No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

UK still suffers from poor productivity


A new study by Proudfoot Consulting shows the UK falling behind competitor economies through disorganisation, low ambition and underperformance.

Entitled 'Untapped Potential - The barriers to optimum corporate productivity', the study comprises 1,357 analyses of companies in nine countries, plus an opinion poll of 2,700 chief executive officers. It reports that poor planning and inadequate management is still the key reason for the majority of time wasted in the workplace globally.

In descending order of importance, the other reasons identified were: poor working morale; IT problems; poor communication; and inadequate qualifications. Taken together, all these factors account for the loss of 92 out of a total of 225 productive working days per company in 2002. The UK fares worse than average, with 110 days out of 225 lost, compared to France (97), Germany (83) and the USA (86).

This year's findings again show that poor planning and controlling of work are still major causes of lost productivity, and Britons are getting worse. In addition, IT problems increased from 7 to 10% as a cause of lost productivity in British firms compared to 2001. This indicates the rising dependency that companies place on IT systems for efficient operations, and could partly be explained by technical snags with enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management (ERP/CRM) software.

Conversely, poor working morale declined as a factor affecting productivity, perhaps as a result of the 'feel-good factor' created by the combined effects of The World Cup, The Queen's Golden Jubilee and a general sense of prosperity many workers are experiencing owing to reduced mortgage rates and the rising value of equity in their homes.

In a separate opinion poll, Proudfoot Consulting canvassed the views of 2,700 CEOs, including 300 from the UK. The overall picture is one of a declining rate of productivity growth. In the UK, when asked to predict the level by which productivity would increase during 2002, the average response was 3.4 percent.

Commenting on the study, Nicholas Crafts, professor of economic history at The London School of Economics, said: "This is a valuable project and the report's findings should be required reading for business leaders, government policymakers and large institutional shareholders. At the level of individual business, poor management is costing shareholders money in a big way. And in macroeconomic terms, a great deal of time could be released into the labour market to produce valuable input in public services, new business or elsewhere."


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!