first_imgUK must listen to HR to end productivity shameOn 6 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. A joint report by the CBI and TUC published last week says productivity ofthe UK’s companies is lagging behind other European countries. The UKProductivity Challenge shows that France and Germany are 20 per cent moreproductive. This is a dreadful indictment of UK plc. Our workforce is poorly trained and managed compared with that of ourcompetitors. UK firms have worse people management practices, and fail toimplement team working or involve staff. The UK invests too little in technologyand innovation. Many workers lack even basic literacy or numeracy skills. Ourschools are failing, managers are failing and successive governments arefailing. The study calls for an independent audit of working practices to provideevidence of links between best practice and productivity. But recent researchlinks strong HR practices to high company performance. How many more times mustthe case be made before firms take it seriously? The Government clearly has a huge role to play, for example, in offering taxincentives for companies to invest in training and technology, especially inthe SME sector. John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economist, supports government proposals fora joint CBI and TUC working party. This is not a bad idea, but it’s a bit likerounding up the usual suspects. As Philpott points out, the solution to our low productivity is to spreadpeople management practices that encourage staff commitment. No prizes for guessing who is best qualified to do that: any solution to theproductivity problem must involve the HR profession and its leadership. By Noel O’Reilly Related posts:No related photos.last_img