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Acas addresses UK productivity puzzle

Posted at June 25, 2015 | Categories : News

Acas has published a new report which looks at the role that workplaces can play in helping to solve the UK’s productivity puzzle.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that output per hour worked in the UK was 17% below the average for the rest of the major G7 advanced economies in 2013. This is the widest productivity gap since 1992.

Ideas to improve the situation have included improvements to labour force skills, national infrastructure and access to finance but Acas claims that the workplace itself has been overlooked as part of the solution.

The report highlights key issues as follows:

  • Well designed work: jobs and work organised in ways that increase efficiency and make the most of people’s skills.
  • Skilled line managers: managers with the confidence and training to manage and lead effectively.
  • Managing conflict effectively: systems in place to reduce the likelihood of problems arising and to deal with problems at every stage.
  • Clarity about rights and responsibilities: a working environment where everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.
  • Fairness: employees who feel valued and treated fairly.
  • Strong employee voice: informed employees who can contribute and are listened to.
  • High trust: relationships based on trust, with employers sharing information at the earliest opportunity.

Acas chair, Sir Brendan Barber, comments: “Low productivity is one of the most crucial issues facing the country. This new report draws on our expertise and explains the very important role that the workplace can play in addressing the problem.

“We want to help get productivity to a level where the UK can compete with the rest of the world as it will allow us to create a strong, stable economy and reap benefits to both employers and employees.”