Dear Colleagues! This is Asrar Qureshi’s Blog Post #769 for Pharma Veterans. Pharma Veterans welcome sharing of knowledge and wisdom by Veterans for the benefit of Community at large. Pharma Veterans Blog is published by Asrar Qureshi on WordPress, the top blog site. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing your contributions here.
Continued from Previous……
We continue with the suggested cures.
Implement/ Update Technology
Technology has helped to revolutionize the way work is done in every sector, and it is not just about technology industry. Have you been to an embroidery unit lately? One design made by computer and copied into the HMI – Human Machine Interface – is embroidered on a length of cloth simultaneously by 10 – 100 machines in synchronization; the sight is not just awesome; it is powerful to see that a job which otherwise would take hundreds of manhours is done in so much less time with so much more accuracy. Textile manufacturing unit is another beauty in motion; even Pharma manufacturing looks so organized when proper technology is applied, though most smaller units are using outdated technology thereby wasting time and producing less than desirable quality.
Technology is obviously not limited to manufacturing only; the entire office work is also dependent on it. From pirated Windows and MS Office to SAP, organizations are using technology to do work more efficiently. Technology must be embraced, adopted, and harnessed to improve performance and efficiency.
The biggest argument against technology has been that the jobs are lost due to adoption of technology. This is not entirely correct. Jobs are not abolished, these are changed to skilled, knowledge-based jobs. We must understand that more and more jobs are turning into skilled jobs due to complexity and incorporation of technology. Rather than resisting the onslaught of technology, which is irresistible anyway, it is better to learn it and adopt it.
Technology shall bring greater accuracy, precision, efficiency, and cost saving.
Invest in Employee Training and Development
This brings us to the importance of investing in training and development.
The key difference that I have seen between multinational or large, organized companies and national/local companies is that the former train people to follow their systems while the latter do not train and let people work as they consider appropriate. The former not only maintain their integrity, but channelize and converge the capacity, capability, and energy of staff to produce excellent results. The organization stays on course. National/local companies keep swaying back and forth, and people force it to lose course. I have seen organizations losing precious time because one powerful executive made decisions without considering the long-term impacts. These included either not investing in training and development or choosing a wrong direction/consultant.
Unfortunately, we see training in a very now sense. It would be couple of day-long sessions by internal or external trainer on a generic subject. The better way of doing it is to first assess the training need, collective and individual. For collective needs, joint sessions are advisable; for individual needs, one-on-one effort is needed. Or the concerned person may be sent to an external training on that particular topic.
Another important aspect of training and development is on-the-job coaching, which is the responsibility of the line managers. This has become the most neglected area over time. The line managers shun this responsibility and put it back on the shoulders of the employees. The question is that if they had had the capability to auto-learn, they would not be looking for coaching. Every employee needs constant coaching from seniors over the course of his/her career progression. Those who are senior today must have gone through the same process during their formative years.
Technology adoption and upgradation, right hiring, efficient processes, decentralization, all need that the relevant people must be primed through training and development so that they will perform to the desired level.
Implement a Performance Management System
A well-designed performance management system is critical in measuring and tracking employees’ progress towards goals and providing them with regular feedback to improve performance.
Several performance management systems are available, and I have also discussed these in detail in my blogs. The debate about which one is the best is a futile one. What is most suitable for the organization should be picked up and implemented in a simple manner. For the first time, performance Management should preferably be such that it can be understood and practiced wholeheartedly.
Performance management helps to create transparency and credibility in the enterprise. It promotes healthy competitiveness, performance enhancement, employee morale, and employee engagement.
Install Reward and Recognition
Next element would be a fair reward and recognition system which would encourage people to go an extra mile and give their best. Recognition is part of reward system; we may say it is usually the non-financial part of reward. Appreciation, public appreciation, giving certificates, and other such things are ways of recognizing the good work done by someone; rewards may be material, such as cash prizes, incentives, special increments, trips, dinners, and so on, are some forms of rewards.
Only reward and recognition can inspire people to do extraordinary work, nothing else. Coercion, compulsion, punishments, shall result in decline of performance.
Foster a Positive Work Environment
A positive work environment can increase productivity, reduce stress, and improve employee satisfaction. This can be achieved through various strategies such as promoting work-life balance, offering flexible schedules, and encouraging employee engagement and participation.
This may be added that a positive work environment would not be completely anxiety free. I may end with a quote from Scott Stossel, author of the book, ‘My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind’.[Quote] An influential study conducted a hundred years ago by two Harvard psychologists, Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson, demonstrated that moderate levels of anxiety improve performance in humans and animals: too much anxiety, obviously, impairs performance, but so does too little. Their findings have been experimentally demonstrated in both animals and humans many times since then.
“Without anxiety, little would be accomplished,” David Barlow, founder of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, has written. “The performance of athletes, entertainers, executives, artisans, and students would suffer; creativity would diminish; crops might not be planted. And we would all achieve that idyllic state long sought after in our fast-paced society of whiling away our lives under a shade tree. This would be as deadly for the species as nuclear war.” [Unquote]
To be Concluded……
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