The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse™

Productivity profiles

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Productivity Pulse: key findings


Productivity Pulse: the wellbeing dividend


Productivity Pulse: animation of latest statistics

Patchy participants cause for concern

chart 5 large


The Pulse profiles New Zealand workers in four groups, with two categories of workers above the national average of 7.42 on a 10-point scale, and two below. Overall, national productivity increased from the previous edition (up from a ‘mean’ of 7.34), driven by a particularly significant increase in workers rating their productivity eight or nine out of ten.

The EY Worker Productivity Scale™ identifies the following key characteristics of the four groups below:

"Super achievers" 26% of the New Zealand workforce.

Productive ranking of 9 — 10:
Workers in this ‘highly productive’ group are most likely to be satisfied with their jobs and are highly motivated.  They believe their skills are well utilised. Personal productivity is extremely important to them. Only 10% of their day is wasted.

"Solid contributors" 53% of the New Zealand workforce.

Productivity ranking of 7 — 8:
While ‘productive’, this group wastes more time than average on waiting for other people, IT issues, and sending and replying to emails. Only 13% of their day is wasted.

"Patchy participants" 17% of the New Zealand workforce.

Productivity ranking of 5 — 6:
This ‘less than productive’ group is characterised by inertia and is responsible for most of New Zealand’s workplace wastage. They are the least satisfied, least motivated group and skill utilisation is at rock-bottom. Despite containing New Zealand’s least motivated workers, Patchy Participants are also the least likely to be planning to leave their current organisation.

"Lost souls" 5% of the New Zealand workforce.

Productivity ranking of 1 — 4:
The ‘unproductive’ group wastes 21% of the working day. This group is the least likely to have flexible working conditions. One in three is planning to leave their organisation.


Patchy participants cause for concern

These relatively young workers are less satisfied with their jobs and more unmotivated. They feel their skills are not adequately utilised in the workforce. Employers need to focus on demonstrating the value and benefits of personal productivity to this group.

Most productive industries

The most productive industries, based on their workers’ average ranking on the EY Productivity Scale™ were in order:

  1. Healthcare and Social Assistance (2)*
  2. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (1)*

  3. Manufacturing (4)* 
  4. Trade (Retail and Wholesale) (3)*
  5. Financial and Insurance Services (n/a)

*(Edition one ranking)

As in edition one of the Pulse, those working in healthcare and social assistance were more likely to see themselves as productive than those in other industries. This group also had the highest proportion of Super Achievers, despite a drop in this group from 35% to 30% from edition 1. Manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical services; and financial and insurance services all had higher proportions of Solid Contributors in their workforces.

People and organisation factors need continuing attention

Edition 1 of the Pulse found that a third of workers rated people management factors as having the biggest impact on their individual productivity. Our second Pulse confirms that organisations need to focus more on team and people aspects if they want to keep driving up productivity. The biggest differences in scores between the most and the least productive workers are in the  areas of being in a high performing team, feeling their skills are strongly utilised by their employer, and having the opportunity to suggest new ideas.

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