U.S. productivity is seemingly stable these times. This might sound a good atmosphere for the workers, but the other side of the pole is telling that this might bring bad news for the corporate profits.
On Wednesday, the Labor Department reported the U.S. productivity showing the average worker’s output per hour. As measured by the worker’s output per hour, it is only 0.6% in the first quarter from the recent year. Now, this would match its average pace over the past three years, compared to a 2% average yearly rate over the last five decades.
Why does productivity matter? It dictates the rate at which the economy can grow and develop without compromise. The stagnant productivity might serve temporary benefits today. However, if it will grow higher, or the better that U.S. productivity is, the better off Americans will be.
Productivity in itself has some factors that affects it as it is done and executed. Eight of them are the following;
- Technical factors,
- Production factors,
- Organizational factor,
- Personnel factors,
- Finance factors,
- Management factors,
- Government factors, and
- Location factors.
- Technical factors : Productivity largely depends on technology. Technical factors are the most important ones. These include proper location, layout and size of the plant and machinery, correct design of machines and equipment, research and development, automation and computerization, etc. If the organization uses the latest technology, then its productiveness will be high.
- Production factors : Productivity is related to the production-factors. The production of all departments should be properly planned, coordinated and controlled. The right quality of raw-materials should be used for production. The production process should be simplified and standardized. If everything is well it will increase the productiveness.
- Organizational factor : Productivity is directly proportional to the organizational factors. A simple type of organization should be used. Authority and Responsibility of every individual and department should be defined properly. The line and staff relationships should also be clearly defined. So, conflicts between line and staff should be avoided. There should be a division of labor and specialization as far as possible. This will increase organization’s productiveness.
- Personnel factors : Productivity of organization is directly related to personnel factors. The right individual should be selected for suitable posts. After selection, they should be given proper training and development. They should be given better working conditions and work-environment. They should be properly motivated; financially, non-financially and with positive incentives. Incentive wage policies should be introduced. Job security should also be given. Opinion or suggestions of workers should be given importance. There should be proper transfer, promotion and other personnel policies. All this will increase the productiveness of the organization.
- Finance factors : Productivity relies on the finance factors. Finance is the life-blood of modem business. There should be a better control over both fixed capital and working capital. There should be proper Financial Planning. Capital expenditure should be properly controlled. Both over and under utilization of capital should be avoided. The management should see that they get proper returns on the capital which is invested in the business. If the finance is managed properly the productiveness of the organization will increase.
- Management factors : Productivity of organization rests on the management factors. The management of organization should be scientific, professional, future-oriented, sincere and competent. Managers should possess imagination, judgement skills and willingness to take risks. They should make optimum use of the available resources to get maximum output at the lowest cost. They should use the recent techniques of production. They should develop better relations with employees and trade unions. They should encourage the employees to give suggestions. They should provide a good working environment, and should motivate employees to increase their output. Efficient management is the most significant factor for increasing productiveness and decreasing cost.
- Government factors : Productivity depends on government factors. The management should have a proper knowledge about the government rules and regulations. They should also maintain good relations with the government.
- Location factors : Productivity also depends on location factors such as Law and order situation, infrastructure facilities, nearness to market, nearness to sources of raw-materials, skilled workforce, etc.
Productivity indeed matters. Not only to U.S., but to the entire world economy.