What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking can be defined as simply a reference point of excellence against which similar marks are compared. It is a technical tool used to measure performance levels against competitors and industry leaders. It can be considered the systematic process of comparing an organization’s products, services and practices against those of competitor organizations or other industry leaders to determine what it is they do that allows them to achieve high levels of performance. According to A Dictionary of Human Resource Management, “Benchmarking is the technique of comparing organizations in order to identify 'best practice'. Managers might benchmark their organization in order to assess how it is performing, to identify areas for improvement, and to look for new ideas. The purpose is to identify best practice and to transfer all or part of this to one's own organization. Invariably the transfer process involves adapting the ideas and techniques to industry- specific or organizational-specific circumstances. In theory, any aspects of the organization's operation can be benchmarked, including human resource policies and practices (training methods, equal opportunities policies, remuneration packages, etc.), providing they can be measured in a consistent manner across all organizations being compared.” while best practices provide an understanding of how superior performance is achieved.

What is a Balanced Scorecard?

The balanced scorecard is a management and measurement system that enables organisations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. The goal of the balanced scorecard is to tie business performance to organizational strategy by measuring results in four areas: financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

What Influences Productivity?

Productivity is influenced differently by a number of activities at both the micro-level (small or pertaining to one item in a system) and the macro-level (pertaining to an entire system). Several factors that affect productivity growth at the micro-level are: the choice of incentives and recognition, supervisory practices, team orientation (individual and departmental), worker participation, training, working conditions, advances in technological knowledge, better management and organisational systems. Whereas, at the macro-level, productivity can be affected by macroeconomic structural change and policies, both fiscal and monetary, economies of scale, trade orientation, human resource development (management and labour collaboration) policy, research, technological change, regulatory environment, international business and national work ethic.

What is a Bonus Plan?

A bonus plan is an incentive pay plan which awards employees compensation, in addition to their base salary, for achieving individual or group performance and productivity goals.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is also referred to as employee involvement. It is basically creating a work environment that empowers employees to make decisions that affect their jobs. Further defined by the Corporate Leadership Council in the in their 2004 study, “Driving Performance and Retention Through Employee Engagement” as “the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organization, how hard they work, and how long they stay as a result of that commitment.”

How important is Productivity Measurement?

Productivity Measurement tells where to look for opportunities to improve performances and shows how improvement efforts are doing. It provides check points for diagnostic activities or it indicates how well the goals of an organization are being achieved. It also provides a source for economic growth to facilitate an improved standard of living. In addition, it reflects the competitiveness of an organization.

What is Incentive Pay?

Incentive pay is additional compensation used to motivate and reward employees for exceeding performance or productivity goals.

What is Total Factor Productivity?

Total Factor Productivity measures the efficiency and effectiveness with which both labour and capital resources are used to produce output. In other words, total factor productivity means making smarter and better use of the labour and capital resources available. A simplified way of expressing total factor productivity is Total Factor Productivity = Output / (Capital + Labour) The term multi-factor productivity is sometimes used interchangeably with total factor productivity by economist. When concerned with measurement, there is a difference between the two terms. The term total factor productivity suggests that all inputs (labour, capital and intermediate inputs such as raw materials, energy, etc.) are taken into account in its computation, that is, the denominators of the total factor productivity ratio includes all inputs. As the term Multi factor Productivity does not give such a connotation, it is considered more accurate because most measures of total factor productivity are in reality computed on the basis of only labour and capital inputs. However, the distinction between multi factor productivity and total factor productivity is usually made only by those concerned with measurement, and the term total factor productivity continues to be used more widely.

What is an Incentive Pay Plan?

An incentive pay plan is a plan providing additional compensation intended to serve as an incentive for excellent performance, exceeding productivity goals or standards, as well as other contributions in accordance with prescribed goals or standards.

What is the Labour Force?

The labour force is the number of employed individuals in the civilian workforce and armed services.

What is Unit Labour Cost?

Unit Labour Cost is the proportion of labour cost which is used to produce a unit of output, influenced by labour scarcity, labour mobility and poor labour mix. (Unit labour cost if the total expenditure on labour per unit of output. A comparison between changes in productivity and unit labour costs in different countries enables economists to make predictions about changes in their competitiveness).

What is Best Practices?

Best Practices can be defined in a number of ways, but usually refers to the practices of an organization that enables them to achieve superior organisational performance results.

What is a Gain-sharing Plan?

A gain-sharing plan is a group incentive plan used to enhance productivity by sharing with a group a percentage of the gains the organization realizes from specific group efforts.

What is Productivity Measurement?

Productivity is an indicator of the efficient or inefficient rate at which resources are utilized within the production process of an organization to produced valued output. Simply, it indicates the relationships between inputs (resources) and outputs (goods and services).

What is Motivation?

Motivation is generally defined as the psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s level of effort, as well as a person’s persistence in the face of obstacles. The direction of a person’sbehaviourrefers to the many possible actions that a person could engage in, while persistence refers to whether, when faced with roadblocks and obstacles, an individual keeps trying or gives up.

What is OrganisationalCulture?

Organisational Culture is an organization’s attitude and values regarding itself, employees, customers and the general public. It encompasses the manner things are done within the organization based on defined policies and practices.

What is Productivity Performance?

Productivity Performanceis a reflection of the relative growth and level of factor inputs and output at national, sectorial and industrial levels.

What is Job Satisfaction?

Job satisfaction is used to define how an employee feels regarding their job, work environment, pay, benefits, etc.

What is Overtime?

Overtime is the term used to define work that is performed in excess of 40 hours per week.

What is Productivity Growth?

Productivity Growth compares the percentage difference of productivity at different points of time, it shows whether the productivity has improved its performance or deteriorated over time.

What is a Part Time Employee?

An individual who continually works less than 40 hours per week (standard workweek hours are based on individual employer policy, therefore, a 40-hour workweek is only a guideline; this number could be higher or lower).

How is Productivity Change Calculated?

Productivity Measurement is categorised wither as a partial measurement whereby one factor of production is evaluated against total output: for example labour productivity is a measure of output per employee or mutli-factor productivity where a combination of factors of production are evaluated against output. Multi-factor productivity shows how the organization is combining its resources to produce its goods and services. Partial Productivity = Total Output or Value Added Partial Input (Number of Labour Hours Worked) Multi-Factor Productivity = Total Output or Value Added Combined Number of Inputs

What is a Performance Appraisal?

A performance appraisal is a periodic review and evaluation of an individual's job performance.

What is Productivity Change?

Productivity change indicates the rate of change which has occurred within the production process over a specific period. For example a 2 percent increase in labour productivity in 2001 indicates that output per unit of labour has increased by 2 percent in 2001 relative to the previous period. This indicator allows the organization not only to compare itself over periods but also to compare itself over periods but also to compare itself with other organisations within the industry or against the country’s global achievement.

What is Performance BasedPay?

A performance based pay is a variable pay strategy that pays employees based on their individual performance and contributions, rather than the value of the job they are performing.

What is Productivity?

Productivity is the ratio of output generated to the inputs consumed. It is the increase or decrease of outputs or value-added generated from a production or service system by a given level of inputs. It focuses mainly on efficiency (doing things right) and effectiveness (doing the right things). A growth in productivity implies that either more output is produced with the same amount of inputs, or that less input is required to produce the same level of output. In effect, productivity becomes the attainment of the highest level of performance with the lowest possible expenditure of resources. Productivity = Output / Input All definitions of productivity are centred on “outputs” and “inputs”. Outputs tend to be in the form of goods (if visible) and services (if invisible). On the other hand, inputs are less easily defined and have to be classified into labour (human resources), capital (physical and financial), energy, data and materials. Productivity as a concept can assume two (2) dimensions: total/multi factor productivity and single/partial productivity. The former refers to productivity that is defined as the relationship between the output produced and a combination of inputs (basic resources, most notably labour, capital goods and natural resources). The latter measure expresses how efficiently an entity is utilising a single factor of production within the production of its outputs. For example, if output is associated with man-hours or labour, this would be partial productivity or specifically labour productivity. It is not surprising that this is the most popular estimate of productivity because it relates output to the single most important factor of production – labour and also offers a proxy for how efficient the other inputs such as capital and technology are being used.

What is Performance Management?

Performance management is the process of maintaining or improving employee job performance through the use of performance assessment tools, coaching and counselling as well as providing continuous feedback.

What is Process Reengineering?

Process re-engineering is the process of improving business practices or methods by creating and implementing new processes or making changes to existing processes.

What is Output per Employee?

Output per Employeeis the amount of wealth created by an enterprise relative to the number of employees it has. It is the amount of output generated by each employee in the enterprise.

What is a Profit Sharing Plan?

A profit sharing plan is a qualified retirement plan established and maintained by an employer which enables employees and their beneficiaries to participate in the profits of the employer's business.

What is Output?

Outputis essentially the goods and services produced by enterprises or industries in terms of value of production.

What is Recognition?

Recognition is an acknowledgement of an employee’s exceptional performance or achievements expressed in the form of praise, commendation or gratitude.

What is Re-engineering?

Re-engineering is the redesigning of business and work processes, policies or organizational structure. What is a Reward System? A formal or informal program used to recognize individual employee achievements, such as accomplishment of goals or projects or submission of creative ideas.

What is Sick Leave?

Paid time off granted to employees who are out of work due to an illness or injury.

What are Standard Operating Procedures?

Standard operating procedures are a prescribed written procedure outlining how recurring tasks, duties and functions are to be performed organization-wide.

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is the process of identifying an organization's long-term goals and objectives and then determining the best approach for achieving those goals and objectives.

What is a Temporary Employee?

A temporary employee is an individual who works on either short- or long-term assignments with an employer without being treated as a regular employee and lacking the benefits of regular employees. Normally utilized by employers to meet seasonal or other demands that they do not have the internal resources to meet.

What is Work/life Balance?

Work/life balance is having a measure of control over when, where and how individuals work, leading to their being able to enjoy an optimal quality of life. Work/life balance is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society.

What is Stress Management?

The design and implementation of workplace programs and services intended to combat employee stress and improve overall employee morale, effectiveness and productivity

What is Reinforcement?

Reinforcement is the practice of providing positive feedback to an individual or groups of individuals after completion of a particular project or achievement of a particular goal.

What is a Regular full/part time Employee?

A regular full/part time employee is an individual who has been hired by an employer to work a predetermined amount of hours per week in a position/appointment of indefinite duration.

What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable, specific measures of an organization’s performance in a certain area(s) of its business. The purpose of KPI’s is to provide the company with quantifiable measurements of things it has determined are important to the organizational or business long-term goals and critical success factors. Once uncovered and properly analysed, KPI’s can be used to understand and improve organizational performance and overall success. Also referred to as Key success indicators.

What is a Job Evaluation?

A job evaluation is used for compensation planning purposes, it is the process of comparing a job with other jobs in an organization to determine an appropriate pay rate for the job.

What is Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)?

A value assigned to signify the number of full-time employees that could have been employed if the reported number of hours worked by part-time employees had been worked by full-time employees instead.

What is Labour Productivity?

Labour Productivity is a performance measurement that reflects how efficiently labour input will be able to generate high output.

What is Labour Cost Competitiveness?

Labour Cost Competitivenessis the measurement of the industry’s efficiency and effectiveness in managing its labour cost and creating more value added in terms of output. The indicators used are: Added Value per Labour Cost – measures enterprises’ competitiveness in terms of labour cost. Labour Cost per Employee – is the average wage rate per employee paid based skilled labour and technology. Unit Labour Cost - is the proportion of labour cost which is used to produce unit output, influenced by labour scarcity, labour mobility and poor labour mix.

What is Change Management?

Change management is the systematic approach and application of knowledge, tools and resources to deal with change. Change management means defining and adopting corporate strategies, structures, procedures and technologies to deal with changes in external conditions and the business environment.

What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

Gross Domestic Product is one of the several measures of a country’s economy. The GDP of a country is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. It is also considered the sum of value added at every stage of production of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. The most common approach to measuring and understanding GDP is the expenditure method: GDP= consumption + investment + government spending + (exports – imports).

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a training method in which a more experienced or skilled individual provides an employee with advice and guidance intended to help him or her develop skills, improve performance and enhance the quality of his or her career.

What is Economic Development?

Economic Development is the sustained increase in the economic standard of living of a country’s population, normally accomplished by increasing its stocks of physical and human capital and improving its technology.

What is the Cost of Labour?

The cost of labour is the total payments in the form of gross salary and wages, bonuses, and other cash allowances paid to employees and salaries, allowances, fees, bonuses and commissions paid to working directors and fees paid to non-working directors for their attendance at the Board of Directors' meetings.

What is Economic Growth?

Economic Growth is the increase over time in the capacity of an economy to produce goods and services and (ideally) to improve the well-being of its citizens.

What is Absenteeism?

Absenteeism is basically the failure of an employee to report to work or to remain at work as scheduled, regardless of reason.

What is Capacity Utilisation?

Capacity Utilisation is a concept in economics which refers to the extent to which an enterprise or a nation actually uses its installed productive capacity.

What is Competitiveness?

Competitiveness is the degree to which the regions or nations can produce goods and services which meet the test of international markets, out-performing others, while their citizens earn a standard of living that is both rising and sustainable over the long-run.