Employee Productivity as the HR Challenge

The constant pressure to increase the employee productivity becomes a modern business norm. It is a catch and run game in most organizations. The leadership team introduces new policies and procedures. Employees find a way how to cheat them. No performance increase noticed by anyone; just new behavioral rules of the game are in place. Managing and maintaining the high employee productivity is the HR Challenge. It represents the only long-term sustainable way how to keep the organization competitive. It is all about being ahead of the curve.

The employee productivity management and improvement are not about isolated actions from Human Resources. A high employee productivity is a complex system of quick, smart and consistent procedures. The achievement of the aim does not come in a day. Also, the leadership has to put the productivity as one of the key objectives of the business. They have to watch the progress and act on issues and gaps. The commitment of the leader is always a good start of the journey. The role of the HR is about the facilitation and taking over the accountability. It has to own the employee productivity system, and it is a highly challenging job of Human Resources.

The competitive high-performance organization always measures the productivity of the workforce. It measures the climate in the organization, and it executes related action plans. Also, it also sets challenging targets and pushes managers to deliver. The entire line management enables creativity and innovations to uncover new ways of working.

There is a linked challenge for Human Resources with the measurement of the employee productivity. HR and leaders have to develop the system of a few reasonable KPIs (key performance indicators). The system has to reflect improvements, and employees have to be empowered to influence their productivity. No one likes to be blamed for things that he or she cannot control directly. Setting right measures is a tough task for the leadership team, but it pays. It brings amazing results when the employees can win the short term race.

Also, the business leaders have to be productivity role models. They cannot claim its importance and then perform no actions. They have to ask every day how they can help to improve the performance of the organization. They have to be in talks with the workforce, and they have to demonstrate the ownership. They have to communicate all successes and areas of the focus for the next period.

Human Resources has to promote all success stories. It has to spread great innovation stories. They start with small improvements in Back Office departments. They can end with stories about the introduction of new products and services. HR has to advertise the “test and learn” approach. No one can be blamed for the failure of the test. It is a great learning experience. On the other hand, this is a challenge because it requires a change of managers´ mindset. It is all about the introduction of good management practices.

One of the most challenging tasks for HR is allowing everyone to become a top performer. It is not a simple job, and the failure has a disastrous impact on employee engagement. HR needs to make sure that a new competition starts almost every day. Every employee has to see a chance to excel and have no barriers. No employee can have unfair benefits. The fair approach to the staff is a critical success factor for every high-performance organization. Also, Human Resources has to distinguish clearly between engaged and happy employees. The happy ones do not have to be engaged and productive at all.

The successful business is also about meaningful jobs. Each human being understands why the position exists in the company. Moreover, she knows how the job contributes to business results. All employees are aware of their core responsibilities, and they are empowered to deliver. The line management unblocks potential issues, and it makes sure that processes are streamlined. The manager does not create and develop processes and procedures. Employees design and update them as the organization grows and evolves.

The high performance organization knows the secret of employee engagement. It does not manage employees directly; this business sets the challenging target. Leaders offer the freedom to employees to identify best ways how to reach objectives. This company is not rigid and always innovate the performance management system. It wants to achieve results; it does not need to follow rigorous processes and procedures.

On the other hand, such an internal environment is highly challenging for Human Resources. It has to adapt processes and procedures as the organization grows and changes its business priorities. It has offer meaningful jobs to employees. That is the moment when pragmatic Organization Design methods come to play.

The HR leader has to design the regular process to review all job profiles. A dedicated team has to review them and streamline them to an absolute minimum of meaningful jobs. The system of job descriptions always tends to blow because managers like to invent new jobs. A question of the critical importance for the company needs to be the first question asked.

The employee efficiency is also about the job security. The organization cannot guarantee the particular job will exist in the future. However, it can provide the security for engaged and motivated employees. Human Resources has to advertise and promote the Learning Strategy as the answer. The self-development is always a strategic personal advantage. Employees that are ready to change the career path always have a new job opportunity.

Human Resources cannot give empty promises, but it can navigate employees to gain new skills and competencies. The high-performance organization always scan the business to identify missing skills. It has the plan to close gaps, and it can always job opportunities to internal candidates before going to the external market.

The management of the employee productivity and performance is a challenge for Human Resources. However, a smart HR organization can always find a way forward. It just has to set up a strategic partnership with the leadership team. It has to keep the workforce productivity on the daily HR agenda.