Improving workforce productivity – why is it so important?

Productivity in the workplace can be a highly influential factor in finding business success, but the latest research suggests more could be done by UK businesses.


A leading think-tank has suggested that UK workers are less productive than before the financial crisis – and by a considerable margin as well.


The latest quarterly report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggests that labour productivity is around 4.5% lower than it was in 2007.


Simply put, this concerns the amount of goods and services that are produced in one hour of labour – a sign of whether a workforce is really fulfilling its potential.


The NIESR report described productivity as “abysmal” and although it said a return to peak levels would happen eventually, this is not likely until the latter half of 2017.


Therefore, businesses should look at ways of increasing productivity as it could ultimately have an impact on their finances.


Staff who are productive are more likely to come up with new ideas and products, while a lack of creative spark could leave companies struggling.


Is corporate insolvency the answer?


There is even the potential for a business to face corporate insolvency if issues are allowed to remain unchecked – especially if a company is essentially leaking finances.


A key factor in workplace productivity relates to the morale and motivation within the workforce – logic dictates that somebody who is happy to work will pour more effort into it.


Likewise, someone whose thoughts are elsewhere is unlikely to be as productive and this could be costing a business money.


While picking the right staff comes down to the recruitment process, taking measures to keep them happy and focused once in the role are also important.


Various perks and company opportunities are one such way doing this, while regular staff social events can help to build bonds between workers.


Creativity and innovation are at the forefront of many business strategies in the current economic climate, as more firms are recognising the importance of staying ahead of the game.


The economy might be showing signs of a solid recovery, but if productivity really is as low as forecast, many companies could be missing out on some considerable opportunities.


By Phil Smith


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