Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us
Productivity shortfalls occur in every organization at some point; if you’re experiencing a production shortfall, then you are not alone. A variety of normal problems can plague organizations, siphon off productivity and slow down what would otherwise be phenomenal momentum. As a leader, one of your key tasks is to monitor productivity and find ways to optimize it. If productivity is down, discovering the root cause and fixing it is your responsibility.​

Identifying the root cause of an organization’s productivity problems can be tricky; a variety of potential causes could be in play such as turnover, vision messaging or training. Here are some of the more common root causes you should consider when assessing the root cause of underproductivity.

Assessing Productivity Shortfalls

Vision and Messaging – Is your organization playing to the same sheet of music, moving in the same direction? When teams are unclear on the larger goals and vision of the organization, when they aren’t operating on a common set of assumptions and goals, waste and apathy are introduced into your production flow. Developing an organizational vision and messaging that vision to your organization will increase efficiency and enthusiasm and give you a healthy production boost as your teams pull together to support organizational goals.

Organizational Culture – Unhealthy cultures can develop in organizations which can slow down an organization’s forward momentum and productivity. Cyber slacking, toxic leadership or poor followership, cultures of apathy and other problems can be deadly to an organization’s productivity. Unhealthy cultures are difficult to solve, but not impossible. Take some time to get in touch with your organization’s ground truth, identify those toxic behaviors and then develop a plan to eliminate those behaviors or let go their perpetrators.

Up to Date Training – Professional tradecraft is always evolving, and staying up to date is critical. If your work force’s training and credentialing is out of date, this may be the cause of your organization’s productivity problem. Expect an initial dip in production as you make the strategic investment to retool your team, but know that production will increase with an organization that has all the up-to-date training.

Equipment, Software-Tools! – Aging tools or out-of-date software can slow an organization down significantly. This is another scenario where strategic investments may be in order-acquiring newer or more able tools, or the latest professional software. Taking time to ensure your organization is fully empowered with the right tools and software solutions can do wonders to motivate and enable your workforce to be fully productive.

Turnover – Losing employees to retirements or turnover can act as speed bumps to your organization’s forward progress. Retraining and growing corporate knowledge in new employees takes time and money. Careful planning can mitigate many of the costs of turnover. Effective on-boarding can reduce turnover; careful and deliberate development can prepare for expertise loss through retirements. Creating a fun atmosphere in the workplace can increase retention, keeping folks and their skills in your workplace longer.
  

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As a leader, one of your most important tasks is to analyze your organization’s current level of production, assess their potential, and eliminate obstacles to actualizing it. Spend the time to do this critical business analysis and lead your organization to new heights of productivity!

Do you need help assessing our organization’s productivity? I would love to assist you! I can be contacted at fosteringexcellence101@gmail.com.

Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of Fosteringexcellence.org. He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.