Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ways to increase productivity

The buzz word for Singapore has always been to improve our productivity. In fact, one of our ministers also reminded companies to be more innovative in their productivity drive instead of getting their workers to work long hours. Easier said than done.

Companies are driven mainly by profits. Like what the government used to say, their excuse of not getting into solar/renewable energy is the cost factor (although they have later invested in this technology). Who won't use the excuse of improving productivity to pile more work onto the employees to improve their bottom line? Only the good employers will care for their employees.

Are there ways to increase productivity without piling more work on the employees, or even releasing them? I believe so. In my personal opinion, I would think that to increase productivity and still improve the bottom line, the company has to
  1. identify the direction that they will go towards;
  2. decide how to use the technology to further enhance their competitiveness;
  3. communicate these changes to the staff, retrain them, and invest into the new technology to further differentiate themselves from their competition.

To do this, you must be able to look far ahead, take risks and be willing to get your returns in 3 to 5 years time, and not immediately. I believe that would be a challenge because not many companies are willing to bet their careers on returns that you will not be able to see immediately, and in fact will look like it's loss-making in the short-term.

That's the problem and that's also the reason why most companies will take the easier way out to pile work on their staff. I don't think the situation will change much.

1 comment:

Matie said...

I agree 100% on that, the easy way to go is to overwork people to death, and the world economic crisis is not helping.

For people who have home based jobs, is not easy either, but at least they can control their time. That's why I wrote an article on this subject:

http://www.squidoo.com/ImproveEfficiencyAndProductivity

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