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A simple way of looking at productivity in a business organization is to think of it in terms of the productivity model below.
Essentially, productivity is a ratio to measure how well an organization (or individual, industry, country) converts input resources (labor, materials, machines etc.) into goods and services.
---------------- OR --------------------------
This is usually expressed in ratios of inputs to outputs. That is (input) cost per (output) good / service. It is not on its own a measure of how efficient the conversion process is.
The Productivity Conceptual Model below, takes the form of a 'productivity tree'. The denominator denote the inputs to the system, the numerator the systems outputs.
OUTPUT OR EFFECTIVENESS
*increased volume ----able to reach wider market
*improve service -----better delivery, better quality,
better output, better benefits.
*reduce cost ------lower the unit cost and increase sales/profit.
INPUT OR EFFICIENCY
*material ---quality / quantity of material input
*systems --procedure to ensure organization can undertake conversion
*tools -----to undertake work efficiently.
*equipment --use the latest technolgy for efficiency.
*processes --use the latest technology for efficiency
**people--correct skill levels.
**knowledge --people knowledge / expertise
**skills--training and development
**management -- skills /abilities/leadership
How productivity is improved
Using our productivity model, improvements can be realized by:
* achieving more output for the same input
* achieving the same output from less input
* achieving much more output for slightly more input
* getting slightly less output for much less input
There are seven lines of attack to improve the productivity ratio of an organization, namely:
* Improve basic process by research and development (long term)
* Improve and provide new plant, equipment, and machinery (long term)
* Simplify product and reduce variety (medium term)
* Improve existing methods and procedures (short term)
** Improve the planning of work and the use of manpower (short term)
* * Increase the overall effectiveness of employees (short term/ medium term)
** FOCUS ON CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MANAGEMENT [medium/ long term ]
That is, if employees are properly motivated, coached, receive the right information at the right time, use simple productivity improvement tools and techniques and are rewarded in an appropriate way.
THE ABOVE ANALYSIS OF PRODUCTIVITY REVEALS
ONE MAJOR INPUT THAT IS NEEDED FOR PODUCTIVITY
IMPROVEMENT , THAT IS
-EMPLOYEE COMPETENCES [ SKILLS/KNOWLEDGE/ABILITIES/ATTITUDE]
*FOR IMPROVING EFFECTIVENESS
*FOR IMPROVING EFFICIENCY
*FOR MANAGING RESOURCES EFFECTIVELY
[materials/money/processes'/systems etc etc]
CAREER PLANNING/ DEVELOPMENT/ MANAGEMENT
HELPS TO PLAN/DEVELOP/FINE TUNE EMPLOYEES'
WHICH IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY.
CAREER PLANNING,DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
The process of career P, D, & M
Career P,D is the key process in career management. It uses all the information provided by the organization's
-assessments of requirements,
-the assessments of performance and potential and
- the management succession plans,
and translates it in the form of individual career development programs and general arrangements for management development, career counseling, mentoring and management training.
Career P , D ‑ the competency band approach
It is possible to define career progression in terms of the competencies required by individuals to carry out work at progressive levels of responsibility or contribution. These levels can be described as competency bands.
Competencies would be defined as the attributes and behavioral characteristics needed to perform effectively at each discrete level in a job or career family. The number of levels would vary according to the range of competencies required in a particular job family. For each band, the experience and training needed to achieve the competency level would be defined.
These definitions would provide a career map incorporating 'aiming points' for individuals, who would be made aware of the competency levels they must reach in order to achieve progress in their careers. This would help them to plan their own development, although support and guidance should be provided by their managers, and HR specialists . The provision of additional experience and training could be arranged as appropriate, but it would be important to clarify what individual employees need to do for themselves if they want to progress within the organization.
The advantage of this approach is that people are provided with aiming points and an understanding of what they need to do to reach them. One of the major causes of frustration and job dissatisfaction is the absence of this information.
A competency band career development approach can be linked to
1. Competence band 1 definition
Basic training and experience
2. Competence band 2 definition
Continuation of medium training and experience
3.Competence band 3 definition
Continuation of advanced training and experience
Career P , D is for core people as well as high‑flyers
The philosophy upon which career plans are based refers not only to advancing careers to meet organizational and individual requirements, but also the need to maximize the potential of the people in the organization in terms of productivity and satisfaction under conditions of change, when development does not necessarily mean promotion.
career P , D is for individuals as well as the organization
Career P, D procedures are always based on what the organization needs. But they have to recognize that organizational needs will not be satisfied if individual needs are neglected. Career P , D has to be concerned with the management of diversity.
Career plans must therefore recognize that:
* members of the organization should receive recognition as individuals with unique needs, wants, and abilities;
* individuals are more motivated by an organization that responds to their aspirations and needs;
* individuals can grow, change and seek new directions if they are given the right opportunities, encouragement and guidance.
Career P , D techniques
Career P , D uses all the information generated by the succession plans, performance, and potential assessments and self‑assessments to develop programs and procedures which are designed to implement career management policies, achieve succession planning objectives and generally improve motivation, commitment and performance. The procedures used are those concerned with:
1. personal development planning .
2.training and management development.
In addition, career planning procedures may cater for the rising stars by 'fast tracking' them, that is, deliberately accelerating promotion and giving them opportunities to display and enlarge their talents. But these procedures should pay just as much, if not more, attention to those managers who are following the middle route of steady, albeit unspectacular, progression.
1. Career counseling
Performance management processes, should provide for counseling sessions between individuals and their managers. These sessions should give the former the opportunity to discuss their aspirations and the latter the chance to comment on them ‑ helpfully ‑ and, at a later stage, to put forward specific
career development proposals to be fed into the overall career management programs.
2.Personal development planning.
Personal development planning is carried out by individuals with guidance, encouragement and help from their managers/HRM as required. A personal development plan sets out the actions people propose to take to learn and to develop themselves. They take responsibility for formulating and implementing the plan, but they receive support from the organization and their managers in doing so. The purpose is to provide a 'self‑organized learning framework'. Personal development planning consists of the following stages:
1. Analyse current situation and development needs. This can be done as part of a performance management process.
2. Set goals. These could include improving performance in the current job, improving or acquiring skills, extending relevant knowledge, developing specified areas of competence, moving across or upwards in the organization, or preparing for changes in the current role.
3. Prepare action plan. The action plan sets out what needs to be done and how it will be done under headings such as outcomes expected (learning objectives), the development activities, the responsibility for development (what individuals are expected to do and the support they will get from their manager, the HR department or other people), and timing. A variety of activities tuned to individual needs should be included in the plan, for example observing what others do, project work, planned use of e‑learning programs and internal learning resource centres, working with a mentor, coaching by the line manager or team leader, experience in new tasks, guided reading, special assignments and action
3. MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
Formal approaches to management development
The formal approaches to management development include:
* development on the job through coaching, counseling, monitoring and feedback by managers on a continuous basis associated with the use of performance management processes to identify and satisfy development needs, and with mentoring;
* development through work experience, which includes job rotation, job enlargement, taking part in project teams or task groups, 'action learning', and secondment outside the organization;
*formal training by means of internal or external courses;
*structured self‑development by following self‑managed learning programs agreed as a personal development plan or learning contract with the manager or a management development adviser ‑ these may include guidance reading or the deliberate extension of knowledge or acquisition of new skills on the job.
The formal approaches to management development are based on the identification of development needs through performance management or a development centre. The approach may be structured around a list of generic or core competences which have been defined as being appropriate for managers in the organization.
Informal approaches to management development
Informal approaches to management development make use of the learning experiences that managers meet during the course of their everyday work. Managers are learning every time they are confronted with an unusual problem, an unfamiliar task or a move to a different job. They then have to evolve new ways of dealing with the situation. They will learn if they analyse what they did to determine how and why it contributed to its success or failure.
Competency‑based management development
Competency‑based management development uses competency frameworks as a means of identifying and expressing development needs and pointing the way to self managed learning programs or the provision of learning opportunities by the organization.
Competency‑based management development may concentrate on a limited number of core or generic competences which the organization has decided will be an essential part of the equipment of their managers if they are going to take the organization forward in line with its strategic plans. For example:
• strategic capability to understand the changing business environment, opportunities for product‑market development, competitive challenges and the strengths and weaknesses of their own organization in order to identify optimum strategic responses;
• change management capability to identify change needs, plan change programs and persuade others to participate willingly in the implementation of change
• team management capability to get diverse groups of people from different disciplines to work well together.
• relationship management to network effectively with others to share information and pool resources to achieve common objectives;
• international management to be capable of managing across international frontiers working well with people of other nationalities.
Mentoring is the process of using specially selected and trained individuals to provide guidance and advice which will help to develop the careers of the 'prot6g6s' Allocated to them.
Mentoring is aimed at complementing learning on the job, which must always be the best way of acquiring the particular skills and knowledge the job holder needs. Mentoring also complements formal training by providing those who benefit from it with individual guidance from experienced managers who are 'wise in the ways of the organization'.
Mentors provide for the person or persons allocated to them :
advice in drawing up self‑development programs or learning contracts; general help with learning programs; guidance on how to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to do a new job; advice on dealing with any administrative, technical or people problems individuals meet, especially in the early stages of their careers; information on 'the way things are done around here' ‑ the corporate culture and
its manifestations in the shape of core values and organizational behaviour ;
0 coaching in specific skills;
0 help in tackling projects ‑ not by doing it for the trainees but by pointing them in the right direction, that is ‑ helping people to help themselves;
0 a parental figure with whom the trainee can discuss their aspirations and concerns and who will lend a sympathetic ear to their problems.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT [ K M ]
Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to the creation, capture, organization, access, and use of an enterprise's information assets. These assets include structured databases, textual information such as policy and procedure documents, and most importantly, the tacit knowledge and expertise resident in the heads of individual employees.
Large number of Companies still see knowledge management as a purely technology solution
Organisations have adopted a number of relevant technologies for KM purposes.
- use the Internet to access external knowledge,
-use an intranet,
- use data warehousing or mining technologies,
- document management systems,
FROM THE ABOVE ANALYSIS, IT COMES CRYSTAL
THAT KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IS THE
RESOURCE INPUT FOR
-BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT.