Talent Development: Boosting Employee Productivity
By Elif Çalışkan
One of the challenges in management has been applying effective talent development strategies to boost organizational performance and employee productivity. So, researchers in human resources management have stressed effective human resources strategies to boost productivity such as high-performance management, high-commitment management, high-involvement management, and strategic planning (Bhatti & Qureshi, 2007). Then, all those reveal a question. How can we implement those strategies to boost employee productivity?
Firstly, productivity as defined in the APA dictionary (2020) is “the relationship between the quantity or quality of output (goods created or services provided) and the input (time, materials, etc.) required to create it.” Development refers to activities directing to the acquisition of skills or fresh knowledge that aim to grow. So, if the organizations would like to develop employees’ skills or knowledge, boosting productivity is one of the keys that they need to focus on (Nda & Fard, 2013). We will propose 5 strategies to boost employee productivity.
Education and training are also very important in management and have a strategic role in improving job performance and productivity. Education is associated with preparing candidates for employment by an organization or institution while training related to the development of skills or boosting talent of employees who have occupied in the workplace (Hidayat & Budiatma, 2018).
Training is invaluable in boosting the productivity of organizations. It is also very important to provide credible training managers to ensure employees’ future success, improve the organization’s quality, and build a mutual trust between company and employee (Nda & Fard, 2013). There is also a powerful relationship between learning and involvement. Training typically combines personal involvement and commitment so training involves learning by doing, having competence, and more than providing knowledge. Adults learn more efficiently doing practice and talking about their own experience which is related to the issue. Companies generally use some educational programs and they typically involve training in soft skills such as listening, communication, teamwork, leadership, etc. Although these programs are generally accepted, the evidence shows that they are the least effective ways than learning-by-doing training and practice in terms of efficient outcomes because most soft skills training never provides actual practice (Hughey & Mussnug, 1997).
“Communication is an exchange of the message” from one person to another, through an intermediary and a sense of awareness and understanding among the human elements.” Communication is the fundamental element of administration that involves planning events, organizing activities, coordinating, leading, and controlling the workplace. Without communication, there is no direction and management, so responsibilities would be unclear and confused. Then, employee productivity starts to low (Shonubi, Abdullah, Hashim, & Ab Hamid, 2016). Communication is also important to the context of an organization and it brings about greater organizational effectiveness and commitment in the workplace. If people have some problems, effective communication is the key to understand and empathize with each other. Furthermore, sharing information is one of the easiest and effective ways to provide involvement within organizations. Talking about the company, its activities, goals, and directions keep interests alive in the company (Rodwell, Kienzle, & Shadur, 1998).
Collaborative Communication Tools
Collaboration can be defined in the Oxford Dictionary (2020) as “the act of working with another person or group of people to create or produce something.” Effective communication is crucial for powerful collaboration. There are many communication tools such as email, Zoom, Skype, Facebook, Trello, etc. They have also become increasingly accepted in workplace communications. Additionally, the tools are able to add a social dimension to build a professional relationship, reveal the missing parts which are not spoken face-to-face, and able to strengthen the project management particularly for remote jobs (Turner, Qvarfordt, Biehl, Golovchinsky, & Back, 2010). On the other hand, lack of communication has a negative impact on building a reliable workplace. Voice is the most important feature as well as document sharing. Researchers have also shown that for remote works, after email and telephone, the next popular communication solution is online conference meeting tools (Liukkunen, Lindberg, Hyysalo, & Markkula, 2010).
Time and Productivity Tracking Apps
There are only limited work hours in the day. However, the tasks which are needed to be completed can be tough. So, sometimes it is necessary to make strategic planning. People may need to make productive decisions in a limited time. Especially, some personalities feel like racing against time so tracking time by using some apps can be invaluable for them. Remote and freelance workers also interested in tracking the working hours, learning personal or team productivity, and scheduling vacation time and days off all in one place. So, those characteristics of the time and productivity tracking apps can be a strategic role in employee performance. There are some online apps for tracking time and productivity such as Hubstaff, DeskTime, Harvest, Toggl, Tracking Time, etc. In those ways, employees can be more productive, motivate themselves to the work, focus on improving a particular project.
Gamification is a designed system that aims to create a context where individuals willingly achieve a goal. During the game, people give all their effort and interest to win despite the result won’t be useful in the real world. So, if they transfer the energy to the important problems or useful works, the result would be effective for all. Particularly, individuals who waste their time playing computer games, more likely to spend their time playing “business-games” so, they are able to be successful and productive in the workplace (Kamasheva, Valeev, Yagudin, & Maksimova, 2015). For example, giving employees points for every challenging task, creating leaderboards show who is ‘winning’ and inspire people to work harder to complete certain tasks. So, gamification provides a huge stimulus for action. It has been also used to test candidates’ skills and motivates them to complete specific tasks, hiring, training, and development processes (Saha, & Pandita, 2017).
For example, in the hiring process of the consultant of sale, creating games that include some customer-consultant problems which need to be solved by the candidate can be an indicator to understand the candidate’s eligibility and his future productivity to the role. Also, before a team leader is hired, a game that includes potential group dynamics can be designed and measured his competency.
To sum up, boosting employee productivity is a significant factor in talent development. Focusing on providing high-performance management, high-commitment management, high-involvement management, and strategic planning brings about high employee productivity. To increase efficiency, organizations should develop learning-by-doing training, effective communication methods, and tools also using time and productivity tracking apps and different gamification techniques can be very useful. If we ensure employee motivation and commitment, it increases employee job satisfaction. So, we have more productivity in the workplace among employees who have different personality traits.
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