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The EY Australian Productivity Pulse™ - Uncertainty drags down productivity - EY - Australia

The EY Australian Productivity Pulse™

Uncertainty drags down productivity

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About The Pulse

The Pulse measures Australian workers’ sentiments about their own and their organisation’s productivity and the value of the work they do. It gauges the collective voice of almost 2,500 workers across key industries and from all levels in both the private and public sectors.

Six months ago, Wave 1 of the survey found that organisations wasted 18% of their day on work that didn’t add value – costing the economy an estimated $109 billion. In Wave 2, we examine why that wastage occurs and what could be done about it.

For businesses in slow-growth industries, employee concerns may be as damaging as difficult market conditions.

The current economic environment has pulled many businesses into a vicious downward spiral, with job insecurity taking a toll on productivity. The Pulse found one in two unproductive workers feel insecure, while this applies to only one in ten highly productive and productive workers.

Managers should be aware that insecurity isn’t just generated by job losses. It’s more likely to be caused by feelings of uncertainty within an organisation as well as the impact of negative media coverage about the health of the economy and particular industries.

Importance of communicating to employees

In downtimes, executives naturally concentrate on projecting confidence to the market. However, as the above findings indicate, they also need a much stronger focus closer to home. In other words, more authentic internal communications to their people are required from a unified management team.

Job security tied to belief of high performance

Regardless of industry, job security increases when employees believe they are high performers and are confident their role is integral to their company’s success. These highly productive workers are more likely to believe, therefore they can find a new job easily and more likely to agree that cost cutting will improve productivity than their unproductive counterparts.

A lack of consensus

However, there is no consensus on this issue. Of the more than 40% of respondents who report job losses or redundancies in their organisations in the past six months, half don’t believe this will improve productivity and 22% aren’t sure.

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