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  • Who is responsible for employee productivity?
  • Is productivity externally or internally driven?
  • Productivity is measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input (Oxford Dictionary). I read a lot of articles about productivity. Most of them describe strategies and approaches leaders and managers can take to get the most out of the people who work for them. Whether in a paid or volunteer leadership position I thought that employee or volunteer productivity was solely my responsibility. While leaders and managers have the lion’s share of that responsibility it is not theirs alone. The most important thing a leader/manager needs to do is hired the right people and then assign them to the work that bests suits their skill set.

    Setting clear work expectations, timely performance appraisals, and encouraging words can have a positive effect on employee performance. However, subordinates’ mindsets, skills, and internal drivers

     must be factored in.

    I loved working with self-starters. Working within the spirit of an organization’s mission, goals, policies, and procedures, they saw what needed to be done and did it. When problems arose, they often brought me answers rather than questions. That is to say, they would identify the core issue and then generate possible solutions for me to consider. However, there are times when people become complacent and productivity starts to slip, that happened to me when I started to take my work for granted.

    My good habits became bad habits. For example, I worked out before getting to the office went to breakfast afterward, and lingered for a second and third cup of coffee. I had a people before-paper philosophy; reasoning that building relationships took precedence; Paperwork could always be done later. Which is a good way of doing business, but the conversations were lasting far too long. I allowed other time robbers to invade my space. I noticed that fewer and fewer important items were being addressed on my to-do list. 

    As a self-starter, I saw what needed to be done and began the self-correcting process. The first step, I reviewed my work week every Friday. This helped me prioritize work for the following week. I set boundaries regarding the length of conversations. I arrived at work before everyone, This practice allowed me to survey the workload and delegate more effectively. Like many people, I tended to ruminate over or put off unpleasant tasks, which is a time robber. The remedy: I did those things first. Awareness and intention got to be back on track.