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The 7 Drivers of Workplace Productivity

“Workplace productivity” means different things to different people, but a report from New Zealand is gaining a lot of traction. The Workplace Productivity Agenda, which was developed by a working group of businesses, union representatives, academics, and government workers, identified seven interconnected factors that affect productivity. Following is a summary of the workplace productivity drivers identified in the report:


Developing leadership and management capability

Success isn’t just about doing the job right; it’s also about doing the right job. It takes good leadership to spot trends, threats, and new opportunities and to then steer the company in the right direction. But there’s more to leadership than vision and direction: Good leadership also means inspiring and motivating employees to achieve the goals the leaders identify.

Creating a productive workplace culture

Good leadership sets the stage for a productive culture. A workplace that fosters positive relationships between management and employees, that encourages innovation, and that values employees’ insight and experience is an environment where employees internalize the company’s goals as their own, which is a critical factor in workplace productivity: People work harder for goals they care about.

Encouraging innovation and the use of technology

An environment that encourages workers to do things the way they’ve always been done is deadly is to both growth and continual improvement. The most successful companies are the ones that encourage employees to constantly seek better ways of doing their jobs, whether that’s through the use of technology or improved processes. In addition, these organizations tend to attract the most highly skilled workers, which then encourages even further innovation.

Investing in people and skills

Investing in training and competitive salaries is often seen as merely an expense, but that’s not the case at all. For one thing, skills and innovation are mutually reinforcing. The most highly skilled employees are the ones who are most capable of innovation. In turn, an innovative workplace attracts highly skilled employees. Moreover, highly skilled employees make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, communicate more effectively, and take on more responsibility.

Organizing work

Even the best employees can get bogged down by poor processes. The most productive workplaces make it a priority to design effective processes and to adapt them as needed when conditions change. They understand that the processes are there to serve the organization and its employees, not the other way around.

Networking and collaborating

Best practices are contagious, but your employees first have to be exposed to them. Collaboration within an organization and networking throughout industries and professions introduces employees to new and better ways of doing business.

Measuring what matters

The most productive workplaces don’t waste time and effort measuring things just to be measuring them. They understand that not all companies will share the same performance indicators. So they identify their specific, business-critical metrics, focus on those, make sure everybody understands them, and work to continually improve them.

There are many things businesses can do to improve workplace productivity. To make the biggest impact, however, it’s wise to focus on things that have a cumulative effect, so that improving one also improves the others. The practices identified in the Workplace Productivity Agenda do just that.

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