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POST TIME: 9 August, 2019 11:59:21 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 August, 2019 11:59:49 AM
Productivity movement and its application in public sector
Balanced growth and development of an organisation as well as a nation is only possible by adapting and maintaining continuous productivity movement
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed

Productivity movement and its application in public sector

Productivity in general is the efficiency measured by comparing the amount produced with time taken or the resources used to produce it. It is a body of knowledge and management practice aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations. Productivity strives for improvement of the organizational systems through better work methods, cost reduction, timeliness and better technology. It is a set of management practices that translate the attitude into efforts and teamwork.
Productivity has long been recognized globally as the 'prime tool' for the development of a nation. A nation cannot flourish and prosper without continuous productivity effort in all sectors. It is the precondition for real growth and development of a country. There is an established fact that where there is no productivity in goods and services there is no improvement or development of a nation. Productivity is important in keeping your organization not only dynamic but also up to date, vibrant, and relevant to society. It addresses and looks for more cost-effective ways of accomplishing organizational vision and missions. Productivity helps to restore trust with the concerned stakeholders (including clients, citizens and employees), by prioritizing objectives, by improving effectiveness and efficiency and by providing accountability for results. In fact, continuous productivity effort can not only ensure balance growth of a nation but also lead towards sustainable development. Since the mid 1970s' governments throughout the world have been increasingly concerned with adapting productivity effort for the public service in order to achieve greater efficiency and more responsive and flexible services. Origin of this initiative lay the foundation of productivity movement. Can this movement in the public and nonprofit organizations be improved? If so, how and in which ways? Citizens, clients, and board members organizations in the areas like as public often raise such questions and nonprofit organizations in the areas like as public administration, social services educations, housing, public health and public safety.

The terms productivity and productivity improvement are not synonymous. The former is concerned with the level of productivity, whereas the latter is concerned with changing it. Productivity involves the level of present effectiveness and efficiency, and the processes to achieve it. Productivity improvement involves diagnosis of productivity problems, knowledge of alternative productivity improvement strategies, analysis of the receptivity of organizations to productivity efforts, implementation skills and strategies, and outcome assessment. In fact productivity movement is refer to the commitment and active participation by government, employers and workers in activities to increase the productivity. This paper attempts to deal with both productivity and productivity improvement in the public sector. 5.0 Reasons for Productivity Improvement in the Public Sector.

Productivity movement provides maximum benefit to the concerned organizations. Public sectors ensure maximum benefit to the country by producing productivity movement. Following are the most common benefits that can be achieved by practicing continuous productivity movement in public sector. Administrator and manager confront barriers to productivity improvement in his/her organization. Common barriers to productivity movement in the public sector can be classified into three major types such as (i) Environmental barriers (ii) Organizational barriers and (iii)Personal barrier. To overcome these barriers Public Service Reforms Program in the Commonwealth countries have identified following strategies to implement the Productivity Movement in the public sector organizations. The key words of the strategies  have been  depicted as thinking differently about the of public Service, developing a Public Service ethos, developing a customer-orientation, focusing on efficiency, positive work attitudes,  effective process management, harmonious labor-management relations, effective harnessing of technology, quality goods and service  and finally conducive political, economic and social environment.

The measurement of productivity provides a yardstick by which improvement over time can be monitored and targets sets. Multiplicity of productivity measures exist, the choice of which measures to use is mainly depend on the purposes of the measurement as well as level of aggregation and economy. For example, total value of all final goods and services (output of the overall economy) produced by a country is measured by Gross Domestic product (GNP). In other words we can also find out how net output (wealth) is produced by an organization. Net output is in fact "value added" which is literally the value of the organizations. Productivity Measurement is an important component in productivity improvement as improvements cannot be initiated without baseline information about current levels of productivity. Measurement is of Productivity helps to make an estimate the extent of utilization of resources allocated and enhance operational flexibility in terms of manpower and equipment utilization.

More over it helps to identify areas for productivity improvement and determine cost of operations of the organization.  Besides  those, it helps to ensure customer requirements have been met, provide standards for establishing comparisons and give an indication of cost of poor quality.  Finally it helps to justify the use of resources  and provide feedback for driving the improvement effort.

Since early 1980's the Government of Bangladesh, in line with other developing countries as well as in pursuance of goals as spelt out in the constitutions of the country regarding production of goods 2nd services has given due importance on productivity movement both in public and private sectors. Initially GOB established a cell "Bangladesh Productivity Centre" (BPC) as development project under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Manpower in 1983. Subsequently to in order to ensure and reinforce the development activities in all sectors, Government of Bangladesh converted this BPC into National Productivity Organization (NPO) on 20th Feb. 1989 and placed it under Ministry of Industries. Since then NPO is playing a vital role in creating productivity awareness amongst whole nation. NPO's major terms of references are as follows:

NPO plays Promoter's role to create awareness campaign of productivity movement amongst the people of the country. The organization conducts training courses in productivity improvement to increase the productivity in the different sectors of the nation  and acts as a catalyst by providing consultancy to develop productivity movement in both public and private sectors. It also provides policy options and appropriate development strategies to the government for the overall development of both services and production at the national level  and  establishes a data base on productivity improvement for collecting and analysing the data for taking decision and finally discharge duties as a 'focal point' for implementation of various development activities on productivity improvement. In spite of this limited initiative the prevailing productivity situation both public and private sector in Bangladesh is very discouraging which reflect that NPO alone is not in a position to aware and motivate the people throughout the nation. Experts opinion suggest that government should formulate an appropriate policy of productivity movement and gives the directives to implement in all concerned sector.

The Productivity movement should start by our youths. Govt. must take substantial projects for employment of youths and their skill development . Both the public and private sectors should take steps so that the youths become productive assets for nation. It is a fact widely understood now that Bangladesh is facing a unique situation that comes virtually once in a few centuries, and that too only to a few countries: the "work¬ing age population" of Bangladesh is now significantly larger than the "non-working age population." What this implies is that most peo¬ple in Bangladesh now are "natu¬rally ready" to work. What this further translates into is that Bangladesh could give its national production, and hence its economic growth, a major boost by nurturing the potential of this huge, naturally ready youth demo¬graphic through proper training and capacity building.

That is why this situation has come to be known as the demographic dividend. But there is another side to it as well. Without proper guidance, this massive youth demographic, instead of giving the dividend, could turn out to be heavily coun¬terproductive by getting derailed by modern day evils such as reli¬gious bigotry, militancy and drug abuse. It's high time that Bangladesh starts making conjunctive efforts to tap into the sea of "natural" human resources that the country is currently sitting atop.

In today's competitive world, the adherence to productivity improvement and maintain quality are the key for any provider of goods and services wishing to develop or expend and enhance the profitability. Balanced growth and development of an organisation as well as a nation is only possible by adapting and maintaining continuous productivity movement. Unless this productivity movement is accepted as a vehicle for improvement no public sector organization can flourish and prosper.

The writer is a contributor to The Independent