Are You Wasting Your White-Collar Workforce?

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One of the major concerns of any manufacturing organization is productivity. While downsizing and cost-cutting are common practices in any bid to improve productivity, organizations should also watch out for white-collar productivity. Read on to find out the whys and hows...

Manufacturing professionals swear by the word ''productivity.'' Its measure plays a significant role in the careers of these professionals. To improve productivity and control financial problems in an organization, manufacturing managers put a cap on labor costs through early retirement schemes, hiring freezes, cost-cutting drives, and more. The most dreaded strategy is to downsize a workforce, as doing so severely affects the morale and confidence of workers in the system. However, most of the aforementioned techniques have been affecting blue-collar workers, while the white-collar workforce has remained largely unaffected by such efforts.

One reason for this is that thorough assessments of white-collar productivity have typically gone undone as managers tackle the overall financial problems in their organizations. White-collar employees are, then, in many cases, an untapped resource that has great potential to relieve an organization of its productivity woes. Here are some ways to tap that resource more fully:

  • Recruit a white-collar staff member only after a thorough analysis of the need for the position for which he or she is being recruited.

  • Define the roles and expectations for a newly recruited white-collar employee and clearly communicate them right at the beginning. You can help a new recruit quickly take up his or her responsibilities by communicating clearly about the organization’s priorities and how he or she fits into the system.

  • Enable people to perform their responsibilities more efficiently by providing them with the necessary information and equipment. Provide your white-collar workforce with the tools and knowledge they need to help them turn their projects around quickly.

  • Training, especially in a manufacturing organization, can boost the performance and productivity of employees. As new technologies come in and new processes are adopted to make systems more efficient, white-collar employees need to be constantly updated and trained on these new developments. Such knowledge not only helps them increase their productivity but also increases their confidence in their ability to perform their duties with greater efficiency.

  • Constant feedback and mentoring helps white-collar professionals to improve their performance and take corrective actions if they are not getting results for the organization. Regular feedback makes them feel that their actions are noticed and are important to the organization. Manufacturing managers should take time out to coach white-collar employees and work together with them to find out ways to help them improve their productivity.

  • White-collar workers are frequently preoccupied with many unproductive tasks that consume a lot of precious time during working hours. Unending meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and reports can end up wasting huge amounts of white-collar employees’ time. Manufacturing managers should set rules and guidelines for conducting meetings and encourage the careful utilization of time.

  • The biggest role manufacturing managers can play in improving the productivity of their white-collar workforce is to make them take ownership of their job responsibilities. If managers succeed in making this happen, the need for them to extract productivity from their team significantly reduces and they will have a highly motivated workforce that is self-driven.

By ignoring the need to improve the productivity of their white-collar employees, manufacturing managers are wasting a huge opportunity to improve their organizations’ productivity. In today’s fiercely competitive world, this can prove disastrous to the standing of the organization in the marketplace.
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Popular tags:

 labor costs  careers  methods  responsibility  communication  organizations  manufacturing managers

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