The Two Essential Steps to Improve Workplace Labor Productivity
Train your leadership team
Without a doubt the most significant contributor to workplace productivity is the ability of the leadership team. It is extremely difficult to increase productivity without having effective levels of leadership throughout the business.
People respond to role models and follow their example either good or bad. All leaders can have a profound effect on the productivity of their people. However, it is necessary to train people in leadership positions how to behave and influence the people that work for them.
Effective leadership training is not common. Too much of it focuses on theory and not enough on the practical aspects of being a leader. The very best leadership training equips the learners with practical skills which they can put to work straightaway. It also provides coaching in the workplace to show supervisors and managers how to get the very best from their people.
Leadership training which does not have follow-up and does not have on-the-job coaching is of limited value. Because there is little evidence of any transfer of learning to the workplace without it. With no transfer of learning, it could be argued that leadership training of this type is a waste of money.
Remember that everybody in a leadership position is a role model. The best way of doing it is to follow this simple procedure. If you are in a leadership position, make a list of the characteristic behaviors you want from your team. For example, if you have a team of supervisors you are likely to want them to be responsive to the needs of their own team.
If you want your team to behave in this way then you need to be behaving in this way with your team because you are their leader. Now this is quite demanding because it means that you have to be responsive to their needs and coach them to higher performance when necessary.
In other words if you want a team that uses good leadership skills then you have to demonstrate good leadership skills to your team.
Just write down all the behaviors that would make a perfect team and as you do so, reflect on what that means in terms of how you will model the desired behavior for them. Most of it is not too hard but it becomes difficult when the pressure come on.
This first step of training your leadership team to model the behaviour that they want in other people is critical to your success in improving productivity.
Improved levels of productivity always seem to result from effective leadership training.
Through involvement, decide the level of productivity required and identify milestones to the goal.
This is the area where many people fail. They decide the level of productivity required and then impose it on the staff. Then they are in a situation where they are fighting the resentment of the staff because they have had something imposed on them and generally speaking, failure follows.
Without a doubt, the secret is to involve the team in the target. Let them set it. Let them identify the milestones on the way to the target so that there are occasions for celebrations. Never ever set a target for people without their involvement.
Get agreement for all the people involved that the reason for the target is “fair and reasonable.” Human nature being what it is, staff will generally avoid the setting of low and easily attained targets. You may be surprised how tough they make their productivity targets.