Workplace Productivity: Why Britain Is Behind
Employment figures are on the rise and the economy is growing in strength, but when it comes to labour productivity, Britain is seriously falling behind - with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing little change in the last two years. In the fourth quarter of 2014, labour productivity fell by 0.2% in comparison to the previous quarter - and despite 2015’s stats recording a 0.3% growth in labour productivity in the first quarter of the year, we’re still left asking the question:
Why are British workers so unproductive?
Misplaced focus - while the headlines are dominated with issues surrounding immigration and employment statistics, we’re failing to focus on the productivity of those employees once they secure work. It’s encouraging to see that UK employment is on the rise, with 114,000 more people employed than in the previous quarter - but being employed isn’t enough if productivity remains low.
Poor management - in a previous post, we discussed why good management matters - and when it come to workplace productivity, leadership skills are key. From implementing effective training to recognising the individual value of your team members, the way you run your team will have a direct impact on their productivity.
Lack of employee development - in an article published earlier this year, the BBC suggested that, while other countries spend time and money investing in the development of their staff, us Brits are more complacent. Failing to encourage and stimulate staff will cause a decrease in motivation as they’ll struggle to visualise their role in the future of the company - and your business’ productivity will suffer.
Create a motivated workplace - there doesn’t have to be a noticeable lack of productivity in your company for you to take a more proactive approach to motivating your team - and you can put the focus on your employees by getting back to basics. Your team are the lifeblood of your company - and if they’re not happy in their work, your business will undoubtedly be less productive as a whole.
Keep your team healthy - whether it’s the occasional sick day or a prolonged period of illness, when team members take time off from work, the productivity of your business will inevitably suffer. While not all illnesses can be avoided, you can help keep your staff healthy and hydrated by installing office water coolers and encouraging regular breaks.
A personal approach - if you’re at the head of a team of 5 or 500, it’s important to recognise that each team member has individual attributes and needs. From taking a flexible approach to personal circumstances to scheduling regular 121s where you can check in with your employees, focusing on your staff’s individual needs will benefit your business as a whole.
If you want to increase workplace productivity, you can start by ensuring your staff are happy and healthy. Invest in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly office coffee machines or water coolers and help your team stay hydrated throughout the working day - keeping them motivated and increasing productivity in the process.