Factors That Affect Employee Productivity In An Organisation
The Industrial Revolution that began sometime in the late 18th century and lasted till the latter half of the 19th century can be credited with the onset of new techniques of management and increased productivity of workers. New methods of manufacturing, machines and a host of other industrial inventions dominated the era and gave rise to one of the most important theories of management, known as the Classical Theory of Management. According to the Classical Theory of Management, industries and business organisations run the best on a centralised structure. This means that every unit in the organisation is controlled and maintained by a fixed centre. The classical theory of management believed that businesses could reap the best out of their workers if there is a hierarchy of structure. The topmost strata in the organisation usually consisted of the heads of the organisations. The middle levels catered to the management of the organisation and the lowermost strata consisted of workers, labourers and other employees who were expected to carry out the orders of their respective heads and dispense off their responsibilities without a complaint. Thus, in a nutshell, the classical theory of management had no regards for the more human aspects of an organisation and did not take into account how various forms of employee motivation could improve their productivity. The only factor that this theory of management put their faith in, to boost employee morale was that of monetary incentives. Though the classical model of management holds good even to this day for small scale organisations that need a more centralised and specialised structure, much of its tenets have perished, and newer models of management have replaced it.
The Hawthorne Tests On Employee Productivity:
The 1930s marked the dawn of the human relations era, which attempted to analyse how human behaviour and organisational performance were related. Through a series of tests like checking the effects of variable illumination in the workplace, providing more breaks and hot lunches, it was thus concluded that employees are more interested in non-financial incentives than just some extra money as a motivational technique. The Hawthorne experiments brought to light how boosting employee morale with kind words, appreciation and a more flexible work atmosphere results in greater job satisfaction among the employees and higher work output. The Hawthorne experiments envisioned by Elton Mayo gave rise to various humanistic approaches of organisational management. Managers became more involved in upgrading the work atmosphere for the employees and saw to it that their employees were well tended to. It proved that employees are not automatons and needed more than just monetary benefits to work in an organisation.
Factors That Affect Employee Output:
The Hawthorne experiments spun a web of various other researches and experiments, all of which checked how business organisations could benefit the most out of their employees potential. Over the period of time, researchers and scholars have invested their time and erudition in the pursuit of perfecting their endeavour and dishing out only the best ways to the managers of organisations for them to be able to reap the best out of their workforce, some of which are discussed below in this article.
More Than Just Financial Aids-
It is known for a fact that employees in an organisation try to keep up with what is expected out of them and sometimes stretch themselves beyond the work hours to earn those extra credits. Everyone loves it when their hard work is valued and paid for what it is worth. However, not always do mere financial aids, and monetary benefits do the trick. Managers must understand that employees are not cyborgs and devoid of human emotions. Money looks good, sure. However, managers must also acknowledge the efforts of their employees with recognition and responsibilities. Entrusting employees with one or more important responsibilities and having investing market depend on them, hint at the fact that the efforts of the employees are valued and they are trusted with important tasks. This strengthens the manager-employee relationship and visibly increases the productivity of the employees.
Flexible Work Atmosphere:
The Hawthorne tests established the fact that employees work with much more zeal and enthusiasm when they have frequent breaks, and hot lunches served in between work hours. Over the period of time, researches have been furthered and burnished. However, the one thing that still stands true to this day is the concept of breaks and snacks in the workplace. Human beings need food to fuel their minds and bodies. Thus, it is imperative that the organisation has a cafeteria or a lunch space where they can get snacks, beverages and hot meals. Also, short breaks in between work hours are of paramount importance. A human brain or the body cannot function at a stretch. Breaks are imperative if managers want to have the best out of their employees. Short breaks allow employees to catch a breath and revitalise their body and minds, all of which are mandatory to be able to produce more.
Reconsidering the Stringent Leave Policy:
Paid leaves work like miracles if an organisation is looking forward to making easy profits. Everybody deserves a quick getaway or a vacation just to let all the steam off. Therefore, the heads and the managers of an organisation must work on that leave policy in such a way that it does not harm the interest of the organisation while also seeing to it that their employees are able to catch a break and recharge themselves. Leave policies must also include appropriate paid maternity leaves and sick leaves. A business organisation cannot hope to flourish and prosper if it treats its employees as sub-humans. Therefore, organisations need to honour and acknowledge their employees need to breathe and live a little, away from the humdrum work hours.
Job security makes for an extremely crucial factor to ensure maximum productivity. The fear of losing jobs often serves as an impediment to employee performance. If an organisation cannot guarantee job security to its workers, then more often than not, employees spend half of their time fretting and gradually lose interest in working.
So far, we have covered how non-financial incentives can influence the productivity of employees and enhance their performance. This section shall discuss how financial incentives nudge an employee and the organisation in its entirety to scale unfathomable heights of success. Though it requires no special mention, yet it is an important point to harp on. Human beings work for money, and thus, any extra income does no one any harm. Therefore, motivating employees with bonuses and various other forms of monetary benefits can go a long way in ameliorating employee performance.
An organisation can benefit from its employees only if it promises more than just financial security to them. It is a mutual relationship of trust and empowerment and serves as a stepping stone for success for the organisation as well as its employees. Therefore, organisations must ditch their mechanical attitude towards its employees and adopt a more humane approach to management.
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