What kills productivity in your company? There are many answers offered, but they all start with two broad categories: (1) weak systems and (2) weak people.

What Is Killing Productivity In Your Company? We all should know that it is our job, as leaders, to establish and manage the systems. Often, too little attention is given to the processes established to produce the output of our organizations. Leaders and managers must never forget that “what and how the job is done” rests primarily as the core operating responsibility of management, so leaders must continuously focus on the systems if they truly want to achieve peak performance and maximum effectiveness.

Leaders also do the recruiting, hiring, training, developing, assessing and rewarding of employees. If we have weak people, it is our fault, not theirs. In fact, William Edwards Deming, my quality idol and mentor, said that it is not the people, it is the systems. If the people fail, it is the system that failed.

So what does all of this mean? It actually means that we, the leaders, kill productivity, because we control both the systems and the people.

Now, I do not completely agree with Deming’s relatively radical perspective on the importance of systems, but he is right about one thing: if the system is broken, we cannot hold the staff accountable for achieving productive and high quality results.

On the other hand, if you believe, as I do, that leadership requires us to focus on the people who do the work, then there is no doubt that having the right people is the leader’s job. If we hire the wrong people, put them into the wrong jobs, give them little or no training, spend little time helping them develop, give them no adequate and helpful feedback, and give them no rewards for great performance, we will get what we deserve: low productivity and low quality.

In order to maintain productivity, leaders must make sure that both their systems and their people are strong. Neither of these responsibilities alone are a sufficient condition for success, but taken together they will assure superior performance in your company.

Read more: Try This Instead: 7 Ways You’ve Been Killing Your Productivity