Is IT Now Becoming The Cause Of Low Productivity In Organizations?
Although companies all over the globe are constantly introducing IT innovation into organizations, they are still unable to achieve their targeted productivity.
This decline in the productivity despite integrating innovative solutions in business has been explained by Yves Morieux of the Boston consulting Group (BCG), a management consultancy that tries to figure out and develop researches over cases of management and organizational structures. According to Morieux, businesses are failing to achieve increased productivity despite investing heavily in technology. Also explained in the research conducted, the studies revealed that a constant decline has been witnessed in the past decade among leading economies. If we look at the economic growth in the 1970s, all the leading economies by the end of each year grew by 5% whereas today economic growth rate is just about 1% max, stressed Morieux.
According to the research, the underlying problem in the decline in productivity is that organizations are introducing innovative technology rapidly but failing to match it with the rest of the business; mainly employees. Not only that, whenever businesses introduced new technology in terms of information and communications, the impact was negative. The reason: zero collaboration.
Morieux stressed that the companies worked the same way they used to 40 years back. The same way duties were delegated, tasks were assigned and reported and everything went smoothly. So what really changed? Today, it has become much different and complex.
Digitalized tasks but also more complex
BCG suggested that as a result of increased reliance on technology, organizations, instead of becoming more efficient, were becoming more complex. Organizations have opted for more automated complexity before realizing that their employees may not be able to comprehend or collaborate as a response. The research also stressed that instead of investing in more technological advancements, companies must invest more in employee collaboration and productivity.
To counter this problem, companies must rethink their management structure. They need to redesign the roles delegated to managers and they way they perform their assigned tasks. Mangers need to buck up their game when it comes to encouraging more and more employees by appreciation, recognition and awards for good performance; more effectively than they used to do in the past. The art is not to redesign the structures from scratch but only to liberate the core systems. This is what will maximize the potentials of the employees by boosting their motivation levels and ultimately resulting in increased productivity.
Companies will require fewer IT systems and other resources if they are able to create a culture of employee collaboration within the organization. If you take a look at the following example, you may be able to fully understand the direct relationship of employee collaboration and IT systems.
There was a European railway company which consistently failed to attain punctuality. Whenever they encountered a delay in the arrival of train, the company — employing a 165,000 workforce — conducted investigations as to what might have led to the delay. Once the employees heard of the investigation, they tried to cover up by not informing their colleagues as no one wanted to take the blame. Just because the company had opened the investigation, it saw an 80% to 89% jump rate in the punctuality of the workforce.
Improving collaboration in the workforce, companies will soon realize that they require less investments in IT systems. Lastly, researchers believe that in order to encourage on spot collaboration more time, resources and advanced systems are required.