The Road Ahead:Enhancing Quality Productivity [Archives:2003/626/Business & Economy]

March 10 2003

Raidan Al-Saqqaf
Improving organizational performance has always been a burden in business management. Nevertheless, a technique called Accomplishment through goal setting or Management By Objectives (MBO), can help in the process. MBO means setting goals and standards for employees to reach or achieve identified objectives. The basic idea behind this concept is that a person's conscious intentions regulate his or her actions. For example if a salesman sets a goal of making three sales calls on new clients in a particular day, he will tend to achieve that goal. Simply put, you have an objective and you intend to achieve it.
And so, you can use this technique in stimulating more productivity in your organization and hence enhance the overall performance. This includes giving your employees clear and easy to understand goals and methods to help them achieve these goals. The more challenging these goals are; the more people will stretch themselves in order to meet them and perform better. In other words, as efforts increases, better productivity and its associated rewards will also increase.
However, goals like do your best or give it your best shot may not be as effective as specific goals, because such generalized goals when assigned by a manager pressures employees behaviors to the extent that they consciously accept these goals. This brings out the need for more specific goals that include more elaboration about what is exactly needed.
Setting specific goals also helps in better performance evaluation. Although many people dislike being measured, setting specific goals helps the management in productivity assessment by providing more concise information with the help of two dimensional performance measurements; i.e. the rate of goal achieving and the quality through which these goals have been achieved.
On the other hand, another concept called Quality at the Source has been introduced in order to help in delegating authority and responsibility for enhancing quality productivity. It means that workers are made responsible to produce output of perfect quality. In other words, employees are put at the driver's seat in controlling productivity and ensuring maximum quality.
The Important thing in this concept is that employees should have an inner urge to ensure that objectives are met and quality is assured. The role Managers play in theses concepts is the role of specific goal formulation, inspection and providing feedback; Goals should be clearly formulated and employees should receive frequent performance reviews and feedback about their work and their progress towards their goals. In addition to that, positive feedback will generate a feeling of success and self-confidence in the employees, and hence they would become increasingly involved in the job.

Endnote: Setting specific challenging goals for employees help them in enhancing productivity and provide for better quality control with the help of feedback.