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The EY Australian Productivity Pulse™ - Productivity factors - EY - Australia

The EY Australian Productivity Pulse™

Productivity factors

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Productivity and motivation correlation



Technology remains underutilised
  • Two-thirds of Australian workers believe technology is important to their role

Strong link between motivation and productivity

  • Money is not a prime motivator.
    • Across all industries, the biggest motivators are “the work that I do”, followed by work/life balance.
    • Salary and incentives came in third, followed by employment security and “the people I work with”.
  • Only 3% of unproductive workers report high job satisfaction, as compared with 66% of highly productive workers.
  • Older workers aged 65+ have the highest productivity and motivation levels, yet they are on the lower end of the salary scale. This suggests that life stage and experience are key drivers of productivity and motivation.
  • Only 7% of unproductive workers believe their skills and capabilities are relevant to their job and well utilised by their employer. Whereas, two-thirds of productive workers report high skills utilisation.
  • Interestingly, the high wage mining industry had the lowest satisfaction rating, whereas the lower paid health care and social assistance industry had the highest satisfaction rating.

Don’t underestimate the power of wellbeing

Improved work-based wellbeing could lift productivity by 5% over two years. The Pulse found a strong correlation between people productivity and wellbeing. In fact, people who score in the poor range for wellbeing lose 27% of their individual best productivity, while those in the moderate range lose 14%. Around a third of Australian workers score in the poor-to-moderate range, which shows a similar parallel to the productivity results.

While many businesses believe they have a focus on wellbeing, this is often limited to a few factors such as physical or mental health without a holistic understanding of the wellbeing risks facing particular groups within the workforce.

Measures of wellbeing

  1. Health: Physical and mental health and capacity
  2. Skills and experience: The alignment of capability and skills to the demands of the job
  3. Values and motivation: Personal and professional motives and drivers, alignment of personal and professional values
  4. Work environment: The physical environment, social support, nature and structure of work, and leadership quality
  5. Family and wider community: The influence of relationships with others

The most productive industries, based on their workers’ average ranking on the EY worker productivity scale were in order from most productive to least productive:

  • More productive workers believe innovation is the strongest driverof productivity
  • These people agreed with the statement: “Good ideas get implemented in my organisation”
  • More than half the workforce believe productivity would improve if their organisation became more innovative
  • Fifty-four percent believe their employer fails to focus on innovation
  • Fifty-seven percent believe innovation is not recognised and rewarded
  • Fifty-nine percent believe their organisation is unwilling to try new things



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