The key is identifying and addressing the barriers workers face in their daily interactions. Nonetheless, many executives have a hazy understanding of what it takes to bolster productivity for knowledge workers. This lack of clarity is partly because knowledge work involves more diverse and amorphous tasks than do production or clerical positions, where the relatively clear-cut, predictable activities make jobs easier to automate or streamline. Likewise, performance metrics are hard to come by in knowledge work, making it challenging to manage improvement efforts (which often lack a clear owner in the first place). Against this backdrop, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many companies settle for scattershot investments in training and IT systems.
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