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  1. Employee productivity
  2. Satisfaction & morale
  3. Communication & productivity
  4. Shared Services

 

How to sustain employee productivity & meet shareholder expectations

The challenge facing both private and public sector organisations in the future will be how to sustain employee productivity while meeting increasing shareholder expectations. 

This insight is the result of extensive research conducted by The Ryder Self Group during 1999 to 2002 with over 10,000 employees from both public and private sector organisations.  The sample profile appears below. 

Private sector organisations are faced with greater demands for achieving profit and compounding growth targets. There is greater pressure on public sector organisations for accountability of public funds.  Yet, employees believe management’s lack of investment in the organisation, its systems, equipment and people will make it extremely difficult to sustain productivity increases in the future.

The findings of the research are based on The Ryder Self Group’s PACE© culture model which measures four key organisational cultures illustrated below.   The model displays what managers predominantly focus on in each of the four different cultures.

Across the organisations surveyed, we found that employees described their current culture as the PACE© Administration culture. This means that all these organisations had a very strong focus on controls, measures and budgets for the purpose of establishing internal efficiencies and reducing operating costs to meet shareholder requirements.

 Comparing the current culture with employees’ preferred culture and the organisation’s ideal culture (how customers would prefer to be serviced), we have been able to demonstrate clearly that most organisations’ current and ideal culture profiles seem to be aligned while being misaligned with employees’ preferred culture. 

The table below shows the aggregate Culture Index for all of the organisations, clearly displaying the difference between the current, preferred and ideal cultures (in red).

Culture

Current
%

Preferred
%

Ideal
%

Partnership

17.6

41.7

21.7

Administration

30.2

9.2

37.8

Commercial

26.7

22.9

30.3

Entrepreneurial

25.5

26.3

10.2

The organisations’ current and ideal cultures are dominated by the PACE© Administration culture, while employees prefer a more supportive culture where managers focus on developing individuals (Partnership).

Why do employees show a resistance to the Administration Culture? We analysed employee comments to delve deeper into why this difference occurred. 

Employees reported that their high level of resistance to the Administration culture is due to its inability to truly deliver internal efficiencies: 

  • Additional reporting requirements and controls have only added to employee workload.

  • Costs have been mostly cut by not replacing staff, not updating old equipment, employing temporary or contract staff instead of permanent employees.

Consequently, employee morale and quality of life have deteriorated with employees having to work at reduced levels of productivity and longer hours to cope with increased workload and inefficient, old equipment.

Furthermore, employment of contract or temporary staff results in friction with salaried staff. The reduced numbers of salaried staff feel they carry the burden or responsibility while contract staff earn higher rates with reduced responsibilities. 

  • High use of temporary staff also puts additional strain on permanent employees due to continuous training of temporary staff.

  • Employees are concerned with remuneration and incentives because of the high level of unpaid overtime and their worth relative to management and contract staff in terms of incentives and remuneration paid.

Employees would prefer an efficient culture where systems, equipment and procedures improve their productivity and make it easier and quicker to service customers.  Instead, what they have been experiencing is the ‘dark side’ of the Administration culture.

It would appear to the shareholders that these organisations delivered higher levels of financial performance and accountability through a culture focused on budgets, controls and cost containment.  

In reality, employees’ hard work and sacrifice have mostly delivered the increased financial performance which can only last so long. At some point, organisations will need to make the long-term investment in systems, equipment, processes and its people to ensure that employee productivity is increased in a more sustainable manner.

Our findings are based on research conducted between 1999 and 2002 with over 10,000 employees across the following organisations:
 

Organisation Type

Industrial Business-to-Business Service & Product Provider

Commercial Business to-Business service & product providers (3)

Education Service Provider

Internal IT service provider

Internal Shared Service Providers (2)

Public Service Providers (3)

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© The Ryder Self Group 2003

 
 

The Ryder Self Group
Ph: 0412 426 553