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Productivity Issues

To be productive means having the ability to produce or originate, yielding positive results. Employees have set objectives and goals they work towards accomplishing through a series of tasks. As each individual accomplishes his or her goals, all together they fulfill the productivity rate of the company. Most companies and organizations have standards by which they measure productivity. Indicators of poor productivity include:

  • Working in silos: Employees who are apathetic and work in a vacuum, unaware of what is going on around them, have poor productivity rates.
  • Poor communication skills: Clear communication is key to any job. You must be able to communicate (write, speak, and listen) to do your job, and you must communicate to do your job. Working in a silo adds to poor communication. If you are in management, you have to give the employees direction to do their jobs. As an employee, you have to give management status on your work. Employees cannot do good work if they do not understand what to do, and employees may appear to be producing below standard only because they are not clearly reporting the status of their work.
  • Not following processes: Every company has processes. Processes are in place to ensure work is done in a consistent manner. Consistency and routine yield high results. Employees who work in silos tend to have poor communication skills. Poor communication skills can lead them to create their own way of getting the work done. When employees know what to do, how to do it, and do it the same way each time, they work faster, thereby producing more work. Employees who do not follow processes may cause problems. The extra time it takes to fix the problems slows down productivity.
  • Not meeting expectations: Employers have certain standards they expect their employees to adhere to. They have expectations of the employees regarding their quality of work and their behavior while in the work place and at business-related functions. Employees that consistently fall below these expectations either do not deliver work on schedule or deliver below-par work.
  • Conflict in the workplace: When individuals are involved in conflict, it takes time away from being productive. Conflict causes tensions, which causes a negative work environment, which leads to low productivity. Being involved in a conflict keeps your mind focused on the conflict instead of on your work, and then the time it takes to resolve the conflict reduces productivity even more.
  • Employees instead of Management: Often individuals are promoted to a management position because they are good workers; they know how to do the job and do it well, and consistently meet or exceed expectations. However, being a good worker does not make you a good, productive manager. Managers who do not know how to delegate and manage the work and workers cause poor productivity.
  • Skills gap: If there is an individual in a management position who does not have the right skill set to be a manager, it can lead to poor productivity. If managers do not manage their own time, properly conduct meetings, or have poor communication skills, they cannot effectively manage their employees. Mismanaging employees allows room for mistakes, which reduces productivity. Workers are only as good as their managers.
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