Gabriel Dumont Institue


Productivity in the Workplace

Apr 21, 2017

Posted in:

By Jim Edmondson

Productivity is a common word at the workplace. We often hear comments like “It has been a productive day,’ or ‘The new technology will improve our productivity.’ But what does it really mean and what factors affect it?

Productivity is a relative term that means different things to different organizations and in different environments. For example, it has a vastly different meaning in farming than in an office environment. For the purposes of our workplace at Gabriel Dumont Institute, productivity can be defined as a measure of the efficiency of a person, process, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs such as client or student service.

Productivity is normally computed by dividing average output per period by the total costs incurred or resources (capital, personnel) consumed in that period. In our world, productivity is not that easy to define because it is often difficult to quantify the outputs or results. That’s our challenge when we evaluate our results to enable us to improve our service delivery.

In order for us to better evaluate productivity it is critical that we identify the factors that may be reducing the productivity and effectiveness of our human resources. It is important to understand that employees differ in their personalities and these differences influence the way they react to the external and internal pressures that exist in an organization. In most cases, employees spend more than 50% of their waking hours at the workplace and that environment greatly influences their performance and mental framework.

Due to the fact that there are literally hundreds of factors that can affect productivity, I have chosen to only detail the ones that are most prevalent in workplaces including Gabriel Dumont Institute.

Research has shown that office gossip creates the greatest loss of productivity in the workplace. Gossip has a negative effect on both organizational and individual productivity. Gossip causes rifts among co-workers and is destructive to an organization’s culture and overall morale.

Personality or Ego Clashes
This in general, is seen between two co-workers with opposing personalities. The problem creeps in when there is mistrust between the parties involved with respect to their motives and character.

Today’s workplace is full of demands, such as tight deadlines. While some employees can sustain and perform well under pressure, others may find the pressure overwhelming.

This stress is in addition to whatever stressors are present in our daily life which makes the effects doubly dangerous. Stress creeps up on us and we often do not realize its adverse effects.

Inadequate Resources
Adequate time, information and material resources are crucial to enable employees perform their work more effectively. Because of deadlines and timelines that are often beyond the Institute’s control, this factor can test an employee’s resilience and initiative.

Lack of Clarity about Accountability
Lack of accountability may arise when employees are not clear about their roles and responsibilities. This could lead to situations where tasks that are required are either not completed or are done incorrectly or incompletely. Lack of accountability is a main cause of disputes between supervisors and other employees and it may impact employee morale in the workplace.

Outdated Technology
To enable an employee to be more productive and efficient, it is important to equip them with the right tools. Ignoring the potential benefits of technology upgrades in the workplace may diminish the productivity and performance of employees.

Health Problems
The deteriorating health of an employee can have a significant effect on the employee’s productivity and the overall productivity of the Institute. It has a cascading effect such as rising absenteeism, low morale, and indifference to organizational goals.

The Institute considers these and other factors that reduce employee productivity and work diligently to mitigate their effects whenever possible. This helps to ensure that GDI is a healthy workplace that promotes service provision to our stakeholders.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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