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Productivity: Old debate with new tools – HR

Productivity: Old debate with new tools – HR

Increasing the productivity of Portuguese companies is a common discussion that we have witnessed several times in different forums. There are two other topics currently related to this: artificial intelligence and happiness.

Written by Ana Rita Lopez, Human Resources Manager at Nabiru/Delta Café Group

Why are we less productive than many other European countries? Will it be an issue of working hours? Will it be a process or business issue? Is it a skills shortage when we export so much talent abroad?

We may not yet be able to find definitive answers. Maybe not a country, but a journey. There is perhaps no single answer, but rather a set of actions, some more direct, others indirect, that we can take every day in our organizations, and that reinforce a certain type of behavior.

A debate that has been complementary to the productivity debate is artificial intelligence. It’s still a very new topic, with a lot of ground to cover, but it already raises a lot of discussion, a lot of controversy, some myths, and a lot of fears.

The last few years have not been easy, that’s a fact! After the epidemic that had already passed, came a war, a complete economic crisis, and a rise in the cost of living, with an impact on the lives of organizations and their employees. Many organizations have begun to devote more attention to topics such as happiness and well-being.

We also know that happiness is not a permanent state, but rather a fluid state. We all face different stages, challenges and obstacles throughout our lives, and the key, in my opinion, is to have the emotional resilience to deal with these challenges and obstacles in a constructive way. Now, healthy interpersonal relationships have become a structural pillar and play an essential role in increasing moments of happiness, even in organizations. Perhaps at this moment we are confused: How can these three concepts be linked? What does artificial intelligence have to do with happiness, and all of this is linked to productivity?

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Happiness in the workplace is an essential component of the success of any organization today. We all know that when we are happy, whether in our personal lives or our professional lives, we are engaged.

Commitment to the company involves a feeling of connection to the organization’s goals and values, which means employees don’t just stick to a schedule. They stick to their schedule, but with dedication and a desire to achieve a result that satisfies them and contributes to everyone’s well-being.

So, if we want to have happier, more productive, more creative, and more loyal employees, we must encourage work that fosters interpersonal relationships and a healthy ecosystem.

When a company creates an environment where employees feel valued and protected in the most diverse, valued and respected ways, they are more likely to feel happy at work. This can translate into a sense of purpose, personal satisfaction, and even healthier relationships among colleagues.

On the other hand, happy employees tend to be more committed because they see real value in their work. They are willing to go beyond what is necessary, contribute new ideas and meet challenges with flexibility.

AI can help enhance this happiness by taking on routine and repetitive tasks, freeing up employees’ time to focus on more creative and strategic activities. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error and can be cross-cut across different functions of an organisation.

AI can analyze large amounts of data within seconds, identifying patterns and trends that would be difficult to detect manually. This boosts sales and improves customer experience, which can generate more immediate satisfaction and motivation for the sales team, for example.

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Therefore, happiness, commitment to the company, AI and productivity can be two sides of the same coin, which tends to bring more gains for organizations. It’s not a game of luck or chance, it’s a safe bet.

This article was published in the October issue (No. 154) of Human Resources magazine, on newsstands.