By JD Farrugia
Nov. 7, 2022
During a TED talk, Yves Morieux, managing director and senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, explained how a 3% increase in productivity per year leads to a doubling of the standard of living for every subsequent generation. If that growth is reduced to 1%, it will take three generations to double the standard of living – leading to every generation being less well-off than their parents. Sound familiar?
They will have less of everything: smaller roofs, or perhaps no roof at all, less access to education, to vitamins, to antibiotics, to vaccination – to everything. Think of all the problems that we’re facing at the moment. All. Chances are that they are rooted in the productivity crisis.
– Yves Morieux
Global productivity has been declining since the 1960s. Today, productivity levels are at some of the lowest historically, partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media, mental health issues, and disruptive work environments are all obstacles to more fruitful workdays. It’s a challenge for human resources professionals and company owners to keep their employees engaged and productive.
Armed with the latest productivity stats and trends, you can better understand productivity loss and use workforce management tools to improve engagement, communication, and processes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a 2.4% decrease in labor productivity in Q2. This equates to the largest annual decline since the government started recording productivity in 1948.
The BLS defines labor productivity (or output per hour) as the division of “an index of real output by an index of hours worked.” They calculate the productivity of “all persons.” This includes employees, business owners, and unpaid family workers.
Q2 of 2022 is the second consecutive quarter where productivity rates dropped. In Q1, there was a 7.4% fall in labor productivity. Unless addressed, this significant drop in productivity across the country is likely to have a knock-on effect on profitability.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report found that employee engagement is strongly linked to increased productivity, as well as employee retention, safety, and company profitability.
It is perhaps not surprising that the research found that only 21% of employees felt engaged at work. Those low engagement levels cost the global economy an estimated $7.8 trillion, which amounts to 11% of the global GDP.
These findings are a reiteration of just how important it is for human resources professionals to harness engagement and job satisfaction among employees. Engagement is the key to reducing employee turnover and maintaining healthier profits.
The 2022 Employee Experience Trends Report from Qualtrics found employees are starting to demand better physical and digital workplaces. Productivity-enabling technology was found to be a vital part of the workspace – for both office workers and remote workers. Employees who had access to such tech were found to have a 91% engagement rate. Those who didn’t only had a 24% engagement rate.
Whether in-office, fully remote, or hybrid arrangements – physical workspaces that allow the average employee to be more productive are crucial. The study found that employees who had productivity-enhancing work arrangements reported 92% engagement rates and were 93% more likely to recommend their company. On the other hand, physical workspaces that don’t facilitate productivity resulted in just 23% of employees feeling engaged, and only 16% were likely to recommend their company.
Employers need to invest in productivity-boosting tech, such as workforce management automation, that improves communication and allows for flexibility, so employees can be as productive as possible.
Frontline teams looking to boost their productivity levels on a digital level turn to workforce management solutions. Solutions like automated scheduling, labor forecasting, and employee communications apps help simplify workflows and yield better outputs.
Employee scheduling software cuts time spent on scheduling in half, eliminating the need to manually create shifts with antiquated spreadsheets. These solutions utilize machine learning to help managers efficiently create schedules and populate shifts in minutes.
At a higher level, management can automatically approve or amend timesheets in bulk using time and attendance software. Timesheet data can be exported to payroll software seamlessly via API integration.
These processes save hours in admin work, allowing your team to focus on other, more profit-driven activities.
Labor forecasting uses machine learning based on historical sales and economic trends to predict customer demand and forecast labor needs 40% more accurately. With this technology, you can determine exactly how many staff you need, where they need to be, and when they need to be there, all while avoiding the high cost of accidentally over or understaffing.
Schedule staff according to their qualifications and ensure that employees never do work they’re not qualified for. This helps you prevent burnout among your team and safeguards employee well-being by avoiding situations where your scheduled labor cannot meet customer requirements.
Management and human resources can inform their team of upcoming shifts, scheduling conflicts, and shift changes instantly and across the board. While scheduling, management can add important notes and reminders to shifts for specific employees. Pertinent announcements can also be sent out by team or location.
Workforce.com also makes flexible scheduling easier. Employees can swap and pick up shifts easily through the app. Communication is facilitated between colleagues and from staff to management, with everyone notified instantly.
Workforce.com provides solutions for managerial staff that help them with their own productivity, allowing them to better facilitate their team’s productivity.
Time and attendance software helps them quickly identify and solve frontline issues that might be negatively affecting productivity. They’re instantly notified of employee absenteeism and no-shows, allowing them to quickly take action during productivity-disrupting situations.
Workforce.com facilitates two-way shift feedback with staff members. Management can provide staff members with feedback on their performance per shift. Staff can also provide management with on-the-ground insights through feedback on staffing levels, communication, and teamwork.
Yves Morieux concluded his presentation by saying that “organizations are wasting human intelligence” and invited us to take a long, hard look at our work situations. He argued that “we need to create organizations in which it becomes individually useful for people to cooperate.”
Workforce.com can help you create more cooperative workflows that drive productivity across your workforce. Find out more about what the right workforce management software can do for you by talking with our team today.
We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline. Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps.
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