The role of HR and its functions continue to evolve. Many experts believe that in the 21st century, the evolution and strategic mission of HR are more important than ever. For example, employees can provide a non-replicable competitive advantage to their firm if the organisation knows how to use employee skills and talent.
HR functions help managers know how to use these resources (employee’s skills and talents) through strategic hiring, development, appropriate use of rewards, etc. HR can help an organisation in a number of ways, including boost employee productivity and prepare an organisation for change.
In the past, managers would simply tell employees what to do and employees have little rights to express their opinion. But today, people want to be involved more in management, while organisations expect employees to work in teams and participate in managing the firm. Employees simply gain more rights and their needs are fulfilled.
In recent years, massive change has been made in order to ensure employees do not flee from one employer to another by offering better flexibility, work-life balance, job security, and more. This change has also brought the industry to focus on the skills and performance of their employees instead of educational degrees and other traditional measurements of hiring candidates for a role.
According to the 21st-Century Human Resource Management Strategic Planning and Legal Issues study published by Sage, we have arrived in the productivity centres of the 21st century. A productivity centre is a revenue centre that enhances the profitability of an organisation. The role of HR here is to improve organisational revenues and profits by boosting the productivity of the people within an organisation.
See also: Boost Productivity at Work: Top Apps for Smart Working in 2021
Productivity is the amount of output that an organisation gets per unit of input, with human input usually expressed in terms of units of time. Experts at HBR explained that when companies starved for growth, efficiency and productivity are necessary. However, over time, efficiency becomes less essential and productivity becomes more vital to a company’s growth strategy.
HBR said that senior leaders must bring a productivity mindset to the business and remove organisational obstacles to workforce productivity. Workforce productivity itself is closely linked with producing more goods and services with the same amount of relative work. Productivity for a company is about expanding the output in order to deliver greater top-line growth from the same workforce. Growth in labour productivity should be measured routinely by the change in output per labour hour over a defined period of time.
Furthermore, highlighting the fundamentals of a productivity mindset, HBR researchers studied that there are at least three tenets to achieve a productivity mindset. These tenets should be initiated by leaders, then passed along to the subordinates and employees on board.
According to HBR researchers, the average company loses more than 20 percent of its production capacity to ‘organisational drag’; the structures and processes that consume valuable time and prevent people from getting things done.
To ensure this did not happen in the future, leaders should seek to eliminate organisational drag at every turn. Leaders should simplify their organisation’s structure and align their operating model with the true sources of value in their business. Oftentimes, business leaders need to fight bureaucracy and create ways of working that allow employees to focus their time on delivering for customers and shareholders.
50 percent of most companies’ workforce are star players. These employees have exceptional performance and the potential to have an outside effect on strategy execution. But time and again, companies put star employees in roles that limit their effectiveness to really create change within organisations.
In this case, a productivity mindset comes into play to ensure these scarce talented employees are assigned to business-critical roles. As an example, if marketing is essential to competitive advantage in your business, then as a leader, you should ensure that most critical marketing roles are filled with star talents. This allows for more and better output from this function, as well as giving better execution of the company’s strategy.
One inspired employee can produce as much as 2.25 satisfied employees, according to HBR. In fact, inspired employees bring more discretionary energy to their work every day. What leaders should note here is to tap into every employee’s reservoir of discretionary energy.
Some common ways to bring discretionary energy into light are to align the firm’s purpose with each individual’s purpose, invest in improving the inspirational leadership capabilities of managers at every level, and build a culture of autonomy and accountability that provides every employee with an opportunity to do their task without being micromanaged. While these steps might not inspire every employee in your organisation, you can still witness the level of inspiration across your organisation increase – along with employee’s productivity.
Read also: Productivity Hacks: Changing Employees Mindset about Stress