By Natashia Barnabas, IR Manager at Workforce Staffing

Productivity is critical to business survival, and the heart of productivity is the workforce. However, if this metric is not measured effectively, businesses may not understand why profitability and efficiency are being negatively impacted, and resort to employing more staff instead of addressing the root cause of the issue. Partnering with a trusted Temporary Employment Services (TES) provider ensures that the workforce maintains and even improves efficiency. In addition, a TES partner will handle all Human Resources (HR) and payroll needs, leaving businesses free to focus on core competencies rather than admin-intensive tasks.

Measuring workforce efficiency

Productivity issues mean that the required output is not being met, for example where you need to be reaching a certain target daily, but these figures are not being achieved. In addition, the quality of work may be deteriorating, meaning that products or output are below the standard required.

Finally, negligence may be rife, which will be costing the company money due to mistakes being made either by acts or omissions on duty. For example, if a picker and packer scans the incorrect items on an order and this gets packed and sent out to a client, it will subsequently be returned due to wrong items received, costing money, impacting productivity and efficiency, and causing reputational harm.

A TES provider can assist organisations by measuring both productivity and efficiency in a variety of ways. The most basic is a walkthrough on site to ascertain the various aspects of each department in terms of the number of employees, output to be met for the day, availability of tools of trade, workspace and the dynamics of the current operations. This helps to identify any gaps and challenges, which the TES provider can use to formulate solutions tailored to the business needs.

Upholding the law

In addition to identifying where performance issues may exist, a TES provider can help organisations to deal with this in accordance with the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which prescribes processes for handling various types of situations that arise with employees. For example, poor work performance, misconduct, strikes, retrenchments and the like. When hiring employees, it is essential that the signed contract of employment includes a comprehensive (but non-exhaustive) list of duties contained in a Job Description (JD) along with all the relevant terms and conditions of employment. This must be explained to the employee, understood by the employee and there must be acknowledgement of what is expected of him/her. At this point, the employee should also be given the opportunity to advise the company of any assistance or training that is required. 

Implementing a Key Performance Index (KPI) monitoring system is also important in any workplace, so that employees can be evaluated by specific measurable factors in the course and scope of their duties. This will determine if they are meeting their targets and/or achieving the company expectations.  It can also be used, for instance, in conjunction with the company’s employee incentive schemes policy which seeks to reward employees for good work and high achievements, as well as create motivation amongst employees. This will assist employees to also rate themselves and place into perspective what their actual level of performance is (as per company facts and figures), compared to their own perceived level. Employees can use this to better themselves and employers can use this to upskill employees. The company should assist where possible during this process.

When an employee is identified as not being able to meet the desired expectations for unknown reasons, they should first be consulted with to discuss the issues and challenges that they might be facing. However, if the problem persists, they can be placed on a formal ‘poor work performance’ process to improve their performance. This process is two-pronged and complex, involving a first facilitation and a final facilitation. Only if all other avenues have been exhausted, such as training, coaching and mentoring, and all alternatives explored (to be demoted or transferred to another position within the business, if available), can the employee be subject to termination. 

TES for greater efficiency and enhanced performance

An experienced, trusted, and holistic TES provider will have the values of honesty, integrity, and efficiency at the core of their business, and will be able to align with a business to enhance productivity. The right TES partner will provide compliant and practical staffing solutions that make business sense, ensuring businesses can focus on growing their core business while the TES partner will proceed to engage with the workforce in terms of labour legislation, recruitment, vetting, payroll, and payroll queries, performance, and discipline management and more. 

In addition, an expert TES provider is able to source the best resources across all aspects of a business, from sales and operations to Commercial, Legal, Industrial Relations, Payroll. A comprehensive TES partner can also offer employees benefits through subsidiary companies for personal loans, healthcare, training, internships and learnerships, helping to ensure employee happiness and wellbeing and contributing to a positive workforce, which in turn boosts productivity.

Cultivating an environment for success

Dealing with productivity issues after they arise is a time consuming and labour-intensive process that must follow the letter of the law precisely. To ensure maximum productivity, it is always better to implement business specific policies and procedures, as well as put KPIs in place from the outset, which must be continuously measured and monitored. In addition, it is essential to create a working environment that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. The right TES partner can provide a comprehensive, tailor-made services for both the client and the employee, with an extensive data base of employees with vast skills and experience in all sectors, to ensure they can recruit the right staff and deliver the best business solutions to drive operations and boost production and profits.

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