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Home»Blog»The Productivity Secrets Of The World's Most Successful Companies

Any modern company seeks to increase its competitibeness a particular. Differeny methods are used for this. The most effective of thesese is to optimize employee work or improve theris productivity. This method is extremely popoular in European countries, America and Japan. 

In the United States there is even a whole system for measuring the indicator of productivity - the Total Productivity Measure.  Its essence - takes into account the time spent by the employee on the manufacture of products, the amount of raw materials and the number of priducts produced.

Why else do you need to know the exact indicator of labor productivity? It helps to compare the company's activities with competitors, draw up  a strategic development plan, from specific goals for the near future and understand how to manage personnel.

There  are various tools to improve employee proiductivity. Introduction of new equipment. staff development. employee motivation (Reduced working hours. rewars for high - quality work. travel expenses. bonusese). effective discipline. positive work attitude. organization of a comfortable workplace (correctly selected color palette in the office space)

Basic approaches to labor optimization 

There are two main approaches to labor optimization- Eastern (Japanese) and Western (European). They can be used by enterprises for various purposese - manufacturing, aqricultutal, industrial. highly specialized. multi-profile. administrative and economic, etc.

The Eastern approach involves the optimization of working methods - reseaching the problem and creating a new instuction. When employees start working on it, the existing standatrs and their number will change. The vector of the Japanese approach tends from the bottom up, that is from optimization methods to final goals.

The Western approach  assumes a radically different optimization method - first, the most achievable goal for the enterprise is indicated, and only measures are taken to implement it.

Lean more about the oriental (Japanese) approach 

According to this approach, the company is viewed as an integral system of inerrelates processes - elimination of the losses, personnel involvement, inventory management, bulit in quality. All this is implemented using proven tools - Poka-Yoke, 5S, Kanaban, Kazien. And also with help of the corporate culture of the eneterprise, focused on the collective solution of the problem that has arisen.

The Eastern approach is diffucult to implement in European countries. Beacuse there is a lack of leadership, a lack of necessary skills, resistance to an establishes corporate culture, a lack of understading by employees of the new methods and straegies that are being introduced as part of the Lean transformation.

In Japan, this approach he as taken root perfectly thanks to its specific management culture. For example, emplyees of a 4F2 (consensus) company quckliy restructure and start working under new regulations/ At the same time, they love detaliled instuctions - when a short workflow is descibed in several pages. 

Japanrsr workers are readt to jointle search for optimical solutions. They always act in concert and as one team. If a new norm  of a new  rule is introduced, then no emplyee violates her/him.

The European culture of management is a bit different. Here, the focus is not on regulations and detailed instructions, but on performers (employees, specific people).

For example, executive in a Japanese company were very concerned about the performance level of a particular department. The send the following request to staff to take this issuse into account.

The team discussese it and looks for the main reasons for the drop in productivity. The norms and rules are adopted based on the research  carrird out, From momen of updating the regulations, all employess begin to comply with each of its clauses.

Lean more about the Western approach 

It consists of a measurement and brechmarking system. When measured, the main indicator is OEE. This is the value that determines the efficiency of the use of production assets. It consists of 3 key compoments:

  • the duration of the downti,e of existing equipment;
  • speed of work execution;
  • percetage of good products and rejection rate

After receiving all the OEE data, the company compares it with the performance of a competitor with similar equipmeny. The second way - the obtained values are compared with the maxixmum possible indicators, which can be carried out only with the ,aximum operation of the existing equipment. In this way, the company lears what goals it need to achieve.

After setting goals, you can begin to identify the causes of low productivity and plan for changes. The most common reasons are:

  • incorrect sequence of operations;
  • use of excess equipment capacity;
  • incorrect arrangement of machiens at the facility;
  • erronoeus distibution of duties  between  employees;
  • incomplete use of production facilities

Most often in European companies, specialists who a not a part of the the headquarters are engaged in measuring and optimizing labor. There are hired managers who are experienced in solving problems assiciated with low productivity. The reason is imple - their specialists are reluctant to introduce new changes in order increase productivity.

The essence of the Western approach is that you first need to collect information and design changes and only tthen involve personnel. The essence of the Eastern approach in the continuous improvement of the regulations by the emplyees of the company. In this case, the team approach plays a crirtical role. 

That is, if you company is not ready to deeply study the reasons for low productivity and carry out large-scale changes in the work of personnel, then you need to be guided by principles of the European (Western) approcah, choosing achievable goals. If you are ready for serious analysis and transformation, then proceed according to the Estern approach. 

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