The following points highlight the four main factors influencing the efficiency of labour. The factor influencing are: 1. Personal Qualities 2. Working Conditions 3. Social, Political and Economic Conditions 4. Employer-Employ Relations.
Efficiency of Labour: Factor # 1.
The efficiency of a worker is influenced by qualities which he possesses.
(1) Racial Qualities:
Every person inherits certain qualities from the race to which he belongs. The people of Northern India, especially the Jats, the Rajputs, the Dogras, and the Sikhs, are generally more sturdy than those of Bengal. Hence the efficiency of the former is higher than that of the latter.
(2) Hereditary Qualities:
A child inherits the skill of his father by birth. Naturally, he will be more efficient if he enters the trade of his father. The Swiss are considered to be more efficient watchmakers than others because they have been making watches from generations.
(3) Individual Qualities:
If a worker possesses good physique, is mentally alert, is intelligent, sober, honest, and resourceful, and is responsible, he will be more efficient than others.
(4) Education and Training:
An educated and trained labourer is more efficient than an untrained and uneducated labourer because the former understands the intricacies of his job in a better way than the latter.
(5) Standard of Living:
A worker having high standard of living is more efficient than a worker having low standard of living.. Good nourishing food, suitable clothing, ventilated and comfortable home with healthy surroundings tend to increase the efficiency of workers.
Efficiency of Labour: Factor # 2.
The conditions under which the worker works also influence his efficiency.
The factors which affect his working conditions are as under:
(1) Factory Environment:
If workers are required to work in healthy surroundings in which the factory is well-ventilated, there is sufficient space for movement between machines and provision for fresh water refreshment and rest between works, their efficiency will be higher.
(2) Working Hours:
Small working hours with tea and lunch break, rest and recreation always help increase the efficiency of labor.
A worker who receives sufficiently high wages which ensure an adequate standard of living will have high efficiency. A low-paid worker always grumbles and is unable to put his heart into the job. Consequently, his efficiency is low.
Further, regular payment of wages on a due date also increases efficiency of labour because workers adjust their budgets accordingly. Otherwise, they are put to much inconvenience when wage-payment is irregular and they are not able to devote themselves whole heartedly to their work which reduces their efficiency.
(4) Nature of Machines:
The more advanced the machines are in a factory, the more efficient are the workers therein. A labourer, however, skilled and intelligent he may be, will produce relatively little if the machines on which he works are outmoded. The same reasoning holds for raw materials.
(5) Prospects of Promotion:
If the worker knows that he will be suitably rewarded and promoted to a higher grade when he produces more, he will work diligently, and his efficiency will increase. On the other hand the trade in which such incentives does not exist; the efficiency of labour will be low.
Efficiency of Labour: Factor # 3.
Social, Political and Economic Conditions:
Efficiency of labour is also dependent on the social, political and economic conditions of the country some of these factors are:
(1) Climatic Conditions:
The climate of a place also determines the efficiency of labour in a country. Workers who live and work under hot climate become tired soon both physically and mentally. As a result, their efficiency declines. On the other hand, workers living and working in cold and temperate regions are more alert and hence their efficiency is high.
(2) Social Conditions:
If the society to which the workers belong is backward, and is based on caste and creed relationships, workers will not work in cooperation with workers belonging to other castes. Thus labour efficiency will be low. Similarly, workers who are fatalists are seldom hard working by nature, and hence their efficiency is also low.
(3) Social Security:
If a worker is to give his best, he must have reasonable assurance that in the event of injury, sickness, unemployment, disablement, or death in service, he or his dependents must be suitably provided for. This is bound to increase his efficiency.
(4) Political Stability:
Political conditions also affect the efficiency of labour. If the government of the country in which the worker lives is strong enough to preserve peace at home and provide security from foreign aggression, his efficiency will be high as against that worker who leads a life of insecurity in a country full of internal disturbances and constant threat of war from abroad.
Efficiency of Labour: Factor # 4.
Efficiency of labour also depends upon the employer-employee relations. If the relations between the two are friendly and cordial, efficiency of labour will be high. But the relationship between the employer and employees itself dependents upon the behaviour of the employer towards the employees and that of the trade unions towards the employer.
If the employer possesses a sympathetic attitude towards the workers, the workers will give their best. On the other hand, a trade union which adopts militant attitude towards the employer will lower labour efficiency.
We may conclude with Penson, “Efficiency of labour depends partly on the employer and partly on the Employee, partly on the organisation and partly on individual efforts, partly on tools and machinery, etc., with which the worker is supplied, and partly on his skill and industry in making use of them.”
Advantages of Efficient Labour:
Efficient workers bring benefits to themselves, industry and the economy.
In a country where the labour force is efficient, its productivity is high. As the workers produce more, they get high wages. An efficient worker is able to get a better paid job.
Efficient workers are a great asset to the industry in which they work. They require less supervision. They work hard, are honest and responsible. They make proper utilisation of resources and do not waste raw materials. They produce quality products in larger quantities. As a result, costs of production fall and profits increase.
Efficient workers also innovate and invent and develop new techniques of production. This further leads to the production of cheap and quality products at lower costs of production, thereby bringing more profits to industry and trade.
Efficient labour is a national asset. For, it tends to increase the production of superior products at lower costs. This not only expands trade and industry within the country but also abroad. This leads to increase in total output, employment and income and brings economic progress.