Labour can be defined as any mental or manual, skilled, unskilled, scientific or artistic human effort used in the productive process for a reward. Consequently, the labour force of any country is the same as the working population of the country. This comprises all active working persons between the age of 15 and 65 years. In some countries, however, children under 15 have been in the labour market, thus increasing the working population.
In the same vain, countries where the life span is long, some adults between 65 and 70 years of age are known to be in the active working force. In all, there are some factors which are known for affecting the efficiency of Labour. This write-up will give you a concise overview of the term “Efficiency of Labour” and some of the factors that affects efficiency of Labour in many countries.
Factors that affect efficiency of Labour
The term “Efficiency of Labour” refers to the quality of output in the form of a product or service-in the production of which labour is an input. If labour is efficient, the quality of products and service will be high. Labor efficiency depends upon a number of factors. Some of them includes:
1. Education and training: Education is a very important factor the determining the efficiency of Labour in any nation either positively or negatively. Obviously the label of education which a worker has received in his/her field of study shows his capacity to do anything in that field.
Take for instance, a lawyer who has had his primary, secondary and tertiary education will undoubtedly perform better than another lawyer who just finished is primary and secondary education.
Almost all kinds of labour requires training. Sometimes, the type of training tends to make labour more efficient. A major problem of highly specialized training is that it tends to make labour inflexible, that is, difficult to transfer to another job. This fact accounts for fractional and structural unemployment in most technology.
2. Availability of technology and other equipments: High technology will increase the efficiency of Labour. This is largely true because in sectors like Agriculture, Mining etc, the availability of technology helps to improve the efficiency and speed in production. Those who are trained to use sophisticated equipment will be less efficient without the equipment to facilitate production.
3. Efficiency management: Aside from Education and Technology, management is another key factor that can affect efficiency of Labour. When there is a good managerial administration, workers will be forced to work hard and to work efficiently. Let’s take for instance, a hard working manager who comes to work very early will definitely encourage other workers do better in their various positions.
4. Personal skill of the worker: If a worker possesses a natural skill of doing a particular job, his work becomes efficient. Take for instance, lawyers who naturally have advocacy skill, research skill, will definitely do better than other lawyers if every thing is equal. For this reason, most employers are always concerned with the other skills of their employees because it increases efficiency in labour.
5. Attractive wages: When the salary or wages of a worker is attractive, it will boost or promote the efficiency of the worker. Today in Nigeria, the amount and value of wage and salaries fluctuate badly. Not only that, the workers are not promptly paid when their wage fall due. This fact has serious consequences. Ill-fed workers naturally produce less, and the condition, also weakens one’s motivation to do one’s best.
The uncertainty surrounding wage payment and non-observance of worker’s rights by employer are indifference among workers.
6. Weather condition: The physical or weather conditions in a work place can affect the efficiency of Labour. A harsh environment, in physical terms or in management style, kills one’s motivation to work harder and efficiently.
7. Efficiency of other factors of production: The efficiency of other factors of production like land, capital and entrepreneur when combined with efficient Labour will increase productivity.
Take for instance, when the non-human nature resources found on the earth (land) is available for workers to use, there will definitely be an increased efficiency of Labour.
8. Intelligence of the workers: Some workers are highly intelligent, while others are not. Highly intelligent workers rarely make mistakes in their jobs thus, increasing the efficiency of Labour.
9. Application of division of Labour: Last week I comprehensively discussed the advantages and disadvantages of division of labour, and one of the things I stated was that it encourages effective or efficiency of Labour.
The application of division of Labour and specialisation in any organization can make workers to feel more comfortable with their Jobs and want to do better.
10. Security of job: Efficiency of Labour can be increased if a worker is sure that his job is secured. This is why professionals like Judges, Doctors etc, are often guaranteed of their jobs until they retire. The reason is because is ensure efficiency in their Job. In the same vain, if a normal goods seller is sure that his Job is secured, he will definitely be dedicated.
11. Promotions and incentives: No doubt, there is usually an increased efficiency of Labour in a work place where workers are usually promoted or given incentives for their good work. Promotions and incentives helps to motivate workers to put more effort in their jobs, with the promise that if they do, there is a reward for them.
12. Level of commitment and attitude: In all, the level of commitment and attitude of workers also contribute to the efficiency of Labour. Frankly speaking, some workers perform excellently well in their offices not because they are paid well, but because they just love their Jobs.
The level of commitment and attitude of a worker can affect the efficiency of Labour either positively or negatively. This is also why employers usual interview their employees to see whether or not, they will be dedicated to their jobs.
So far, we have looked at the definition efficiency of Labour and some of the factors that affect efficiency of Labour in any organization. These factors are usually considered by employees and employers because they go a long way to determine production.