Article: Ensuring employee productivity - Steps that CEOs are taking in the Agritech Industry

Employee Relations

Ensuring employee productivity - Steps that CEOs are taking in the Agritech Industry

Just as in other fast-growing businesses, employee productivity happens to be one of the main challenges, even in the Agritech startups. Employees are the backbone of any organization, and hence employee productivity is one of the key factors indicating the performance of any successful business.
Ensuring employee productivity - Steps that CEOs are taking in the Agritech Industry

After sluggish technological adoption for the longest time, India’s agriculture industry is currently amid a technological revolution. With increased funding, government stimulus, and numerous tech-powered start-ups, the agritech industry is taking center stage in India. 

Multiple Agritech startups have come up with innovative ideas and business models trying to change the landscape of the Indian agriculture industry. Agritech is a segment of companies using technology extensively in agriculture to increase productivity, efficiency, and output. With a market potential of USD 24.1 Billion in 2020, the Indian Agritech sector is growing fast.

Just as in other fast-growing businesses, employee productivity happens to be one of the main challenges, even in the Agritech startups. Employees are the backbone of any organization, and hence employee productivity is one of the key factors indicating the performance of any successful business.

Some of the factors that have a huge impact on employee productivity, especially in Agritech startups, are:

  • The organization’s culture
  • Tools for managing business processes effectively
  • Clear communication across the organization

To understand the significance of these factors, let us delve deeper. 

Organization’s Culture

None of the employees joining the organization come thinking that they don’t want to perform. However, it is a firm’s culture and conditions within the organization, which play a pivotal role in employee performance. A company with a strong culture performs like a well-oiled machine. In contrast, an organization with a toxic culture affects and causes problems, negatively affecting its performance. A company’s culture has a huge impact on staff productivity.

In an Agritech organization, where the teams are placed in remote and rural areas, building the right culture and ensuring productivity is a major challenge. Building a strong culture in such a scenario is challenging with employees’ communication and training being yet another challenge to be faced. Traditionally agriculture focused companies have spent large sums on training and also have been limited to smaller geographies. 

Agritech industries being young organizations lack in terms of having structured processes and huge budgets, unlike traditional agriculture companies. Fewer resources, paired with a remotely placed, large and continuously expanding employee base, ensure building the culture is challenging and standard rules do not apply.

Building a strong culture, especially in organizations where newer employees contribute a significant percentage to the overall employee base, is critical. Remote teams in the Agritech sector make it difficult for employees to work towards a single mission and learn its culture. Hence, it is critical for CEOs to over-communicate with employees in such cases. CEOs need to put in extra efforts to ensure that every employee is well communicated and engaged in some way or the other. CEOs often have to travel a lot, which has been reduced in the post COVID era and has to be compensated. 

It’s important to also “walk the talk” especially by the founders and key team members and focus on positive reinforcement of the desired culture elements. 

Tools for Managing Business Processes Effectively

Training and development play an essential role in enhancing employee productivity. But when most teams are remotely located, training and employee engagement processes need to be built cautiously. 

Traditional agriculture companies rely heavily on classroom training and in person team-building activities. However, for a new age company, it is a challenging task, both in terms of the activities that can be done on the ground, the timeline for executing those activities, and the cost involved.

With technology giving a major edge to the Agritech firms, most organizations rely on various digital tools for managing the business processes effectively and improving employee productivity. The ongoing pandemic has acted as a catalyst making more people comfortable using digital tools for training, development, and managing business processes. Most companies have internal processes also being tracked 

Clear Communication Across Organization

Organizations lacking clear communication across teams can face dire repercussions. Clear and frequent communication is the key to employee engagement. Startups find it difficult to set targets in a fast-evolving business environment. However, organizations must set clear goals for the employees to keep them aware of where they are going. The best way is to keep a rolling goal sheet with weekly, fortnightly, and monthly targets depending on the business’s maturity. It is critical to keep the goals simple and clear for employees to understand and execute them. It is also important for startup firms to set up task goals rather than setting overarching goals. Breaking down the goals into tasks makes it easier for employees to understand what is expected from them and execute the same, especially in early-stage organizations.

Final Note

Agritech startups are playing a key role in the development of the Indian agriculture sector. However, the firms will only realize their full potential if employee productivity is taken care of. By following some basic yet important steps like building a strong culture, imparting proper training and development, and communicating expectations, employee productivity is easily achieved.  

 

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Topics: Employee Relations, #GuestArticle, #RethinkPerformance

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