So, I know the productivity crisis facing this country seems like it’s all doom and gloom and maybe it seems it should be keeping us all awake at night. I also get it’s not the sexiest subject and maybe I should make the whole thing sound a bit more optimistic, maybe show a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel?
Well, whilst I cant apologize for stating the facts when it comes to this country’s productivity problems, the figures are all there in black and white, I can point a finger in the direction of our best hope for companies, and the country, to get out of this slump.
That’s right! Despite our productivity levels being amongst the worst in the developed world, there is one way in which businesses can all make a real difference to these figures. And if they are motivated enough, they can start today.
Forget about the fact that our best industries who used to deliver our productivity growth, like computing and finance, now contribute three fifths of our total decline in productivity growth. Forget about the fact that many companies no longer see enough value in investing in technological advances in order to improve their productivity. The fundamental cause of this “productivity puzzle” is we have way to many low skilled and unskilled employees in our workforce.
But some countries are getting it right by building a system of sustainably increasing wages through increased levels of productivity:
“Instead, an increase in wages would benefit everyone and support sustainable long-term growth — as Sweden has shown over the last two decades. Despite being an open, dynamic economy, Sweden has also seen an increase in real wages since it suffered a severe economic crisis in the early 1990s, proving that social equality, economic growth and globalization are not mutually exclusive.” – Swedish Trade Union Confederation
Most employers will tell you, the biggest cause of productivity problems in the UK is that too many UK workers have inadequate skills. The only way to solve this problem is with investment in training.
In 2016 the OECD found England had one of the largest proportions of low-skilled young workers among advanced economies. Even worse, they discovered young workers were no more skilled than older employees, suggesting this is a problem that will not fix itself in the future.
But we have to start somewhere. We have to do something. Investing in training for an entire workforce can be expensive though, where do you even start?
Well, how about starting with upskilling your managers to be able to communicate effectively to their teams and lead them to delivering better results and higher productivity?
If you want an entire workforce to be able to deliver what you want, when you want it, and to the standard you have asked for – you need a management team that can communicate this to them in a fair, engaging and responsible way.
To do this well takes specialist training but this is training of real value to your managers, the team and will benefit the entire business as well.
Check out this selection of videos on Leadership Training for some top tips that are working great for hundreds of managers over the last couple of years.
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