The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse™

Communication vital to boosting productivity

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Employees need to know: how productivity is measured, what they can do to improve productivity through enhanced practice, and how they are tracking against key measures. The objective is to make communications around productivity more relevant to the individual employee. In other words, making sense of their contribution and enlisting their support to drive productivity outcomes.

Currently, productivity – and the measures companies are putting around it (goals, definitions, benefits and measurement) – is only being effectively communicated in half of New Zealand’s organisations. The  finance and insurance (60%)  and the professional, scientific and technical (49%) industries were viewed by their people as doing the best job of communicating productivity, with manufacturing also performing well according to just over half of this industry’s workers.

Just talking about productivity in a meaningful way may be enough to make a difference to the productivity of New Zealand’s workforce.

The thorny issue of productivity measurement also offers considerable room for improvement. Nearly one in four New Zealand workers didn’t know whether productivity was measured in their organisation; while 20% said their organisation didn’t measure it at all. Industries most likely to measure productivity were: finance & insurance (75%), manufacturing (59%) and professional, scientific and technical services (58%).

The Pulse indicates that organisations putting effort into communicating productivity will experience multiple flow-on benefits:

  • Active effort by workers to increase productivity — 93% of people in organisations where the communication of productivity was good were trying to increase their productivity, compared with 76% in organisations where productivity communication was considered to be poor.
  • Increased personal productivity —  in organisations where productivity was communicated well, only 4% of the workforce felt their productivity had declined compared with six months ago. This contrasts to 14% for those where productivity communication was considered poor.
  • Increased satisfaction —  in organisations where productivity was communicated well, 35% of the workforce were ‘very satisfied’ in their job, compared to only 6% in organisations where productivity communication was considered poor.

Although workers felt that the responsibility of increasing productivity lay on the shoulders of all individuals in a workplace, they also felt that the most significant beneficiary of their improved productivity was the organisation rather than the individual. Organisations must ensure that they effectively  communicate the benefits of improved productivity for individuals.

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