Avoid the productivity trap

According to the OECD, Great Britain is less than half as productive as the top countries in a study for the period 1995-2012

Poland is world champion in productivity. No other country comes close to the diligent Poles.

However, the productivity trick is simple according to Professor Flemming Poulfelt from Copenhagen Business School; "The answer is to "remove, simplify and innovate" in all parts of the company. This applies both in production and administration”. This he said at a productivity seminar organised by the Confederation of Danish Industries in March 2015.

  1. Produktivitetsvækst fra 1995 til 2012If a company wants to get fully productive, it is first and foremost a question of focusing on the company values. They are the basis for everything that happens in the company. Everything must be clearly and unambiguously anchored here. It is the framework for how leadership should be exercised. This applies right from the CEO to the foreman.
  2. Secondly, the necessary leadership skills must be present. Leaders must be able to act as leaders. It sounds simple. Experience shows that many of those leaving a company choose to do so because they have a bad boss.
  3. Thirdly, everybody must be aware of what creates value for the company on a continuous basis. Is the greatest value created on the shop floor? Or is it when the front employees meet customers and assist in tailoring the product? Anything that does not create value must be removed. Here you must however be aware that what you do not personally see as adding value, may be very important to others.
  4. Fourthly, there must be a focus on simplification where possible. All processes should be made as simple as possible so that all unnecessary friction is avoided. If inadvertent events happen in the company, it is not always the answer to come up with even more rules. It makes the process more complicated, and it lowers productivity.
  5. Fifthly, there must be full attention on areas which may be renewed. New software versions are released, and although it cannot be immediately documented that it will pay off right away, it may prove disadvantageous at a later stage not having made the necessary renewal.
  6. Sixthly, management processes should be monitored continuously to see whether they have the quality that is desirable and necessary to ensure productivity. In other words; does your company have the right managers?

Workforce management helps along more of the six points:

  • Do you have an overview of your leaders’ (and employees’) skills?
  • Do you know how they spend their time?
  • Do you use expensive labour skills on tasks that can be performed as well and at a lower cost by others?
  • And are you measuring the right KPIs?

Workforce Management can support your business in obtaining transparency in order to avoid the productivity trap.