The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse™

National productivity rises

Closing the $280 million public sector productivity gap

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The Pulse found the national productivity average has continued its upward trend, driven by increasing proportions of higher productivity workers. Based on a ten point scale, New Zealand’s average (or mean) productivity increased from 7.47 to 7.54 in the last six months, up from 7.3 in February 2012. Although this overall uplift is encouraging, workers are clear where room for improvement lies.

Also, despite the upward trend, wastage has not improved. On average, workers continue to waste 12% of their day (54 minutes). Our least productive workers continue to waste approximately one hour per day more than our most productive workers.

Once again, improved productivity has been driven by the individual efforts of workers – not organisational change. Workers attributed most productivity improvements in the past six months to factors such as getting more familiar or gaining confidence in a role and identifying better ways to do their job. By contrast, they continued to attribute productivity declines to poor people management, a lack of motivation and poor treatment of staff.

Productivity changes by sector

The national increase in perceived personal productivity was driven by increases in worker productivity in the Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale Trades.

The Pulse also revealed signs of productivity momentum in Health Care and Social Assistance.  That said, that sector, along with Professional Scientific and Technical Services and Financial and Insurance Services have yet to return to their levels of six months ago.

EY