Saturday, 28 June 2008

Romania not doing as well as it could

Cezar Coraci, chairman of the General Union of Romania's Industrialists UGIR 1903, says the lack of a skilled workforce, the high indirect costs of business and the instability of the fiscal system are the main problems industrial companies have to face.

Coraci believes the Romanian economy could be even more competitive in the EU if it bet on the development of some sectors such as the agro-food industry, the chemical and petrochemical industry, the car industry, constructions, IT, furniture production and consumer goods.

"These are sectors that are well rooted in Romania where there are raw materials, technology and a market demand," explains Coraci, adding there is a lack of some clearly defined objectives for each sector and strategic decisions for industrial development.

Statistical data shows industry workforce productivity rose by 8.7% in the first quarter of the year against the same period in 2007. However, the chairman of the UGIR 1903 says the trend of productivity needs to be correlated with industry wages since in March, the net average wage in industry reached 1,089 RON, up 13% compared with the same period of last year. If wages rise faster than productivity, there is a problem for Romania!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Less time, more productivity?

There have been suggestions recently that allowing staff at work access to 'distracting' web stuff such as Facebook actually increases productivity. The 'theory' is that such e-breaks help employees de-stress and recharge and also shows them that they are trusted - they respond (remember this is still theory) by exercising self-control over the amount of time they 'waste' on such sites.

I prefer evidence-based findings ... this is all anecdotal and hypothetical. Anyone know of any research that can back this up or refute it?

Friday, 13 June 2008

IT makes you more productive. Discuss!

Most companies spend lots of money on IT, presumably because they think it makes them more effective or more efficient or both. Yet, ask employees and they say they are burdened not empowered by the range of technologies in their lives.

I read recently of research which suggests both could be right - but clearly not at the same time.

A level of IT helps. Some tasks really benefit ... as does communication. And data sharing is key. This supports the organisational investment.

However, there is a 'tipping point' when the It does indeed move from help to hindrance as the range of information sources and the volume of communication starts to confuse and distract.

Anyone want to start a 'lean IT' consultancy?

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Productivity = Sustainability

The NREG Scheme, India’s flagship welfare initiative, promises at least 100 days of work in a year to one member of a poor rural family. In the 2008 Budget, the programme was extended to all 596 districts. Four-fifths of jobs created under NREGS are in the area of water conservation, land development and drought-proofing.

Now the government has decided that such jobs must be lined to productivity - currently some States are creating the jobs but getting little useful and productive work from them ... they thus become a form of charity ... and become unsustainable.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Be open and flexible, please!

Transparency in the workplace - an open and honest communication channel between employees and leadership - has a significant positive impact on workplace culture overall according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of Deloitte.

The survey reveals that there is a strong relationship between greater openness and transparency by leadership and ethical behavior at work. In fact, 84 percent of respondents agree that openness by leadership contributes to a more ethical workplace culture. Moreover, 68 percent said it would create a more values-based organization.

Another factor that leads to a more productive and engaging work environment is the ability to better balance work schedule and personal priorities. Modern lives demand greater flexibility ... for leaders and for the workforce.