Leadership & Culture Increases Productivity

There is a lot of talk at the moment regarding New Zealand’s productivity but little focus on the two areas that will have the greatest impact according to Chris Bell, Managing Director of Customer Experiences a company specialising in business growth using a customer experience strategic approach.

Bell states that business will struggle to improve productivity performance if employees continue to work in cultures where they lack motivation, inspiration, recognition and professional skill development to do anything other than the bare minimum in order to hold down a job and pick up a pay cheque.

Bell highlights a New Zealand survey that came out in May this year saying “poor work culture and a lack of workplace leadership are costing NZ business more than 2.6 billion a year”. It went on to say less than 45% of those surveyed had trust and confidence in their work leadership and less than 47% felt their leaders management style improves their productivity.

It is difficult to see how productivity will increase when you read these types of surveys.
Bell said these results back up what he sees out there in the market and it frustrates him that leadership either can’t see or chooses to ignore the impact their leadership styles are having on the culture and productivity of their businesses.

The question that continues to be asked as we linger down the bottom of the OECD in productivity performance is how we improve and what needs to change.
Some organisations think that technology is one of the answers, especially when technology eliminates the human factor in industries like manufacturing and service industries where repetitive tasks like checking in at an Airport. Generally as customers we are happy to work with this technology especially as the human alternative was never that great.

However, we are a long way off eliminating humans from business so; Bell believes that 3 things need to change-

1) Business leaders must understand that it is from their leadership that the culture of an organisation comes.

2) Employees need to be more aware and understanding of the types of business culture that will allow them to develop and be the best they can possibly be.

3) As customers we want and respond positively to human contact. When we have great customer experiences we can’t wait to tell others. The issue is, that we are not having many great customer experiences – in fact too many are ordinary, frustrating or just annoying. Business leaders also need to understand just how much damage is being done to their business from negative word of mouth and the impact this has internally on morale and productivity.

When leaders understand the leadership style and culture that is required to increase their productivity and profitability, they will start to attract the kind of people that respond positivity to that environment and if they focus on giving those people all that they need to do their very best productivity will start to improve.

For more information email chris@customerexperiences.co.nz www.customerexperiences.co.nz

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