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What are the causes of poor productivity within large organizations and how can we look at trying to improve this?

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Introduction

Course: BABM, Year 3, Semester 2 Module: Managing Business Problems Assignment: Section B Tutors: Jeff Gold, Les Hamilton & Stuart Watson Student Name: Jennifer Winn Student ID: 11209431 Date: 24th May 2004 What are the causes of poor productivity within large organizations and how can we look at trying to improve this? Productivity is the degree of output achieved in relation to a certain level of input. For example, in a call centre environment, productivity would be seen as the number of telephone calls answered per hour by a certain number of staff. The telephone calls are the output and the staff available to take the calls are the input. In order to improve productivity, one of the following has to occur: The level of input is decreased however the level of output remains the same, or, the level of output increases but the level of input remains the same. In relation to the example of the call centre, this would mean reducing the number of staff available to answer the phone but yet the remaining staff would still have to answer the same number of calls, i.e. they would have to answer more calls each to compensate for the decrease in staff. ...read more.

Middle

privileged enough to have been given an insight into the deeper realms of the business, something which frontline staff rarely come into contact with and I do feel this would be of benefit to them. As it stand now, staff are being thrown tough performance targets by management and expected to meet them without question, they have no understanding of why the business needs them to perform at a particular level and what the consequences will be if they don't. I believe business awareness to be a vital part of representing a company to the public and the company I work for do offer a business awareness course, however this is e-learning based and has to be completed in your own time. Needless to say, there are not many staff who take advantage of this opportunity to understand the business they work for due to the above conditions and a lot of staff are probably unaware that the facility even exists. If British Gas were to allow the time for staff to complete this course during working hours or even to be paid overtime for the time they spend on it outside their scheduled hours, they would have a massive response and although this would be time consuming and possibly quite costly, I believe that the positive effects on how employees work would outweigh the costs. ...read more.

Conclusion

example for the most improved productivity each month, therefore even those whose efforts don't bring them above the required productivity level for a standard reward have a chance of recognition for their efforts alone. McCauley examines Vroom's expectancy theory and this supports the issues raised above. Vroom does state though that the criteria that needs to be met in order to achieve a reward has to be very clear cut and communicated thoroughly to all levels of staff so as to avoid woolly areas where decisions to reward or not may be disputed. Throughout my research I have identified underlying issues surrounding the productivity of call centre staff and how to improve this by encouraging motivation amongst staff and providing them with personal goals that at the same time guide them towards achieving the productivity levels required by the business. I have come to the conclusion that productivity can only really be successfully increased in the long term by providing something for the individual to work towards, not just setting targets and expecting them to be met. I also think that increased business awareness amongst frontline staff would be beneficial to any call centre so then at least they know and understand why there are certain pressures placed upon them and they may be more welcoming to the challenge of attaining higher targets. ...read more.

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