How Does a Productivity Culture Affect Organizational Learning?
Productivity cultures are becoming increasingly popular in workplaces, with the precarious economy fuelling workplaces whose culture orientates around output. This rise in popularity is for good reason too. Statistics show that ‘companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%’.
The explosion of ‘productivity’ as a work culture is linked to the emergence of ‘lean start-ups’. Companies whose business ethos is efficiency and strategy-orientated. Its rise is established businesses occurred after the global 2008 financial crisis which meant that businesses had to operate on smaller personnel resources resulting in an increased need for maximum efficiency per employee.
The internet also fuelled productivity culture with workplace time management tools enabling employees to gain greater insight into how they work and how they can make themselves more efficient. There are great benefits to a productivity culture if it is deployed correctly, however, if it’s done wrong it can create a negative workplace environment and negatively impact the business’s brand in the eyes of potential employees and consumers.
The benefits of getting it right
A culture of productivity should promote individual employees to find the tools that will help them get organised, stay organised, and manage their workload without undue stress and late evenings.
Employees who know what they are doing and when it’s due are more likely to reach objectives. This kind of productivity can be a positive experience for the individual and for the business so long as it is managed well and does not lose sight of employee well-being.
A healthy productivity culture is one that encourages productive employee learning. This should be active rather than participatory, so that employees are not merely attending a class, but taking responsibility for their own learning. Employees will feel empowered to learn in a manner that is suited to their needs and they will be empowered to learn at a faster rate.
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Another huge benefit of a positive ‘productivity culture’ is that it attempts to bring out the best in each employee. Happy, hardworking employees can aid in creating an image of reliability and dependability to the public and to potential future employees. Which in turn means that you can hire the best and get the best back.
The drawbacks of getting it wrong
With this in mind, in order to create a healthy productivity culture you can’t just take. You must give back. It’s a fine line between the bad and the good with productivity culture.
A constant pressure to perform can create an environment of competitiveness and formality. Such an environment can cause a negative culture of what is termed ‘presenteeism’.
Presenteeism is a broad and emergent term that describes a variety of unhealthy work habits such as ‘workaholism’ and ‘performance based self-esteem’. These workplace attitudes occur when too much pressure is placed on employees to constantly and consistently perform.
It’s also crucial not to lose the human element of a workplace. Even the most hard-working and productive individual needs to stop for five minutes and socialise. Constant work is unhealthy and unproductive. Humans are innately social creatures and every workplace culture should respect and encourage natural human habits like conversation and breaks.
Privileging productivity over workplace happiness also places a risk on the general perception of your business as a brand. Consumers could perceive your business as one that prioritises non-human elements of life such as productivity and profit over other important elements like well-being or charitable work.
Keep in mind…
In order to reap the benefits of productivity, keep in mind that moderation is key. As an employer, you should encourage your staff to use time management tools to feel organised and productive. These tools should be utilised to create more headspace, not less.
For a great productivity culture, keep it human. We are social creatures not worker bees. Investing time in creating a productive, supportive and driven company culture will create great returns for your company.
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The author of this blog article:
Hannah Spruce is a Content Author at High Speed Training, an online training company who provide a wide range of personal and professional development courses, including time management.