BCom 1st Year Efficiency of Labour Notes Study Material
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BCom 1st Year Efficiency of Labour Notes Study Material
The productive capacity of a nation depends not only upon the size of its labour force but also upon its quality. By quality of labour is meant the efficiency of labour, i.e., the ability to achieve larger output in a shorter time without any falling off in the quality of the work. Increased efficiency of labour means greater productivity per man employed. If labour is used inefficiently, there will be scope for productivity improvement. Thus efficiency by definition means that more output can be produced from given labour input. In other words, productivity is output per unit of labour employed and increases in productivity come about from increased efficiency on the part of labour.
Labour is not of uniform quality, some persons are especially productive and especially willing to work hard. The efficiency of the labour force depends on many factors such as its personal health and vigour, its education and training, its morale, and its attitude toward work.
Factors Influencing Efficiency
Factors influencing the efficiency of labour can be put under two broad categories, namely, power to work and will to work; Important factors coming under these two categories are as under:
(i) Inherent or Racial Qualities: A person inherits some qualities from the racial stock to which he belongs. Workers of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, for example, are more hard-working than those of Bihar, West Bengal or Orissa. Even within a state some communities are more hard-working than others. Such differences are mainly due to variations in climatic conditions and racial qualities. Hot and very cold climates are not conducive to hard work. Temperature climate is the best for sustained labour.
(ii) Education and Training: This factor has three aspects, namely, general education, technical education and training within industry. A high standard of general education provides a foundation for developing intelligence and specialised vocational training.
American labour force is among the best in the world due to overall health, education and training. So one eminent scholar has concluded that if the age composition and state of health of the population of underdeveloped countries could be “westernized”, per capita incomes in these countries might rise 20 to 30 percent or more above existing levels.
(iii) Working Conditions: The general conditions under which workmen work also affect their output. Minimum standards are laid under Factory Acts and factory inspectors pay attention to them. Working conditions include such things as hours of work, ventilation, avoidance of overcrowding, fencing of washinery, recreation facilities, provision of canteens, etc. Many firms raise working conditions much above the legal minimum, believing it to be in their own interests.
(iv) Social Services: An improvement in the physical welfare of the people will raise the general standard of health and reduce the number of days lost through sickness. Physical welfare provisions include adequate food, clothing and housing. A national scheme of social security is likely to help achieve this purpose. Unemployment benefit enables an unemployed to maintain a minimum standard of health. Retirement pension payment reduces the necessity to save at the expense of health during a worker’s working life.
(v) Efficiency of other Factors: Production is a co-operative endeavour. Hence the productivity of labour per man-hour will increase if the quality of other co-operating factors is high. More fertile the land, higher will be the yield per man, other things being equal. In the same way, the better the quality of the capital employed, other things remaining the same, the higher will be the productivity of labour.
Efficient organisation is even more important because it is this factor which determines whether all factors of production are being used in the best manner or not. The greater the level of specialisation, the more capitalistic or roundabout is the method of production, the larger the scale of production and the larger the output per man.
(vi) The Economy of High Wages: If a worker gets a good wage, he will be able to provide himself with good food and other necessaries of life, add to his health, strength and vigour. This will increase his efficiency. Hence it is said that high wages are economical, while low wages are dear wages.
The economy of high wages can be realised only when high wages increase the physical welfare of the workers. Generally low wages are associated with a low standard of efficiency and so they are deemed to be dear wages. But the “benefits of high wages cannot be obtained quickly as a result of increasing wages, for it takes people sometime to adjust themselves to a higher standard of living, and there is a tendency for high wages to be dissipated at first in ways not conducive to higher efficiency.”
(vii) Hopefulness, Freedom and Change: Marshall says that history is full the record of inefficiency caused in varying degrees by slavery, serfdom and ner forms of civil and political oppression and repression. Freedom and hope rease not only man’s willingness but also his power for work. “Changes of K, of scene, and of personal associations bring new thoughts, call attention to the imperfections of old methods, stimulate a divine discontent and in every way develop creative energy.”
Advantages of Efficiency Labour
Efficient labour offers several advantages to the individual worker himself, us employer and to the nation as a whole.
An efficient labour is in great demand. So he commands a higher wage and oys a higher standard of living. An efficient labour is beneficial to the factory owner as well. Such a labour es his machine carefully. As a consequence its breakdown is rare and helps lucing the cost of production. Cost of production is reduced also because labour needs less supervision and does not waste materials.
An efficient labour force at the national level benefits the whole community. American, Japanese and European prosperity is largely due to their efficient labour. As McConnell states, “The productive capacity of a nation depends not only upon the size of its labour force but also upon its quality.”
Studies of the sources of economic growth explain that a substantial part of the growth in real GNP was due to increases in the quality of resources and the remainder on account of improvements in the quality of resources. It is even more important to note that improvements in the quality of labour and capital appear to be of growing importance in explaining economic growth of developed countries.