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The Dilemma Facing Productivity Measure

Jan 29, 2008
Conducting productivity measurements are important for companies because it gives them a detailed view of how individuals or sectors in their company is fairing in relation to the revenue and profit reports. However, there are several issues that face productivity measurement. These are issues that ring true throughout all sorts of Metric and Performance scale systems of which Productivity Measurements and Metrics are a part of. These issues are constantly being brought into the foreground by different events that occur as a result of productivity measure or with the advocacy of activist groups.

The issues surrounding the conduct of productivity measurement truly puts companies in a dilemma. They are in such a situation because, productivity measures are an integral part of company review and give Company heads and idea about the overall health and status of their institution. A total scan of a company's standing cannot be achieved without any form of productivity measurement. As mentioned in the first paragraph, productivity measures are set up against profit and revenue reports. The company cannot be simply satisfied with impressive revenue reports. They need to look in to the inner workings of the organizations to see which sector has the biggest contribution to the company profit and which sector has the least input.

This is an important factor because responsible companies should not let one sector or department carry a majority of the revenue weight while others don't contribute or perform as much as they should. In that way a healthy balance can be underway to fully achieve equality in work loads. Truly, productivity measures help companies to maintain internal balance.

For all the good that is with Productivity measurements, it still has its downfalls and these downfalls range from catalyzed effects to ethical issues. One negative effect of conducting productivity measure is that of negative conditioning. Negative conditioning occurs when an employee is informed of how he/she fared in the productivity measurement studies. If the employee who before believed that she was doing a great job receives a negative productivity report, the result could go both ways. It may catalyze positive conditioning where in the employee strive to do better than what the data presents, or it could go in the opposite direction and the employee could sarcastically choose to stand up for and be the employee with the low productivity levels as had been reported. We refer to this phenomenon as negative mental conditioning and are what companies strive to avoid.

The ethical and perhaps most mentioned and common issue with any performance and productivity metric system is that: It is degrading to reduce the Performance of Human Employees into numbers that have been achieved subjectively. Human rights activist believe that Productivity measurement reports do not give employees enough chance to defend themselves and their actions. The numbers are taken from one specific time frame without any penance to what external factors may have brought on such results. Therefore, an employee is judge for a random bit of activity and not his/her overall attitude.
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