Human dimension of productivity

Mr Poh Leong Joo rightly pointed out that when we look at strengthening productivity in Singapore, we need to focus as much on the "heart" as anything else ("'Heart of worker is what productivity is about'"; Sept 26).

At the company where I work, we talk about the human dimension of productivity, the premise being that improved productivity can come from leadership and management practices. This should occur within a positive corporate culture and a climate of authentic and frequent communication between employer and employee.

We neglect at our peril the human dimension of productivity in favour of more "tangible" factors arising from analysing systems and processes in a given organisation.

In talent management, for example, productivity can be improved by enhancing the way we attract and retain good people, as well as by ensuring that every staff member's experience in working for an organisation is a positive one.

The "heart" entails throwing passion and energy into what you do and seeing the link between your role, the bigger picture and the good of Singapore. While a lot of that comes from within, it is the motivational climate that managers create that can either harness or stifle the resulting productivity.

There is a saying that people do not leave organisations, they leave managers. It is the connection and attention afforded by this key relationship that goes to the real heart of productivity.

Gary Miles

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2015, with the headline 'Human dimension of productivity'. Print Edition | Subscribe