Though we all are familiar with the word productivity and use it very frequently it is difficult to give a precise and small definition of productivity. According to Oxford Advance Learner’s dictionary the word productivity means- ability to produce, state of being productive. In an industry or business organization productivity is nothing but the reduction in the wastage of resources. The resources may be man, machines, materials, power, space, time, building etc. Productivity may be defined as human efforts to produce more and more with less and less inputs of resources as a result of which the benefit of production may be distributed more equally among maximum number of people.
According to V.K.R.Menon, productivity implies development of an attitude of mind and a constant urge to find better, cheaper, easier, quicker and safer means of doing a job, manufacturing a product and providing service. Productivity is a concept or attitude of mind and not a physical thing, rather it is an intangible thing which is reflected in out put or production per man hour, production per rupee of capital employed etc and hence can’t be measured in absolute terms or units.
Importance of productivity: With the advent of the economic liberalization, globalization, WTO, GATT etc productivity has become vital for the survival and growth of our industries. In fact, Indian industries are surviving in spite of low productivity behind the rigid protective wall of exchange control and high customs duty. But things has now totally changed and Indian industries has to compete world class multinational companies. Productivity and efficiency has become key words for Indian industries.
There are two reasons for our country’s poverty in spite of the fact that India has the third largest technical manpower in the world. The first one is our population and the second one is low productivity. In India we found low level of productivity in every sphere of economy say from agriculture, industry, management, workers to government. Despite very high wages in USA and Japan, their unit cost works out
to a very low figure and in spite of our low wages our unit cost are high, The main reason it that their productivity is very high and ours is very low.
Measure of productivity; Productivity must be measured in such a way that it reflects the important parameters and there must not be any ambiguities about the measurements of inputs and outputs.
Productivity index =————-
In this definition of productivity index, the output and input may be of various kinds viz. cost, man- hours, profit etc.
The overall productivity of an organization is measured by:
Return on capital (productivity)=———————
Workers and industrial productivity:
From the definition and concept of productivity it is clear that productivity of any organization or department or work unit depends upon the people who work in that unit and their efficiency. Given the same inputs, people can produce more if they work more and hard and thus increase the productivity of the organization, department or work unit.
Human needs and productivity: All human behavior is goal directed. People behave the way they do because of their need to achieve certain things. These goals may deal with physiological needs, psychological needs or high order social needs.
Man is the most idle animal. It will not work unless it is forced to work to meet some of its need. Research has shown that human beings want things in a certain order of priority. First of all, human beings must satisfy their physiological needs like food, clothing, shelter etc. Until they have enough of these, all their activities will be directed towards obtaining them.
Once they have their physiological needs satisfied to an optimal level, a second order of needs comes to the surface and directs their behaviors. These are safety and security needs. Human beings want to
make sure that they will continue to have their physiological needs satisfied. They require job security and protection from any physical dangers.
Once they have an optimal level of security a third order needs come into operation and direct behavior of human being. These are needs for love and belongingness. Human beings want affection from fellow-beings, often a selected few, and those in their immediate environment. Community organizations, worker organizations, etc satisfy this need for belongingness.
Once the need for love and belongingness are also satisfied, another set of needs which may be called “higher order social needs” comes to the surface and directs the behavior of people. These needs include the needs for achievement, recognition, status, power and influence over others. These are also called “ego needs” or “esteem needs”. When these social needs are also satisfied, then come the needs for understanding one’s own abilities and potentials and using them to the maximum. This need is called the “self-actualizing need”.
This need hierarchy theory was first developed by Abraham Maslow and hence it is called Maslow’’ Need Hierarchy. Most of the people are struggling with one or more of these needs and the productivity or output of his work depends upon how much he want to achieve or fulfill these needs.
Power, prestige etc
Love and belongingness
Safety and security needs
Physiological needs and other basic needs