Avoiding low levels of productivity is essential for a business to survive in the long term and be at their most profitable in the short term. So what are the causes of poor business productivity?
In can be summarised as anything that causes an employee to work less well or efficiently than they might otherwise be able to. UK business productivity has struggled over the last 10 years.
And how can you know if productivity is low? One way would be to just stand in the office, factory, warehouse and take a good old-fashioned gut feel. Are the staff engaged, busy, happy and buzzing? Does it feel dynamic and happening? Or are customer service issues, delays, absences, distractions and a general sense of disconnect pervading your business? Are they happy to see you, or are you so remote, they’re not sure who you are? If so, productivity is low and so profitability is not where it should be. There are many ways to improve business productivity, but here we will look at possible causes.
5 causes of poor business productivity
1. Poor management skills
When a staff member gets promoted into management, they often don't have the skills needed to complete that job effectively. They need the right skills and personality to be an effective manager. Managing people is a science itself. They may be technically competent and highly organised, and achieved great things, but can they lead, communicate effectively, delegate and motivate those around them.
2. Inadequate or poorly performing technology
You may have heard of the Productivity Paradox, that is with all these computers and IT and fancy tech, business productivity has not increased accordingly and many people are unsure as to why that it. That does not mean to say it's not obvious in your own company or job. Are you trying to make the technology work for you? Then there's the problem. The technology should be solving a problem; helping you write emails more effectively, getting your invoices out promptly, helping you with budgeting. Focus on one business problem at a time to make the most of technology
3. Demotivated staff
The causes of a demotivated employee are many and requires careful and considerate management. But if everybody, or lots of staff are demotivated, then you have a people management issue. Think of your staff as volunteers, you'd show them so much respect and be so appreciative of their help, you'd be engaging with them and letting them know how much their support and work means to you. Sound like a good idea?
4. Poorly thought out processes
Are things being done twice, poorly, frustratingly, annoyingly, are errors cropping up, does no one seem to bother about it, address it? Then you have poorly thought out processes which are sucking up morale, time, money and profits. Some empowerment is needed here, some ownership and a recognition that working smarter is smart. Making do, pushing on through, won't do.
5. Not enough fun or recognition
We spend so much time at work, we need to find it rewarding. And few of us work alone; there are colleagues, customers, partners, suppliers, then managers and directors. Giving and receiving praise when it's due can really help with morale, if feels good, it's almost fun. Anyone for tennis?
We can help
Awardaroo are business productivity experts. We're addressing the UK business productivity crisis one company at a time with our business improvement programme. We're helping companies learn how to be more productive with our straight-forward "make work better" mantra. We can help you too.