The following points highlight the five important factors affecting the efficiency of labour according to Prof. Thomas.
The factors are: 1. Personal Qualities of Labourers 2. Working Conditions 3. Conditions of the Country 4. Organisational and Managerial Ability 5. Other Factors.
Factor # 1. Personal Qualities of Labourers:
The efficiency of a worker is influenced by qualities which he acquires or possesses.
The important of them are as follows:
(i) Racial Qualities:
It has been seen that every person inherits certain qualities from the race to which he belongs.
The people of Northern India, especially the Jats, the Rajputs and the Punjabi’s and the Dogras are considered mere hardly and strong in comparison to those of Bengal. Hence, the efficiency of the former is higher than that of the later.
(ii) Hereditary Qualities:
A child inherits the skill of his father by birth. He will be more efficient if he enters the trade of his father.
Swiss people are considered to be more efficient watchmakers than others because they have been making watches from generations.
(iii) Moral Qualities:
Man is a moral animal. In man not only self-alertness is present but all moral alertness and self-morality is present. Moral qualities increase the efficiency of the worker. An honest, sincere and good character worker is liked by the management and this quality helps in increasing the efficiency.
(iv) Individual Qualities:
If a worker is mentally alert, possesses good physique, is intelligent, sober, honest and resourceful and is responsible, he will be more efficient than others.
(v) General Education and Intelligence:
There are certain qualities which a worker acquires by education, general and technical. Among these attributes may be mentioned honestly intelligence, perseverance, judgment, health and strength of the body, resourcefulness, sense of responsibility, etc. Efficiency of labour depends also on these qualities. An honest intelligent and hard-working person will be more efficient in his work than one who lacks these qualities.
(vi) 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 the workers.
(vii) Organisation among the labourers:
Good and proper organisation of labour inside the factory will improve labour efficiency. A good and well organised trade union can also improve labour efficiency through its fraternal functions.
Factor # 2. Working Conditions:
The conditions under which the worker works also influence his efficiency.
The factors which affect his working conditions are as under:
(i) Factory Environment and Place of Work:
If the factory is neat and well ventilated and the surroundings are sanitary and attractive and there is sufficient space for movement between machines and provision for fresh water, refreshment and rest between work, their efficiency will be higher.
(ii) Working Hours:
It must be remembered that small working hours with tea and lunch break, rest and recreation always help increase the efficiency of labour. It has been proved that long hours mean low efficiency.
(iii) Rate of Wages:
Efficiency of worker depends to a great extent on wages which he receives. A worker who receives sufficiently high wages will ensure an adequate standard of living will have high efficiency. A low-paid worker will always grumbles and is unable to put his heart into the job. Consequently, his efficiency will be low.
(iv) Regularity of Wages:
Regular payment of wages on a due date fixed increases efficiency of labour because workers adjust their budgets accordingly, otherwise they are put to much more inconvenience when wage payment is irregular and they are not able to devote themselves whole heartedly to their work which reduces their efficiency.
(v) Methods and System of Wage Payment:
If a worker is paid wages according to the work which he is doing, this increases efficiency of the worker. These days economists have recommended for ‘incentive methods of wage payment’.
(vi) 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.
(vii) Prospects of Promotion:
If the worker knows that he will be suitably rewarded and promoted to a higher grade when he will produce more, then he will work diligently and his efficiency will increase. On the other-hand, the trade in which such incentives do not exist, the efficiency of labour will be low.
Factor # 3. Conditions of the Country:
Efficiency of labour is also dependent on the social, political and economic conditions of the country.
Important factors are:
(i) Climatic Conditions:
The climate of a place also determines the efficiency of labour in a country. Workers who live and work under hot climate becomes 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.
(ii) 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 co-operation with workers belonging to other castes. This labour efficiency will be definitely low. Similarly workers who are fatalists are seldom hard-working by nature and hence their efficiency is also low.
(iii) Political Conditions:
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.
(iv) Cultural and Religious Traditions:
The cultural and religious traditions of a country also affects the efficiency of a labourer, less educated people or illiterate people always fear with religion and they don’t want to take such steps which may affect their normal efficiency.
(v) 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 compensated suitably. If such provision is available this will definitely increase the efficiency.
(vi) Form of Economic System:
Form of economic system in a country also affects the efficiency of labour. A labourer of an under-developed country will get less wages or salary in comparison to a developed country.
Factor # 4. Organisational and Managerial Ability:
Organisational and Managerial ability of the manager working in an organisation also affects the efficiency of the worker:
(i) Efficient Management:
Efficient management of the organisation affects the efficiency of labour. The worker will start working efficiently. In inefficient management efficiency of worker will decrease and working capacity will reduce.
(ii) Proper Relationship between Employer and Employee:
Efficiency of labour also depends upon the employer-employee relations. If the relations between the two are friendly and cardinal, 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 trade unions towards the employer.
(iii) Sympathetic Attitude of the Management:
If the management 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.
Factor # 5. Other Factors:
There are other factors also which affects the efficiency of labour and their considerations has been considered important.
(i) Labour Policy of the Government:
Labour policy of the government also affects the efficiency of a labourer. If the policy of the government is favourable towards labourer, it will create confidence in labourer and their efficiency will improve. If policy is unfavorable the labourer may feel disappointed.
(ii) Trade Unions:
If trade union is well organised the workers will have upper hand and they will get more wages and their standard of living will improve.
(iii) Sense of Patriotism:
Country in which workers are loyal to the country and have sense of patriotism the efficiency of workers will automatically go up. Love for the country encouraged them to do more efficiently.