Chapter 16. Improving Productivity of Office Employees. Productivity. Is the result obtained from dividing output by input. The more output an organization obtains from constant levels of input, the better its productivity. Factors That Have Contributed to the
Improving Productivity of
Is the result obtained
from dividing output
The more output an organization obtains
from constant levels of input, the better its
Productivity Dilemma in the U.S.
1. Constraining nature of government regulations,
actions, and policies.
2. Declining work ethic.
3. Declining research and development expenditures.
4. Declining capital investment.
5. Increasing number of service workers.
6. Changing characteristics of workforce.
7. Constraining practices, policies, and attitudes
Is an effective way for an organization
to increase its productivity.
1. Have top-management support.
2. Have employee commitment.
3. Have top-priority status.
4. Have productivity goals.
5. Have employee participation.
6. Have an employee rewards feature.
7. Have effective program leadership.
8. Have an effective communication element.
9. Have effective measurement techniques/devices.
1. Carry out preliminary planning.
2. Assess the current situation.
3. Select areas/activities to be included.
4. Develop alternative solutions.
5. Design the solution.
6. Develop an implementation plan and implement
7. Conduct a follow-up of the solution.
Identify program objectives.
Determine program’s scope.
Identify individuals to be involved.
Consider input and direction provided by the task
Keep employees abreast of program developmental
Measure the present productivity performance.
Identify and analyze the nature of various
departmental work processes and procedures.
Evaluate ways in which employees perform their
Select areas in greatest need of improvement
(prioritize if not all areas can be included in
Consider various alternative solutions to helping
increase productivity of areas to be included in
Consider the potential impact of each of the
Calculate a cost-benefit ratio for each of the
Attain top management approval when/where
and Implement the Solution
Devote as much time to designing the imple-
mentation plan and actual implementation of
each solution as it needs.
Involve unit managers and employees in areas
that affect them as one way of attaining their
Install the new equipment; train/retrain employees.
Implement the solution on an orderly basis.
Determine how well the solution is working a few
months after its implementation by comparing
actual performance against anticipated
Make changes when/where needed.
of productivity improvement efforts.
Measurable Office Tasks Have
1. They can be isolated, which helps determine
where they begin and end.
2. The amount of effort and time consumed are
fairly constant from one undertaking to the
3. The task is easily countable.
Obtained by dividing the amount
of time consumed in producing
the units by the total units of
Obtained by counting the amount
of poor-quality work that has to
Obtained by pro-rating the cost of
labor, equipment, and overhead
per work unit produced.
of Productivity Measurement
1. Determine the measurement objective.
2. Consider the characteristics of the area/activity
being measured and select the simplest,
easiest-to-use technique that circumstances will
3. Train those who are responsible for measurement
to use the various techniques properly.
4. Use a sufficiently long measurement period to
compensate for any abnormal fluctuation in the
Often Be Improved
(1 of 2)
Often accomplished by provid-
ing employees with new equip-
ment that enables them to per-
form their tasks faster and with
Accomplished by providing
employees with efficient work
processes and procedures.
Often Be Improved
(2 of 2)
Provide employees with a
working environment that
stimulates their desire to
become more productive.
Help employees develop a
positive attitude toward work.
Some are costly; others are inexpensive or free.
Some involve making substantial changes in
organizational processes and procedures; others
are simply accomplished.
Affects the amount of satisfaction employees derive
from their work and the level of productivity they
attain from their job functions.
Employees want task variety, importance,
(1 of 2)
Allows employees to
their work assignments
Removes the repetitive, dull
tasks from employees’ jobs
as well as awkward work
flow and communication
(2 of 2)
Allows employees to
assume greater levels
of responsibility for and
control over their jobs
while increasing their
job planning opportunities.
Allows employees to set their own starting times,
usually within a 2- or 3-hour block of time.
All employees have to be at work during a
core time--perhaps from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Allows two people to share what was one full-time
Salaries and fringe benefits are pro-rated
according to the amount of each employee’s
Provides employees with the assurance that even
when they increase their output, their jobs are
not in jeopardy.
This is often a prerequisite to getting
employees to increase their output.
Gives employees an opportunity to provide
input into the decision-making process.
Employees want to be involved in
situations that affect them.
Involve a voluntary group of 8-12 employees who
meet on a regular basis to identify, analyze, and
develop solutions to a variety of their work-related
Meetings are held on company time.
Involves these aspects regarding an employee’s
position: working conditions, economic rewards
and benefits, interpersonal relations, and a
variety of organizational contributions.
Some of the QWL techniques used are
flextime, MBO, job enrichment, job
security, job rotation, TQM, and
Provide a variety of assistance to employees to
help them deal with situations that impact
negatively on their productivity.
Typically involves providing employees
with counseling sessions.
Involves increasing the amount of communication
between management and employees.
Feedback is a critical aspect of the
Involves helping employees reduce burnout or
stress that impacts negatively on their
May involve some employee counseling.
Provides employees with rewards for increasing
Some programs are group based; others are
Involves helping employees overcome the stress
that keeps them from maximizing their
Stress may arise from unsatisfactory
interpersonal relations, low self-esteem,
tension, worry, job boredom, job
isolation, job insecurity, and unpleasant
Is designed to enable a team to identify, diagnose,
and solve their own problems.
Results in empowering employees to
assume greater responsibility over their
Often involves helping employees learn to deal
with complex situations.
May involve the use of a problem-solving
Involves helping employees make better use
of their time and to manage their time more
Being able to estimate accurately how long
a given task will take to complete is
Involves giving employees an opportunity to
work four days, perhaps extending the length
of the workday.
Often reduces absenteeism and tardiness.
Is a program designed to help an organization
improve the quality of its products and/or
Is based on teamwork and empowerment.