The Number One Employee Productivity Killer!

sleepingdogThere are tons of businesses in this world and billions of employees serving these businesses to grow every day. These businesses know for sure that – they need to grow, be more profitable, be more flexible, be consistent in whatever they do and <add whatever more you can think of>. A lot of these good things depend on the employees. Because Businesses are nothing more than the employees and the ideas that strive together under a common name. Hence Employee productivity becomes one of the crucial factors that can drive the future of business. We have great performance management system (at least we think so) to drive productivity. We try to make sure that the productivity increases day in and day out. But apart from these strong differences in Businesses with regards to Geography, Culture, Ideas and Visions et cetera there is a common reason why most companies suffer from low productivity. Can there be really one common reason? I bet, YES!

At times we are so much fascinated by the solution to things that these solutions become a problem themselves. Let me clarify this – Ask a question among the employees “Is our Appraisal System effective”? I will not be a pessimist and say that they all will deny. I would rather say that asking you to ask this question was a trick. The idea is, how many times in last couple of years have you asked your employees this question. How many times have you revamped the whole appraisal system? Can you quantify the effectiveness of your appraisal system? Even if you can’t do that, can you show couple of developments that are a direct outcome of your appraisal system being effective? Chances are the answer to all these questions is almost No!

All the above productivity killers are stone carved in your organization if the period pre and post Appraisal is the time when you find employees under great stress. This is the period when they should have realized the results of their doing. The good ones enjoy the fruits of their labor and the not-so-good ones have to be charged up highlighting where they went wrong and what they need to do next ‘precisely’. If this works as planned the highly effective period should be the one post appraisals and if this is not the case, something is definitely wrong in the organization’s cool Appraisal process!

May be you can’t satisfy and make all the employees happy. May be, not even half of them. But what’s important is your attempt to do so. How many times have you revamped some key systems and processes of the organization, reshuffled teams, have you restructured the company recently, what are the areas where key changes have been done in say last 3 years. If your Appraisal system was not part of any of these, there are chances that it has “Decayed”! Yes, when we over emphasize the cliché called “Change” and claim that most successful businesses are the ones that drive change, ask yourself what changes have been made to reward the employee, to teach him what’s right and align him to the organizations goal. If still all what is done in the name of appraisal is assign 50 goals out of which 20 will never be even touched upon and other 20 are not even achievable in that tenure, its a simple proof that your Appraisal System is pathetic!

Stop thinking about any ways to increase Employee Productivity! If you are really concerned first think about how will you measure and address his productivity. If you are successful doing that, rest will follow. First let’s rectify ourselves before expecting it from others. Till the time an employee doesn’t own the Appraisal Goals himself, forget it he will never achieve them!

Have an action plan. If you are a senior devise it how will your team be judged, if you are a junior approach your senior asking him to be rational enough. I believe this partnership is what will win at the end. It has great wonders hidden. Unleash them, today!

“If you are not making the progress that you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.” — Paul J. Meyer

(quote source: thinkexist.com)

Seems like a similar situation ? Pass it one to the one you feel needs to relook @ Appraisals… By the way you can subscribe for direct emails from the homepage, grab RSS feeds or incase in India SMS – ‘On BizDharma’ and send it to 09870807070 for free updates on mobile


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{ 4 comments }

Asswass July 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Low productivity is inevitable. I own a business and I have 20 employees and it’s impossible to satisfy them all. That’s why they invented bonuses based on production goals and sales commission, right? Low productivity will always be a pain in the a**. Nice post by the way.

Chanda Himanshu July 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Good to hear from you Asswass. As you mentioned “That’s why they invented bonuses based on…” I pretty much like the they because most of the times its always “So we have invented…”. :) That was about the employees, a leadership post coming in a few moments…

Derek Irvine, Globoforce July 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Excellent post. My problem with the annual (or even bi-annual) appraisal cycle is that this is the only time most employees receive any feedback (positive or negative) on their performance. How is that supposed to inspire them to repeat the behaviours you need for the company to succeed (or cease doing detrimental actions)? Rather, use strategic recognition frequently and appropriately to provide the feedback employees crave while creating a 360 degree review process (without additional paperwork) at the same time. More on these concepts here: http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2008/12/performance-reviews-whats-value.html and here: http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2008/12/actionable-division-performance-review.html

Anca July 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm

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