Productivity, especially in a lean workforce, is in high demand. Companies often get what they pay for, and hiring skilled workers who produce positive results on the job is a dream scenario for most HR managers. What happens when an employee is too productive? Too qualified? Too proactive to implement change? Is that exactly what the workforce demands of its employees, or is it exactly the scenario that will end in frustration and worst of all, loss of profits?
According to the Academy of Management, unless productivity exactly conforms to a manager's expectations, it typically has the exact opposite intended effect on the organization. For instance, if an employee initiates change but ends up being wrong about a process they’ve implemented, it may very well end up costing the organization money. Alternatively, in an attempt to be more productive, an employee may offload some of their work to a colleague, thus making the rest of the organization unproductive.
How can you encourage the right amount of productivity in your workforce in a way that suits both employees and the organizational bottom-line? Here’s how to create a more productive workforce in three steps:
1) Hire candidates based on their proven skills, not just previous job titles. On paper, you probably wouldn’t jump to hire a mechanic to install your organization’s security software. But what if, in addition to being a mechanic, that individual also has the verified credentials to perform the job of an IT manager? If a candidate has proof of skills, use that as a benchmark for candidacy. Those who upskill in preparation for a job change show initiative that translates into productivity.
2) Help employees connect their career goals with the skills the organization needs. Learning and development are good for everyone. It’s cheaper to train existing employees to do the tasks your company needs accomplishing than it is to hire externally, so find out what your workforce wants to achieve and offer them digital credentials as proof of that learning. You’ll have a database of competency at your disposal, and your employees will have job satisfaction. Win-win.
3) Celebrate productivity. Studies show that happy employees are productive employees. If an employee finds a way to save time, money, or resources, be sure to celebrate it. This is a great use-case for company-specific digital credentials, where companies like IBM and even Credly badge for the skills they want their workforce to possess.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to identify skills in your workforce, fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.