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Fostering-Productivity-and-Organizational-effectiveness
Nanda Ramanujam
Monday, December 1, 2008
Measuring knowledge worker productivity and assessing how it contributes to an organization’s overall effectiveness is a difficult proposition. The rewards of doing so are twofold. Measurement allows the executive management to help an organization to guide and direct its valuable human capital towards the goals that have been identified and set. In turn, the ability to better manage knowledge workers opens the door to new and innovative ways that help foster their loyalty, creativity, and productivity.

So, What is Organization Effectiveness?

Organization effectiveness is not limited to just productivity, but it certainly encompasses it. Productivity, which has been a human concern for centuries, is defined narrowly as the amount of physical output for each unit of productive input. Defining the output for non-manufacturing service activities, commonly termed as ‘knowledge work’ ? which include IT services and products, transportation, retail and logistics, finance and insurance related services rendered to individuals and businesses ? is tricky and problematic.

Who Contributes to Organization Effectiveness?

Each and every employee contributes to organization effectiveness. Based on the skills, experience, and rank some have a better opportunity to play a bigger role than others. Establishing a successful and sustainable organization takes more than just management expertise. It requires genuine leadership – the ability to guide individuals and teams to their highest level of collaboration, innovation, and effectiveness. Today’s leaders play many roles, like that of a visionary, role model, architect and defender of values, team builder, coach, change agent, strategist, economist, and advocate of excellence. While productivity and economics have always been important issues, today’s leaders also understand the importance of creating a values-driven vision that becomes the benchmark for individual and organizational decision-making. Leaders seek best-practices that produce integrity, adaptability, sustainability, and execution.

Workplace Effectiveness

There are 5 components for creating effective workplace and a collaborative atmosphere throughout any organization

Blueprint for change: Challenge and crisis can be invitations to improve your skill as a leader. Redirect the energy consumed in maintaining the nonproductive habits of thinking that inhibit one’s effectiveness as a leader, and create relationships and an organizational culture that foster communication, cooperation, and commitment.

Championing greatness: Leadership that transforms lives and organizations – A new vision of management, one that celebrates diversity, collaboration, and connection is emerging. Discover the roots of this vision within your own life and learn to apply leadership principles that transform challenge and chaos into insight, effectiveness, and personal and professional satisfaction.

Developing a mentoring culture in the organization: Create a dynamic mentoring culture among managers and employees that enriches communication and harmony, fosters relationships with clients, and improves productivity and effectiveness.

Empowering staff to support organizational objectives: Fostering an atmosphere of harmony, loyalty, and teamwork – A self-assessment and planning process for organizational leaders designed to create employee relationships that foster communication, cooperation, and commitment. Establish trust and give people autonomy.

Reflective leadership practices: Develop and operationalize an organizational vision, core values, and objectives that motivate employees to do their best work and support their coworkers. Include ideas for attracting and retaining quality employees, practices for honest, respectful communication, techniques for fostering personal responsibility and teamwork, and methods for implementing and maintaining professional growth practices. Leadership development is a critical component of building an organization’s emotional infrastructure.

What is the organization's ‘creativity quotient’?: A hands-on practicum for enhancing creativity and critical thinking in the workplace, which fosters new perspectives and habits of thinking will be very useful and valuable.

Employee Engagement
Engagement is much more than attraction, retention, or commitment. Engaged employees are passionate about their work, proud of their organization, and are generally enthusiastic about coming to work each day. Engaged employees are emotionally connected to their work, and are willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to bring success to the organization. A highly engaged and motivated workforce can reflect the company’s core values, which ultimately strengthen the overall company brand.

Employees are most effective at work when their strongest personal traits are engaged. They also need to discover their most favorable ways of functioning at workplace. One of the main factors affecting an employee's performance is job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is at its highest when the job requires engaging the strongest personal qualities of the employees and it is in line with their values and attitudes. The fit between the employee and the organization in terms of the organization's nature and culture also directly affects the employee's performance. Another critical factor, the subordinate-supervisor relationship, is also acutely linked to employee development. Ability to effectively cope with stress is another important aspect. There are some assessment techniques that can help managers to understand the abilities of their employees, their preferred work style, how to motivate them, and how to develop their potentials. The ultimate benefit of completing such an assessment, for the individuals as well as the managers, is learning the ways to be more effective, efficient, and be contented at work. Employees become more engaged when the expectations of the employees and the employers are aligned. This balance is often achieved through the creation of an employee value proposition. An employee value proposition is a set of mutual expectations and promises that are agreed on between the employee and the employer.

How to Improve Employee Engagement
Engaged employees are not naturally born, but can be evolved through organizational support and best practices. It is important to have engagement methods aligned with employee value propositions. Following are some of the suggestions for improving employee engagement:

Resources that are required to perform the given job should be assigned the tasks in a timely and appropriate manner.

Clear communication is essential within the organization, it is important to let employees know what to expect from the organization and what is expected from them. An atmosphere encouraging open communication at all levels will make employees more engaged.

Social support from coworkers and immediate supervisors is critical. The main feature of engagement is emotional attachment towards the work and the context of that work. Encouraging mentorship and implementing sophisticated performance feedback sessions can be very helpful.

Providing opportunities to participate in development programs or courses not only improves the employees' performance, but also fosters positive feelings toward the organization. In addition, employees who have personal career development plans are more likely to be engaged at work.

Footnote

Worker effectiveness is measured on the basis of some intangible metrics such as human behavior, tendency to fostering innovation, enhancing communication, encouraging learning, improving work process, expediting decision making, understanding and addressing the needs of colleagues, and attracting and retaining talented workforce on the part of managers.

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