The topic of the essay reminds me of the 1924 Charlie Chaplin classic “Modern Times” which showcased the insane attempts made by the capitalists to improve productivity and hence rake in maximum profits. The attempt of organisations towards increasing productivity still continues but in a more subtle fashion. Most organisations irrespective of their constitution, are finding ways to improve the productivity of their employees. It is especially relevant in the case of service sector companies, where productivity is synonymous with good service. Productivity must not compromise the delivery of services in the manner it is ought to be delivered. The customer interaction in the service sector makes the study of productivity highly subjective as the quality of service rendered is an inseparable part of productivity. Quantification for the purpose of measuring productivity using standardised water-tight parameters may distort the results. For the same reason, I wish to take forward the arguments considering the fact that variable factors such as the nature of the customer, language, education, etc. have a bearing on quality as well as productivity.
Productivity, as defined by ISO 9000 series, is the extent to which planned activities are realised and planned results achieved. It should not, however be confused with efficiency. It is to be understood that efficient performance of unnecessary work is not productive.
The kind of work that one receives as input and the output he gives varies on different occasions. For instance, if a visually challenged individual comes to the bank for opening an account, the bank staff will certainly require more time to do the work as opposed to a normal individual. In the context of service sector, there is less scope of planning one’s activities as compared to the manufacturing sector. Clearly, a bank employee can never plan the work, inasmuch as he can never predict the kind of...