ENHANCING EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY in S M E s
By Aurangzeb Soharwardi
SMEs ,The small and medium industries are an integral part of economic lifeline around the world and especially in developing countries. Though these small enterprises are full of enthusiasm but also fail owing to their inexperience, lack of finances and management skills. The small industries can be utilized for producing the raw material for the large-scale industries as well as vise versa to utilize the waste of large industries. There is no single definition of small industries in Pakistan. The Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) implicitly uses the limit of 10 employees for small industries. The State Bank of Pakistan considers an establishment as small if its employees are less than 100 people or the value of its assets is less than Rs. 20 million. The Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (SMEDA) defines the small industry, which employees 10 to 35 persons and its production assets are between Rs 2 million to Rs 20 million. Thus presently the industry having 2 million to 20 million assets is defined as small industry. The share of employment generated by small industries in manufacturing sector in Pakistan is 83% of the total employment of the country, The share of SMEs is 26% of the total exports of Pakistan.
Entrepreneurship is associated with SMEs. It Emerges from French word entreprendre. Kings and knight’s Aggressive war strategies. Entrepreneurship in its truest sense is about innovation and changing the status quo. Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects (even involving the entrepreneur only part-time) to major undertakings creating many job opportunities.. Entrepreneurship is about Innovation, Creativity, Risk ,new business amongst the challenges of turbulent environment, uncertainty , tough competition, scarce resources, rapidly changing technology and business requirements, there fore, the efficiency and productivity of the entrepreneurs and people working with them is of prime concern in SMEs.
Productivity has been generally defined as’ a ratio of a measure of output to a measure of some or all of the resources used to produce this output. Defined in this way, one or a number of input measures can be taken and compared with one or a number of output measures. While productivity is the amount of output produced relative to the amount of resources (time and money) that go into the production, efficiency is the value of output relative to the cost of inputs used. Productivity improves when the quantity of output increases relative to the quantity of input. Efficiency improves, when the cost of inputs used is reduced relative the value of output. In small firms ,people are the key resource. Due to the challenging environment of SMEs ,the employees have to be extra ordinarily motivated, trained and groomed .Despite the widely held belief that working in a small firm can be harmonious and motivational, relationship conflicts do often arise. Research has confirmed that not only do small business employees feel as much discontent as those in larger organizations, if not managed properly. Employee productivity can be measured by-Setting specific objectives-Communicating objectives—Setting standards—Work environment– Feed back—Evaluation. The benefits of implementing a employee productivity assessment solution leads to proactive human resources management, taking into consideration only the productive activities, and eliminating non-productive activities, to a clearer department or project based assessment and to a clearer individual job description. Some reasons of Employee non productivity are, Injustice ,Discrimination, Lack of skills/Training, Low wages, No incentives/ No career progression/Lack of motivation, Poor working Conditions / environment, Lack of objectivity, Job insecurity, Team problems, Social and family pressures, Non availability of requisite resources, Health issues, Procrastination/ Deliberate efforts, Lack of concentration and poor Management.
Contemplating specific characteristics of SME environment, many modern techniques can be adopted to enhance employee productivity in SMEs. The most important is considering and valuing their emotions, feelings and managing them articulately. These techniques can be very fruit full for enhancing employee productivity. As one of the external factors, Ergonomics is derived from two Greek words: ergon, meaning work, and nomoi, meaning natural laws, to create a word that means the science of work and a person’s relationship to that work.Ergonomics is the science of designing the job, equipment, and workplace to fit the worker. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Ergonomics, also known as human factors, is the scientific work life discipline that seeks to understand and improve human interactions with products, equipment, environments and systems. Drawing upon human biology, psychology, engineering and design, ergonomics aims to develop and apply knowledge and techniques to optimize system performance, whilst protecting the health, safety and well-being of individuals involved. The attention of ergonomics extends across work, leisure and other aspects of our daily lives. Today, Ergonomics commonly refers to designing work environments for maximizing safety and efficiency. Ergonomics is concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It takes account of the worker’s capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each worker.An other important factor is quality of work life. It deals with revamping the complete work break down structure and work environment. Next comes the social accountability act SA-8000 .2001 which encompasses, * Working hours record—Legal compliance—Child & Forced labor—Health & Safety—Freedom of association—Justice-Discrimination—Discipline and Remunerations. It is of a great importance to enforce SA-8000,which has a direct positive impact on employee work related behavior and productivity. Use of latest technology and modern equipment,tools ,necessary to the job fit, helps a great deal in enhancing employee productivity. A concept of Emotional labor emerged ,which highlighted the necessity of managing labor emotions at work .It is the effort planning and control needed to express organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions . *Knowing your emotions. *Managing your emotions Motivating yourself Recognizing and understanding other’s emotions*Managing other’s emotions. It is the ability to identify and understand other’s emotions, and link between emotions—thoughts—action. Ability to use emotions to increase productivity .The four dimensions of EI which help in increasing productivity *Self awareness Social awareness,Self management *Relationship management. An other important technique which helps in improving employee productivity is NLP. It is the study of what works in thinking, language and behaviors. It is a way of coding and reproducing excellence that enables you consistently to achieve the results in enhancing employee productivity. Neuro:- Refers to your neurological system, the way you use your senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell to translate your experience into thought process, both conscious and unconscious.Linguistic;- Refers to the way you use language to make sense of your experience and how you communicate that experience to yourself and others.Programming:- Is the coding of experience. A program is a series of steps designed to achieve a specific result. The results you achieve and effects you create in yourself and others are the consequence of your personal programs.
Present state—– ↑ —-> Desired state
All senses, actions, desires, resources , words, body language of the employees should, Agree , compliment and point in the same direction. The most important factor to improve employee productivity is unquestionably the better Management. Better Planning,Organizing,Staffing,Leading and Controlling leads to enhance productivity.Specific JDs, Clear objectives,Specific Targets through MBO and effective Team building casts a positive impact on employees. Particularly the job enrichment and job enlargement techniques work like wonders. With a high standard of motivation through skills development and capacity building ,The SMEs can perform much better and can negotiate the challenges of SME environment in a much better way.
Employee’s productivity levels determine the success and sustainability of the business. As the market competition is growing day by day and market dynamics is taking the toll ,It becomes the core issue to gain competitive advantage through quality human resource ,focusing on efficient, productive employees as the core asset of the organization.