It’s not the time of year when schools traditionally give out reports to pupils but the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has just published our final report - the UK’s that is – on productivity, for the year 2012.
How are we doing?
Well, I’m certainly no economist but I do love a bit of statistics and it looks pretty much like, any way you slice it, we’re not doing as well as we could. Here’s the opening line of their summary:
“Output per hour in the UK was 21 percentage points below the average for the rest of the major G7 industrialised economies in 2012, the widest productivity gap since 1992. On an output per worker basis, UK productivity was 25 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 in 2012.” (ONS, February 2014)
Not pretty reading is it? There is little explanation of why we are lagging so far behind the rest of our G7 partners in this report but we are, and by a lot (with the exception of Japan).
it’s not new news
What is interesting to me is that this may in fact be a conservative figure against the potential that people have to be productive. I’ve written about my unofficial qualitative experiment in this blog before and I’m beginning to think the figures I have found, are pretty accurate.
The Economist magazine was lamenting the UK’s lack of productivity back in 1998 and put it down then, to a lack of skills training in combination with various other factors. The point is, you don’t need money to train people in skills all of the time. Indeed approximately 70% of vocational learning is achieved whilst “in work” rather than off on some training course.
Leadership & Development
Managers and leaders really need the help to help their own team members become more skilled and more productive. Greater productivity is linked to increased wealth (The Economist,1998) and whilst this isn’t all about the money, the best way of getting out of the tail end of this recession quickly and sustainably might be to help generate more spending and consumer confidence. How do you do that? Get more money into people’s wallets and purses.
Come on managers and leaders of Britain, our country needs you!
Glenn Wallis is an experienced Executive Coach and Coach Developer who will help you improve your own results and those of your organisation. When you are ready to raise your performance to the next level, find out more here