Warm-ups

Low productivity vulnerabilities?

Now consider the effect on your workplace productivity, if:

  • The cleaners did not clean the workplace for a week and this morning there is a 'stink' coming from the toilets, which are now completely unusable?
  • There was no coffee today?
  • There was no petrol at any of the pumps this morning?
  • You run out of paper invoices?
  • Your boss is absent from work for six months?
  • The temperature consistently hits plus 50 degrees centigrade inside the building.
  • Absenteeism trends up month on month?
  • The average age of your workforce continues to fall, month on month.
  • Like in Lord Nelson's Royal Navy, the pool of willing and able bodied workers (then, seamen / marines) is not sufficient for the missions purpose (then, defense of the Realm) and you have to employee the 'unwilling and unable' ('pressed men' in Nelsons' time) into your workforce in large numbers?
  • Workers who have worked at your organization for a number of years, consistently complain of aches and pains from doing a particular job?
  • Your catchments for employees is broadening, and employees on average have to travel further to and from work? The average journey time is increasing. Employees in general do not appear to be in good condition at the start of the week and by the end of the working week they are whacked out with fatigue? A senior manager comments that "hard work never did anyone any harm," then leaves early for the golf course for a round with the head of HR.
  • Accident statistics indicate that they are the worst on record and there are number of outstanding civil claim cases in judicial process. It is thought that many of the incidents are due, in part, to substance abuse of one sort of another. Somebody has declared that this may be as a result of the higher than normal divorce rate in the workforce due to the 'hard work' and long work hours ethos that prevails?
  • Indirect workers, because of an old system in need of replacement, have to work 12 hours a day. When the system was working properly they worked for the nominal 8 hours a day? (Note, indirect workers are normally salaried and are therefore a fixed cost, irrespective of hours worked.)
  • The old system is replaced, but now you find these indirect staff are still working 12 hours a day, plus you have to hire another 10% more indirect employees to cope with the 'demands' of the more 'efficient' new system?
  • A capable shop floor employee left to join a competitor, with an idea that no one in your organization was either interested in, or knew about. That idea was installed in the competitors organization, and now the competitor is running highly profitable price reduction promotions at the expense of your sales. The ex-employee has been promoted to middle management, enjoys his work, a better salary, a flash company car and more generous pension scheme.
  • New employment opportunities open up in your area, with better prospects, terms and conditions, from companies attracted to the local industrial and technical parks? These companies have invested heavily in the latest technology and are prepared to spend heavily on training and development of the talent they hire.

Next | You are the boss, now what…

Note: Click productivity improvement ideas for more ideas