What does the dictionary say?
The quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.
However, I would like to define it as,
the ability of a resource to engage in an activity to maximise its produce, output, utility in terms of quantity as well as quality.
How is Productivity different from Efficiency?
Efficiency as a ratio of output to input is a highly tangible parameter, measurable numerically. Whereas, productivity is a superset of various possible outcomes a resource could possibly deliver. Within each one of them, the efficiency could be measured further.
With the development of management tools, HR training and methodologies and technology, developing efficiency, today, is no big deal. But increasing productivity deserves a keen thought and attention from the intellectual and people oriented acumen of a good leader.
Whereas efficiency development is the portfolio of the Manager, I would emphasise that productivity is the portfolio of the Leader.
What are the contributing factors for better productivity?
1. Various faculties of the intellect:
For eg., programming a computer software professional is more productive if he or she could do programming, middle-tier programming as well as back-end programming.
For eg. In a cricket team, an all-rounder, who can bat as well as bowl is a more productive resource. In soccer, a forward player, who is good at shooting goals, giving passes, tackling the opponent and dribbling is more productive as compared to another forward who is good only at shooting goals.
For eg. a human resource who is a good team player, communicator, follower and methodical.
The ability of a person to dive deep within into the reservoir of ideas or to connect to the universal consciousness and download ideas from therein.
5. Dealing with pressure
The resilience and perseverance of a person to stay calm in challenging situations and not allow his above four abilities to get affected.
The bad news is that there are hardly any curriculum available in universities across the world to enhance the above five aspects nor the training pedagogies available today are yet advanced enough to address the above aspects.
Preparing a tangible curriculum to harness and kindle the intangible, is not a forte, more than a handful of educators on the planet can boast of.
The good news is that, yet there are a few who have achieved unprecedented success in this seemingly highly improbable feat. One of them is the global humanitarian, philanthropist & spiritual leader from India, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
, the founder of Art of Living
I was lucky enough to attend a program designed by him called DSN, which allowed me to uncover and enhance those very five aspects of intellect, talent, skill, creativity and dealing with pressure in my career as a Computer Software professional and it worked wonders.
Rather than categorising the DSN as a management program, I would prefer calling it a highly specialised yet universal Leadership program.
It would be a very lame attempt to explain and elaborate the program here and how it has approached those five ingredients of productivity. If you are the type who has the zeal to perform better, and the passion to deliver beyond your perceived and expected domains and you are determined to churn out similar miracles from your teams, I would strongly recommend you take a first had experience of the DSN