Pace of Change: Productivity Paradox

Productivity has often been cited as a key factor in industrial performance and actions to increase it are said to improve profitability and the wage earning capacity of employees. But the mode we are choosing to perform our job is not working anymore. Productivity paradox refers to slowdown in productivity in the US in 1970s and 1980s despite rapid development in information technology. A 2010 survey at St. Petersburg, of approx 50000 employees, found that only 19% felt fully motivated at work and approx 53% field is disconnected. And this has a negative implication of productivity. Company with a high number of employees engagement shows 30% higher productivity than those with less motivated employees.

Researchers at Benhigam addressed that worn-out is one of the reasons behind employees dissatisfaction. Companies as well as employees need to understand that energy loss and gain of one depends on the choices one makes. If people spend a lot of their time for different work, this will enhance their productivity. Simple yet effective approach. Performing one job at a time like while taking calls, not reading emails, so that you can listen effectively. but this practice will become lifelong if it gets mixed with organisational culture.

Swedish company IKEA also took steps to stay innovative and embrace transformation so as to increase employee engagement. So far they have established an energy establishment program for 7900 employees and will reach 2000 in the next 1 year. The program was accepted positively. 76% of participants feel more focused and productive. 80% of employees feel better. Despite recession IKEA performed well and had gained the highest revenue in 2008. Companies motive was to establish two distinct principle in its company:

1) First to make employees feel more like company assets, not like computers.

2) Second to get best out of employees through meeting 4 core needs.

a. Health

b. Emotional wellbeing

c. Mental stability

d. Spiritual significance

IT company    after moving beyond productivity paradox

Changing perception of top level:

The goal of top level executives should be to create a highly motivated ecosystem in the organisation. Friendly culture and willingness to corporate should be the primary motive of any team. Mary Jane, a member of research and development discovered that his employees are unsure about their feelings and work.

To appreciate them Mary started a new culture of monthly feedback to employees in the form of small appreciation notes. Within a year employees start feeling motivated and feel emotional attachment with the company.

Making innovation in companies culture and ritual need top-level engagement at decision level. IKEA made sure to engage its top 15 executives on how to make energy management programs effective. They started from the point, where their program is lacking. After going through a series of evaluation, they realised anger, anguishment and frustration had a negative effect on employees. To improve this, they incorporated the habit of taking a break and relaxing whenever one feels exhausted. Rather than reacting immediately, take time to think and react. Lego US based company has established a ritual of turning off mails, queries and messages while talking to people on phone or personally. IKEA team also promoted a culture of open discussion and made decisions in the favour of the company only. Building a culture of trust is also an important aspect. It makes sure that the data sent or received is free of plagiarism and misinformation.

Involve ranking to improve energy management:

Initiatives like fitness and nutrition programs, health initiation and massage sessions are part of energy revival initiatives. Like Accenture has its own gym center, global pictures has its own dietitian staff to guide its employees. It all elevates workers’ energy and emotional sides. It generates inner awareness among employees and allows them to think and make positive decisions. Culture of a company is as important as its product and service. Culture should bind people and make them ready for any kind of situation.


Author: A.C.

Dr. Chakraborty is a researcher in electronics and has authored numerous articles in the domain. She is also an avid blogger and shares a penchant for domains like technology, business and science.

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