According to U.S. government statistics, overall business productivity is down. Anecdotally, we hear many companies blaming the marketplace for lower-than-expected revenues. It' s easy to attribute disappointing profits to the market slowdown, but is that the full story at your company?
Calling All Managers
Morale is a key indicator of productivity and vice-versa. Productive, engaged employees are likely to be enthusiastic and creative about their work. Likewise, satisfied employees are likely to make a positive impact on the bottom line. When expectations and financial results do not sync up, it' s time to measure management effectiveness. Are your employees satisfied with their individual contribution to your company goals? If not, the problem could be more than customers' current, but temporary, hesitancy to purchase. While you are waiting for the market to rebalance and bounce back, take this opportunity to look inward by assessing your company' s Productivity Quotient (PQ).
Start by taking this brief quiz. After answering the questions for yourself, choose the best process for inviting your employees to participate. For the PQ to be an effective tool, it is important that you accurately understand the organization' s collective perspective. Employees are more likely to be honest and constructive when they do not feel vulnerable, so we recommend giving them an opportunity to share their input anonymously. Make sure they feel comfortable in the knowledge that their responses are - and will remain - anonymous, and that nothing they say, whether positive or negative, will ever come back to haunt them. One tool that we have found to be particularly useful in helping to achieve this kind of anonymous feedback is Zoomerang - a fast, free, online service for conducting anonymous surveys.
While this tool is not a comprehensive assessment instrument, it will help you start to identify the big issues into which you will need to drill down farther. Once you understand some drivers of your company' s productivity level, you and your management team can begin to improve your management systems, communicate better, and position your firm for success as the market shifts up.
Calculate the average score. How did you and your colleagues do?
How well did you know the concerns of your company? If your score is perfect, consider what' s working well, strengthen it, and spread that management know-how around your company. If not, chances are it points to some systemic challenges. Read on...
The beauty of an effective assessment tool is that the questions can point directly to the answers. We' ll steer you in the right direction and the rest is up to you.
Here are some action steps for low scores on each question:
This recalibration of the market offers a golden opportunity to rethink your corporate level of productivity and its drivers. Further, it is the perfect time to address issues you may not have had time to address when everything seemed to be moving at warp speed. Take advantage of this time by assessing employee satisfaction, analyzing the effectiveness of your company' s employee communication, and addressing major and minor problems. As a result, your company will be well prepared for your next round of growth and well positioned to take advantage of the coming market upswing.
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