On my recent visit to India, I visited a number of organisations and facilities where the senior mangers were critical of the performance of the workforce – citing their reluctance to work harder as a major reason for low productivity.

My many years of experience has taught me that this is rarely the case.

If productivity – and labour performance – is low, it is almost always entirely down to the ‘the system’ – the processes, procedures, and working conditions set by managers and supervisors.  Workers end up with low performance because they spend too much time waiting for work, using poor tools, dealing with inferior materials and operating unreliable machines. It is rarely because they are not working hard enough.  They are not being allowed to work harder.

So, before you blame the team – take a good look at these factors … and then take the responsibility (and any blame) on yourself.  Your workers cannot change these things. You can!