervalued tools which provides a platform for growth and continuous improvement. The 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trend Report, speaks of a shift towards digitalisation and the necessity for more engaging learning. If more organisations provide employees with structured learning, bespoke to their needs, would this not increase productivity?
Last week we heard from the Office of National statistics (ONS) who reported on the productivity of the UK and how output per hour worked in the UK was 15.9% below the average for the rest of the G7 advanced economies. Sometimes we focus on reform rather than identifying and implementing the tools needed to improve efficiency. Not every situation will be like changing a tyre, but improving the ability of employees to do a more efficient job, has got to go some way towards improving the ‘productivity puzzle’.
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