Welcome back to our series of video interviews with Dave Millner, @HRCurator. In this third blog in the series we ask Dave Millner:
How can Human Resources lead the drive to have a more productive workforce in the UK?
Through the video Dave refers to the Retail sector. With the Living Wage coming to the UK this year, this has brought the subject of Productivity to be a key strategic issue for Retail and other sectors like Hospitality who rely heavily on delivering great service at low labour costs. Without the ability to just raise prices to absorb this extra cost, how can HR enable these businesses to be more productive?
Watch the video and/or read on for a summary:
Dave Millner agrees that Productivity is a “significant” issue for HR Leaders in 2016. He refers to productivity being more than just outputs. It is about the inputs that matter as well…
Outputs: Revenue, sales, margin, product, services, added value...
Inputs: Costs, payroll for people hours
However, at the heart of all this is the people; the employee and the manager.
Dave went on to say that HR has a critical part to play. He mentioned 2 areas that are the foundations of Productivity: Hiring and Retention.
Hiring: Getting the right people into the organisation in the first place with a healthy mindset towards the role, teamwork and goal achievement.
Retention: Creating a positive environment so people can reach their full potential. This increases motivation, increases retention and improves productivity through less down time training new people, creates stability that focuses the workforce and builds lasting team relationships.
However, leaders and managers need to own this. Yet that can only happen if Human Resources ensures that the practices are in place that enables the leaders and managers to do this.
As we know, a high performing, highly engaged workforce is something that drives better productivity and performance.
Dave finished by saying that the key is how we can connect more with our people. How can we make them more motivated and involved? How can we ensure that they feel accountable for deliverables?
In such sectors as Retail and Hospitality, employees will always be the differentiating factor if an organisation is going to be productive.
Improving productivity is a large task for HR to take on but it truly should sit as a key strategic goal for most HRDs as people are core to improving productivity. But HR should not be phased by this large issue.
As we see from Dave Millner’s interview, you can break down Productivity into component parts and strategies can be drawn up for each of these that will culminate in higher Productivity.
For examples, in 2013 there was a Forbes article on “7 ways to improve employee productivity”. I have categorised this below into HR Function areas:
- Reward: Design economic incentives so employees at all levels of an organization can benefit from them.
- Performance Management: Provide meaningful feedback in a constructive manner on a regular basis.
- Developing EQ: Respect employees as individuals, in addition to the job they do.
- L & D: Be sure management at all levels of an organization receives adequate training.
- Developing EQ: Provide support for employees when it’s genuinely needed.
- Recognition: Don’t be emotionally stingy.
- Leadership Development: Ensure senior leadership models behaviour that makes the rank-and-file proud to be part of the team.
Extract from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/06/17/7-management-practices-that-can-improve-employee-productivity/#2715e4857a0b5c70c88e16f8
Even using these 7 areas a basis for a strategy in 2016 can start a foundation to increase Productivity in your organisation.
I hope you liked this third blog in this series. The @HRCurator will be answering more key questions soon in future blogs. Follow these blogs and please comment at: