Six Reasons Why Productivity Is Low and What You Can Do About It

Six Reasons Why Productivity Is Low and What You Can Do About It

Recently I was talking to a senior manager at a local business. It’s a subsidiary of a USA company and their senior management was unhappy with the UK office performance. He was very worried about the implications for the future. Productivity had not dropped, but neither had it risen as the parent company expected.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR and people development, recently published a paper on the topic. They found that Jim’s company was not alone – overall productivity in British companies was below that of both Germany and the USA. CIPD research found that about 30-35% of staff had some sort of managerial responsibility, so even modest improvement in the way they work can add up to big organisational benefits.

CIPD research concluded that it was management practice that was at fault and highlighted six key areas for improvement:

  1. While management practices have kept pace with international competition during the last year, they have not made any ground. It’s essential they do so in such a fast paced environment.
  2. We need an approach to managing organisations that stimulates more effective employee involvement and commitment to achieve high levels of performance.
  3. While 65% of employees are satisfied with their line manager, that still means 35% are not. Furthermore, only 35% say they trust their senior managers. It’s well known that people work harder for managers they like and trust, producing higher productivity, taking less sick days and staying with the organisation longer.
  4. Less than 5% of a manager’s time is spent speaking formally or informally with the people they manage and under half of employees questioned were happy with the time their manager spent with them.
  5. One in five employees reported that they had never had a formal meeting with their manager.
  6. Companies that invested in training for staff fared better when pursuing high quality strategies.

Despite being an HR consultant for several years, I was aghast at some of these finding. ‘Only one in five employees reported they had ever had a formal meeting their manager. That’s a terrible indictment. It means no staff appraisals, no weekly or monthly meetings and probably not even an induction. How can the managers know their staff or how well they are working?

‘Less than 5% of manager’s time spent speaking to staff.

  • I’ve noticed that many managers do not seem to realise that time spent managing people is part of their work. This means time needs to be allocated to it, it should not be seen as an ‘extra’to the managers ‘real’ work.  How much time managers spend on staff will depend on several issues – experience of staff, workloads, new projects, sickness levels, etc. As the report points out, without good attention to workers, productivity fails to reach full potential.

‘35% of employees do not trust their manager.

  • This is so worrying. Without trust staff will not go to their manager when they have a personal or professional problem. They won’t work hard for them. They won’t tell them they’re applying for another job either!

The Namasté 12 month Management Development Programme addresses many of these issues and more. By providing access to open workshops your managers can meet with others who experience similar problems in managing and motivating others.

Who is it for?

The Management Development Programme is for anyone:

  • New to management
  • Making the transition from a functional or technical role into a team management position
  • In a team management position and looking to enhance your effectiveness as a manager

Benefits to you and your organisation

By the end of the Management Development Programme you will:

  • Have greater flexibility of approach and understand how to relate your management style to the individuals you are working with
  • Be able to manage yourself effectively: building confidence as a presenter, be better able to delegate and recognise the impact of your style on others
  • Be able to manage others effectively: clear ability to delegate, managing performance and conflict, being able to deal with difficult situations well

Direct Impact on the Organisation:

  • Improved employee engagement – linking to greater productivity
  • Reduction in sickness absence, grievances and employee turnover
  • Improvements in quality leading to greater customer loyalty and/or new business.

The 12 month programme can be delivered in-house or managers can attend one of our open workshop groups.

To find out more call Jacqui on 01954 267 640 or email

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