Poor management is the no.1 productivity killer


Workers in the United States believe that poor management is the number one productivity killer in their workplaces.

The 2005 Workplace Productivity Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that almost six out of ten (58 per cent) Americans identified poor management as the biggest obstacle to productivity.

The survey also examined several other components of the workplace that impact productivity to determine their effect on worker productivity.

Almost four out of ten (38 per cent) of the 1,000 HR professionals and employees surveyed said that no longer being motivated by work was a barrier to productivity, while a further quarter plumped for the negative effects of organisational changes.

A lack of defined goals in the job was also identified as a factor by a quarter of respondents, readiness to leave organisation was raised by 16 per cent, a lack of accountability in the job by 13 percent and pressure by management to show "face time" by 12 per cent.

"When employees tell us that managers are hampering their productivity, HR professionals need to respond by providing manager training, evaluating organizational structure, and focusing on ways to address poor management practices," said SHRM's Susan Meisinger

The survey also asked employees and HR professionals what impact "presenteeism," when employees are present but not engaged in their work, has on productivity.

The survey found that HR professional believe much more strongly than employees that presenteeism has negative impacts on productivity and employee morale.

Sixty-eight percent of HR professionals believe that presenteeism, traditionally of course one of the most common signs of poor management, decreases productivity. Yet conversely, 63 per cent of employees say it has no effect.