2 2 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT How To Use This Tool This self-assessment productivity tool is designed for the owners and managers of small-to-medium businesses. It is not designed to provide you with a scientific analysis of your business s performance but it may get you thinking about areas in which you can make improvements in your business practice, based on the seven productivity drivers identified. Feel free to modify this tool to suit the needs of your organisation and employees. If you want a more sophisticated analysis, there are a range of tools on the market that can help you to do this. Workplace productivity initiatives can bring enormous benefits for any organisation. They help to create the sort of environment where people work well as a team and new ideas can flourish. People feel more motivated and valued which helps organisations to recruit and retain skilled staff. Over time, workplace productivity initiatives also boost the bottom line and create wealth and opportunities which benefit everyone. Many New Zealand businesses are already experiencing this. Further advice and resources on workplace productivity are available from industry bodies, professional associations, government, business consultants and other providers as well as on the Workplace Productivity website: CONTENTS Workplace Productivity Snapshot 3 Building Leadership and Management Capability 4 Creating Productive Workplace Cultures 6 Encouraging Innovation and the Use of Technology 8 Investing in People and Skills 10 Organising Work 12 Networking and Collaboration 14 Measuring What Matters 16 What to do with this Questionnaire 18 Action Plan 19 Workplace Productivity Partners 22
3 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 3 Snapshot This questionnaire is designed to help you assess how productive your workplace is. It also includes ideas on how your organisation can improve its workplace productivity. It will give you a snapshot of how efficiently your business is currently managed and how well it uses its staff and resources. It also looks at how your workplace is organised and how your workplace culture impacts on the overall productivity of your business. Depending on where you work and what job you do, some of the questions may not be relevant to your situation. Just answer the ones which apply to your job or organisation. You may wish to photocopy and distribute this survey to other managers and employees within your business to get their views. Workplace productivity is about discussing all the ways that your organisation could be working smarter, so this tool can be a great starting point for any team discussion. Local and international research has identified seven drivers that can improve the productivity of your business. They are: Building Leadership and Management Capability Creating Productive Workplace Cultures Encouraging Innovation and the Use of Technology Investing in People and Skills Organising Work Networking and Collaboration Measuring What Matters With this simple tool you can assess how your organisation is performing against these seven drivers. Improving workplace productivity involves exploring all the ways that a workplace can do things better and smarter. Each workplace will have their own way to do this.
4 4 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 1. Building Leadership and Management Capability Effective leadership is about everyone having a clear vision of where an organisation is heading. It s about identifying new opportunities and inspiring people and the teams they work in to pursue those opportunities. Key things to consider about the leadership in your organisation: Leadership needs to be developed at every level of an organisation, not just amongst managers. Leading by example is an essential factor in creating a more productive workplace. Effective leadership means being able to adapt to change and motivate people. Leadership means ensuring staff have the skills and resources to improve their performance and go on learning Does our workplace encourage leadership at every level of our organisation? 1.2. Does our organisation do succession planning for all jobs so there are clear career paths for staff? ALWAYS SOME VERY LITTLE NOT AT ALL DON T KNOW 1.3. Do our managers lead by example and create a positive and productive work environment? 1.4. Does our organisation invest in development and training for its managers? 1.5. Does our workplace support innovative thinking and make use of new ideas? RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
5 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 5 What To Measure? Here are some things your business may want to keep track of: the percentage of your wage and salary bill spent on leadership and management training; the percentage number of total vacancies filled by internal appointments; key indicators from employee feedback surveys. Help Available For a full range of information to meet your business needs, visit Leadership and management training is widely available throughout New Zealand. For further information contact: Chambers of Commerce Employers and Manufacturers Associations The Institute of Directors The New Zealand Institute of Management Mentoring is another way that managers can benefit from the insights and experience of other business people. One provider of mentoring services is Business Mentors New Zealand NZ Trade and Enterprise provides a free Enterprise Training Scheme which is aimed at upskilling the owners and operators of SMEs Funding of up to $3,000 for training or mentoring is also available from NZ Trade & Enterprise Enterprise Development Grants Your Notes (Write down your ideas for improving leadership and management in your workplace.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
6 6 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 2. Creating Productive Workplace Cultures Positive relationships between staff, teams and managers are a feature of productive workplaces. Creating a positive work environment: motivates people and makes them feel valued helps people commit to an organisation encourages people to go the extra mile. A productive workplace culture is also one that values and shares people s insights and experience. These ideas can help your workplace to do things smarter and make your organisation more innovative and productive over time Do people in our workplace treat each other well and value each others ideas? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW 2.2. Do our staff share the same goals and values? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW 2.3. Does everyone in our organisation get the chance to suggest how they could improve their part of the business? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NONE DON T KNOW 2.4. Does our organisation reward people for participating and suggesting good ideas? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW 2.5. Does our workplace gather feedback from staff on our work environment and any ideas staff have for improving it? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
7 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 7 What To Measure? Indicators for your business to keep track of include: the staff turnover rates the amount of sick leave taken the time lost through workplace injuries employee feedback. Surveys of staff satisfaction can be quickly designed, circulated and analysed. Templates are easily available from internet sites or there are a range of providers of surveys for larger firms. Such a survey might include questions on employee knowledge of job roles, of organisational direction, and their perception of working relationships, and their own empowerment. Unlimited magazine s annual 20 Best places to work survey is one example for firms wanting to benchmark their performance Help Available For a full range of information to meet your business needs, visit In addition to organisations listed on page 5, here are more organisations you can contact for advice: Your local or national Chambers of Commerce or business association Your local or national union The Human Resource Institute of New Zealand For those workplaces with a union presence, the government has established the Partnership Resource Centre to help employers and unions to build positive workplace relationships. Your Notes (Write down your ideas on ways you can create a more positive workplace environment.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
8 8 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 3. Encouraging Innovation and the Use of Technology Innovation is key to raising workplace productivity. Innovative and productive workplaces: encourage all staff to think of ways to create new products and improve existing services keep up with the play and use new technology plan and organise themselves well employ and value people with good skills and ideas. Creating new products or services or just doing things better are vital ways of growing your business. You may be innovative on a small scale or you can introduce entirely new technology, products and services. Your company s ability to innovate will depend on a range of factors the skills of your employees, your workplace culture, how your work is organised and a shared vision of where your business is heading. 3.1 Does our organisation invest in research and the development of new ideas, products or services? 3.2 Are staff asked about what new technology could be useful to introduce into our organisation? 3.3 Do staff receive training when new technology is introduced? FULL TRAINING SOME TRAINING LITTLE TRAINING NOT AT ALL DON T KNOW 3.4 Is our workplace open to new ideas and doing things differently? 3.5 Are there opportunities for staff to suggest new ideas or processes? RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
9 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 9 What To Measure? Indicators for your business to keep track of include: the amount of money invested in research and development the staff time allocated to internet/other research the staff time spent on training related to new technology. Help Available For guidance on innovation, new product development and a new guide on E-Commerce for all sizes of organisation, visit Employers associations and Chambers of Commerce are good sources of advice for increasing innovation in your organisation. Technology New Zealand offers a comprehensive suite of grant schemes that help businesses develop and adopt new technology. Your Notes (Write down your ideas for encouraging new ideas and better use of technology in your workplace.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
10 10 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 4. Investing in People and Skills The more skills your staff have, the more innovative they can be. The more skills staff have, the more they can contribute. Skilled staff: are more capable with new technology work more quickly with fewer mistakes require less supervision and accept more responsibility, and are better communicators. An organisation s commitment to training is important for raising skills and creating a highly-skilled workforce. Effective training leads to higher skills and wages and lower staff turnover Do staff receive the training they need to be effective? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW 4.2. Are there opportunities in our workplace for all staff to have formal learning (e.g. Industry qualifications, job specific training)? ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES SOME OPPORTUNITIES HARDLY EVER OPPORTUNITIES NO OPPORTUNITIES DON T KNOW 4.3. Are there opportunities in our workplace for experienced employees to support/coach/mentor less experienced staff? ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES SOME OPPORTUNITIES HARDLY EVER OPPORTUNITIES NO OPPORTUNITIES DON T KNOW 4.4. How are staff reading, writing, maths and computing skills? ALL HAVE EXCELLENT SKILLS SOME HAVE GOOD SKILLS HARDLY ANY HAVE GOOD SKILLS NONE HAVE GOOD SKILLS DON T KNOW 4.5. Do our staff have personal career development discussions or plans? ALL HAVE CAREER PLANS SOME HAVE CAREER PLANS HARDLY ANY HAVE CAREER PLANS NONE HAVE CAREER PLANS DON T KNOW RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
11 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 11 What To Measure? Indicators for your business to keep track of include: the percentage of wages and salary bill spent on staff training the number of hours/days training per employee per year the percentage of employees with up-to-date career development plans. Help Available For assistance on skill development and training issues, visit The Employers associations, Chambers of Commerce and your local union will be able to provide advice and resources to help your organisation develop the skills of your staff. Contact your relevant Industry Training Organisations (ITO). A list of accredited ITOs can be found at Skillnz is a joint initiative between government, Business New Zealand and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. The Skillnz website is for anyone interested in workplace learning employers, employees and students. WorkSite PaeMahi is also a great source of information on how to access workplace training. Your Notes (Write down your ideas about how you plan to raise skills in your workplace.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
12 12 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 5. Organising Work A well-organised workplace is able to get the best out its staff and technology. It values everyone s contribution and encourages people to share information and ideas. Productive workplaces have structures and processes that enable them to adapt and grow as products, technology and markets change. 5.1 Do staff understand their role in helping our organisation achieve its goals? ALL DO SOME DO A FEW DO NO EMPLOYEES DO DON T KNOW 5.2 Does our workplace recognise and reward people whose efforts support our firm s goals? YES FOR ALL YES FOR SOME FOR A FEW NOT AT ALL DON T KNOW 5.3 Does our workplace regularly analyse work processes and work flows? 5.4 Does our organisation encourage staff to suggest ways to improve our products, services or the way we work? ALWAYS SOMETIMES HARDLY EVER NEVER DON T KNOW 5.5 Do staff regularly share information between teams, and work areas? RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
13 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 13 What To Measure? Indicators for your business to keep track of include: the costs of product defects, rejects or re-working the costs of inspections or quality tests the time spent on customer complaints the down-time. Help Available A free publication on business practices called Foundations for Growth is available from There are a number of ways you can improve your work processes and methodologies. You can use consultants or business tools such as Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and Business Excellence Frameworks and the ISO 9000 standards. Your local employers associations, chambers and industry associations can advise you on suitable providers. Other useful New Zealand organisations include: The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation The New Zealand Organisation for Quality ISO 9000 and a range of other standards can be purchased from Standards NZ Your Notes (Write down your ideas for improving the way work is organised and how information is shared in your workplace.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
14 14 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 6. Networking and Collaboration You can also improve your workplace productivity by exchanging ideas and information with others in your industry. Networking or collaborating with others: reduces the cost of doing business provides access to new ideas and new technologies creates new opportunities for your business locally and internationally Is our organisation well linked to other people and organisations in our industry or sector (ie local or national organisations)? YES, THERE ARE STRONG LINKS THERE ARE SOME LINKS THERE ARE VERY FEW LINKS THERE ARE NO LINKS DON T KNOW 6.2. Has our organisation explored opportunities for working with or entering into joint ventures with others? YES A LOT YES SOME ONCE NOT AT ALL DON T KNOW 6.3. How would you describe our organisation s relationship with its suppliers? EXCELLENT GOOD ADEQUATE POOR DON T KNOW 6.4. How would you describe our organisation s relationship with other people or organisations it works with regularly (e.g. designers, distributors, wholesalers)? EXCELLENT GOOD ADEQUATE POOR DON T KNOW 6.5. Is our organisation connected with any local, regional or national government agencies or programmes (e.g. NZ Trade & Enterprise)? YES A LOT YES SOME YES VERY FEW NONE DON T KNOW RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Yes/Excellent 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
15 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 15 What To Measure? Indicators for your business to keep track of include: the quality of relationships with suppliers and related businesses the quality of internal relationships between teams/departments. Help Available For ideas on collaboration and networking, visit Belonging to your Employers Manufacturers Association, local Chambers of Commerce, industry or trade association is a great way to network. NZ Trade and Enterprise provides support for Business Clusters. These are companies that collaborate to grow their business. The Enterprise Networks programme assists businesses to build their capability and undertake international market development, if required. For more information visit Your Notes (Write down your ideas about how to improve your workplace networking and collaboration.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
16 16 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 7. Measuring What Matters It is really important to assess the value of any investment your organisation makes in improving its workplace productivity. Keeping track of this will help your organisation find out the things that are making the biggest difference. For example, how much of a difference is a new training initiative making? What is the impact of a new product or service? Has new technology brought any new efficiencies? What is the staff retention rate? 7.1. Is our organisation able to collect the information it needs, to assess how well it is doing? 7.2. Does our organisation regularly measure a range of key performance measures/indicators that go beyond just financial performance? 7.3. Does everyone know what our organisation s key performance measures are? ALL DO SOME DO A FEW DO NONE DO DON T KNOW 7.4. Does our organisation measure or monitor customer satisfaction, employee morale and supplier feedback? 7.5. Do we benchmark our operation against industry best practice? RATING: TO RECORD THE RESULTS, CALCULATE YOUR POINTS FOR EACH QUESTION Always 5 Sometimes 4 Hardly Ever 3 Not at all 2 Don t know 1 Total for section /25
17 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 17 What To Measure? A range of simple indicators to measure your business workplace productivity have been given in the preceding pages. However, only you can identify the appropriate key indicators for your business. Always look for indictors that: reflect the goals of your business are critical to its success are measurable and comparable reflect soft measures, such as quality of relationships. Your employees should be encouraged to help identify key indicators relevant to their work. Help Available For ideas on basic business information requirements, visit Your accountant or other advisors may be able to advise you on the types of things to measure to improve your productivity and general business performance. Employers associations, Chambers of Commerce and industry associations also run training courses or seminars on business performance reporting. Your Notes (Write down your ideas for measuring what matters in your workplace.) ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
18 18 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT What to do with this Questionnaire We hope this tool has helped you identify areas in which you can improve the productivity of your business. There are seven sections in this questionnaire. The most points you can get for each section is 25/25. The least points for each section is 5/25. The total for all seven sections is /175 so add your sections together to get your total points. You might like to set up a simple spreadsheet (see below) that allocates scores for each question. (For example, allocate points of or 1 for each question from left to right). This will give you an overview of all the responses. Then you can compare the results (for example, between teams, or between managers and staff) to see how different people perceive your firm s strengths and weaknesses. Please use the results of this analysis to begin discussions at all levels of your organisation. Discussions could focus on how your workplace practices could change to improve productivity. WHERE TO GET FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY Case studies of New Zealand businesses who have made productivity gains and further information about workplace productivity, including links to useful organisations, are shown on the Workplace Productivity website:
19 ACTION PLAN 19 PRODUCTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE TEMPLATE After completing each section of the productivity questionnaire, it is important to develop a brief action plan based on the section driver or thoughts that have arisen while completing it. This makes any follow-up action more meaningful and is also a useful reference to go back to at a later date. GOOD ACTION PLANS are simple and straightforward contain items that can be implemented at work, with or without support or any resources that might be available contain comments on the methods to be used, the resource required and the timings: start, finish times or dates, for all the action items (use SMART Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Timebound). Finally, action plans should be achievable in a work context. Action plans should not contain more items than the company can handle without undue delay or without creating problems at work. If the action list appears to be too complex or long, items should be scheduled for progressive introduction, when prior items have been completed.
20 20 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT ACTION PLAN SIMPLE ACTION PLAN ACTIONS PERSON RESPONSIBLE DATE
21 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 21 ACTION PLAN Implementation THINGS TO THINK ABOUT Complete this sheet for each item/all items included on the action plan: 1. What productivity action do you intend implementing? 2. How will you involve staff in the planning and implementation of these actions? 3. What barriers might impede your implementation? 4. How will you avoid or overcome these barriers? 5. When do you intend to start implementing the action? 6. By when do you intend to complete the implementation of the action? 7. What resources (people, equipment, extra skills, etc.) will you need to successfully implement the action? 8. What benefits do you hope will result from your actions (including financials if possible to assess)? 9. Commitment: when will you and your managers/staff meet: a) to discuss the implementation of your plan; and b) to review the progress of this action? 10. By which targets will you measure progress? What other indicators of success will be relevant? 11. How will you communicate this success to staff and how can you build on this success through further initiatives? 12. Any other comments
22 22 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT Workplace Productivity Partners WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY PARTNERS Business NZ Business NZ is a national business organisation that promotes a competitive growing economy and higher living standards through business success. New Zealand Chambers of Commerce New Zealand Chambers of Commerce encourage regional business development by providing opportunities, products and services that will improve the success and vitality of business. New Zealand Council of Trade Unions The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is the united voice for working people and their families in New Zealand, and brings together over 300,000 New Zealand union members in 34 affiliated unions. Department of Labour The Department of Labour provides information, services and support covering almost every aspect of work. The Department also manages the Workplace Productivity website: which has an extensive list of useful links.
23 WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY SNAPSHOT 23 Feedback on whether the tool was useful or any other ideas/resources that might be helpful can be sent to: Workplace Productivity Project Team Department of Labour P.O. Box 3705 Wellington New Zealand Telephone: Fax: Website:
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Note: Some of the following information may not be relevant for your business type. However, this should provide you with a clear guide so that you cover everything you need to write a comprehensive business
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