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I’ve been studying productivity exclusively since 1987. It’s all I do. I write, speak and research productivity. I hail from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, the Gateway of Denver. I have three kids who, this writing, are nine, ten, and 14. So just like many of the people in your organizations and many of you, I have a life, I have kids, I have a significant other, I want to volunteer and go to church…but I have to work. I’m sure that you’re the same. But so many people have felt, recently, like they live to work instead of working to support their lifestyle.


Productivity is the measure of how much an employee can generate per hour. That’s a measure of speed – how fast people are working for each hour of input given an hour of output. Let’s look at some productivity statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2002, there was a 4.7% gain in productivity over the previous year. In 2003, it was 4.5% increase. Productivity has increased at a similar pace in the years since. We haven’t seen productivity gains like this since 1949 to 1951.

We’re seeing tremendous boosts in productivity largely due to technology, downsizing…and fear. Have you been afraid to quit a job in a down economy? There might not be something out there for you. So as a group, we are complying with a high level of demand that organizations and HR are requesting of employees.

The long-term benefits of high productivity are positive; and if you study it economically, you’ll see that this is true.

  • You don’t have to hire as many people.
  • You can increase salaries (which you may not see yet).
  • Companies do not raise prices.
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