Galina Akhmerova: ‘The feeling of pride of yourself and the team is the basis of any positive changes’
An expert in the labour market about ways of boosting workforce productivity of a company in new conditions
In the conditions of restricted imports and disruption of logistic changes, it became harder to run a business in Russia. Enhancing workforce productivity became a reply to this challenge and an effective solution to the problem. In an op-ed column for Realnoe Vremya, founder of Darwin Modern Education Accessibility Development Fund, former top manager of BARS Group and creator of Round career guidance app for teenagers Galina Akhmerova reflects on how companies can optimise their resources in the current conditions and at the same time expand their production.
How companies try to increase productivity
Today managers of companies, especially heads of HR departments, have faced tough challenges. On the one hand, it is necessary to optimise costs and boost productivity, on the other hand, to try to save and retain the skeleton of the company, its foundation.
In the mid-term, workforce productivity can go up by raising the workload on the existing staff. This is a movement to burnout and demotivation. I know cases when entire teams of engineers left enterprises because of constant overload and it was either impossible to replace their competences or it was much more expensive and longer.
The optimisation of business processes, digitalisation, introduction of smart and saving technologies is a long process and has a delayed effect on productivity. Most teams are ready to take this road only during an economic growth.
I think the work with employees is important and primordial in increasing productivity. And here there is a division again: tangible and non-tangible stimulation.
Intangible motivation and understanding of the mission
Tangible stimulation is needed because nobody has cancelled Maslow’s classic pyramid. However, there is a nuance: it is important to achieve a decent level to satisfy the basic needs, but one should understand that this won’t be enough in the long term. The effect from such a measure will be sudden and perceptible and then become insignificant.
Intangible motivation is a by far more important factor few people pay due attention to:
- understanding and sharing the mission, goals and values of the company;
- understanding your consumers;
- understanding the benefit you make to a product or service by your work.
The feeling of pride of yourself and your team is the basis of any positive changes in the company, moreover, both to boost the efficacy of processes and raise the quality of products and services that are provided, which has a paramount effect on business indicators of any enterprise.
Contests for families, competitions, stands with the best employees continue working, but companies look for modern solutions that will become their competitive edge in the market.
Contemporary instruments to retain employees
Now there are a lot of interesting cases when elements of gamification are introduced to improve workforce efficacy. Companies actively launch ambassador movements inside the team as teambuilding measures.
The establishment of horizontal links between employees is becoming an interesting tendency. In this sphere, the pandemic played into our hands and stimulated the development of this process. “Soft engagement” is in vogue: common interests, informal communication and, most importantly, the stimulation of employees’ initiative and the team’s creative activity.
Free coffee and biscuits in the office are gradually becoming a thing of the past. For instance, Lenta store actively works with its employees’ children: the company invites the lads to excursions to show what their parents do. The response is positive, it is important for parents to be significant in their children’s eyes, to know their children are proud of them. How to see and understand what mum and dad do at work if not in practice?
After gaining huge working experience with the youth, now we help companies to launch up-to-date instruments to retain employees by creating a corporate social network based on Round app.
The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the position of Realnoe Vremya’s editorial board.