Is your business focussed on productivity?
Posted : Thursday, October 06, 2011
Giving more meaningful work and flexibility is key to retaining
older employees longer, attendees at CEDA's Recharging and
raising enterprise wide productivity event heard.
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Presenters, from Deloitte, Siemens and Microsoft spoke of how their
organisations are approaching productivity and innovation
highlighting that with new technologies, a changing demography and
sustainability, productivity is not something businesses should
address; it is something they must address.
Deloitte Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Giam
Swiegers highlighted factors key to business
According to Mr Swiegers, productivity is "the responsibility of
the leaders within organisations to engage employees and as a
result increase productivity".
"You only have high productivity when you have the right people, in
the right positions and they're pretty passionate about it," he
Mr Swiegers said The Gallup Organisation believes that disengaged
employees are costing Australia $39 billion.
"To me it seems like we lose $39 billion because we allow bad
leaders to remain in charge of disengaged employees," he
He also spoke of the need to look at keeping retiring workers
longer because less than a third of people aged 55-70 are still
"If you want to retain them, our research indicates you have to do
two things. You have to give them far more meaningful work... and
they demand more autonomy and more flexibility."
Lastly Mr Swiegers said we need to engage in crowd sourcing:
"Taking complex problems, putting them out into the Internet and
seeing if there is anybody out there that can help you solve these
This is extremely pertinent for a country like Australia because
"the further away you are from your key markets the less productive
you will be," he said.
Siemens, Chairman and Managing Director, Albert
Goller said Australia is indeed the lucky country and well
positioned to tackle present challenges surrounding productivity
but we must act now.
"I strongly believe that a country without manufacturing will be
struggling in the long term...countries that have relatively easily
escaped or even moved out of this global financial crisis are the
countries that have a large manufacturing base."
Though productivity is being talked about, Mr Goller said he is not
sure Australia has moved it into actions.
"Seventy-six per cent of the Australian and private sector are
saying it's [their] top priority, but...there were only 25 per cent
who were really measuring," he said.
"I haven't seen any company investing in technology, and by doing
so looking much deeper into their processes, where they haven't
Ultimately Mr Goller's message was that productivity is an issue
which should be addressed now by collaboration with three groups:
government, industry/companies as well as research and education
"We are the luckiest country at the moment... [but] can we become
the most admired country by really using our resources in a way
that everyone will admire?"
Microsoft, National Government Industry Manager, Brad
Coughlan spoke of the dynamic workplace and the importance
of people, business and technology in productivity and
According to Mr Coughlan, the challenges around driving
productivity in a dynamic workplace include:
People - "What does a workplace have to do and how
does it have to function if we are going to mix different sets of
people together with different styles of working in a way that
enables us to productively collaborate and team together to drive
the outcomes that our organisations need?"
Place -"The physical aspects of our organisations,
and are we geared for enabling the sorts of capabilities and
collaboration that we are going to need increasingly from here on
Technology - "The technology aspects that will be
required to enable those capabilities within the
For those things to come together in a way that makes sense there
is incredible collaboration required between three key aspects.
They are the human resources team, the real estate (or facilities)
team and the information technology teams, he said.
Mr Coughlan's advice for companies looking to move to a dynamic
workplace to increase productivity: develop a transition process
upfront, make sure that the communication process is front and
foremost and ensure you train your staff.