Productivity Knowledge Base: Slogans to Boost Productivity
|We get a fair number
of inquiries asking for slogans that boost productivity.
The truth is that slogans don't boost productivity and can easily undermine productivity improvement efforts. Companies that use the slogan approach risk the typical result of engendering cynicism on the part of employees. Slogans were all the rage some years ago, and the thinking was that slogans would motivate people to change their behavior. This has generally not proved to be the case.
Let's look at industrial safety, as an example. Companies that put up all kinds of signs in the 1990s, such as, "Safety is no accident" did not get increased compliance from this effort. Signs and slogans have a "preach to the choir" effect. They do not change behavior. They did, however, to help reinforce other methods. A case can be made that the resources used for slogan development, deployment, and distribution could have been spent more wisely on the more fruitful methods.
Those methods include employee training, supervisor training, documented personal accountability, and formal programs for safety administration. Similar methods will work for productivity improvement, if you know how to properly execute them (a bad execution can set productivity back by many years).
Companies have been chasing productivity since the days of Henry Ford. They have increased productivity through various means, such as job redesign, automation, and process planning--as well as other methods we will show you in our productivity seminars. They have not increased productivity through slogans.
Put yourself in the place of today's worker. People are afraid for their jobs. Companies in America crossed the line in the sand a generation ago and gave workers the clear message that they were highly disposable. People today do not see a company as having their best interests at heart. And while they know the company benefits from increased productivity, they see productivity--which means fewer work hours needed for a given output--as a direct threat to their continued employment.
In the safety arena, slogans assist other efforts. But in the productivity arena, slogans have the opposite effect (when used to directly promote productivity). They trivialize the concerns of the worker, and cause a negative reaction. And, these slogans are essentially saying, "Help us eliminate your job." This isn't what people want to hear.
Our productivity seminars will show you how to give an entirely different message. And, you can use slogans to support that message if you are really in love with the idea of using slogans. Just don't undermine your current productivity improvement efforts by relying on slogans. While frosting may taste good on a birthday cake, it will ruin an engine if put in a gas tank. Slogans are frosting.
Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?
Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: firstname.lastname@example.org. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.