Saturday, 27 August 2011

Our people are our greatest asset

You will have heard that slogan many times before ... and, quite often, just before an organisation downsizes or treats its employees poorly in some other way.

Now, the UK government is getting in on the act.

Oliver Letwin, the coalition's policy minister, recently revealed the government's determination to instil "fear" among those working in the public sector, who he claimed had failed for the past 20 years to improve their productivity. (Note: 'they' had failed; not those setting policy and strategy.)

Letwin, architect of the coalition's plans to reform public services, told a meeting at the offices of a leading consultancy firm that the public sector had atrophied over the past two decades.

In controversial comments angering teachers, nurses and doctors, he warned that it was only through "some real discipline and some fear" of job losses that excellence would be achieved in the public sector.

Letwin added that some of those running schools and hospitals would not survive the process and that it was an "inevitable and intended" consequence of government policy.

I am sure we now have high morale and high perfprmance amongst public sector workers.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Government raises the bar

In the US, the White House and car manufacturers have agreed to raise the fuel economy standards for vehicles.

Fuel efficiency standards require mileage to average 54.5 miles per gallon for passenger cars and light trucks by 2025.

This is a significant step up from the 2016 level where cars and light trucks must average 31.4 miles per gallon or 250 grams per mile of carbon dioxide equivalent. This year, the fuel economy of all 2011 cars and trucks sold has to average out to 27.3 miles per gallon.

If the car makers have agreed, they must be pretty confident they can reach these new levels.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Campaigns and Awards

Campaigns and awards are one of the ways in which national and regional productivity centres stimulate interest in productivity development.

As an example, in the Philippines, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board has announced the conduct of the Productivity Olympics 2011 in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Joel Ijirani, RTWPB-Zamboanga Peninsula board secretary, said the Productivity Olympics will be held to showcase the best productivity improvements, programs, and practices of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

Participants must have had a productivity improvement program for at least two years preferably under the National Wages and Productivity Commission's (NWPC) ISTIV productivity program, and not a former recipient of the Productivity Olympics award at the national level.

ISTIV stands for industrious, systematic, time conscious, innovative, and strong value for work.

One enterprise will be chosen for each of the Agribusiness, Service and Industry sectors.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Is the US active?

From January 2000 to January 2010, the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs fell by 6.17 million, or 34%

This is a dramatic drop. Of course, if output has been maintained through higher productivity, this would be less serious. Unfortunately, output also fell.

From 2000 to 2009, 15 of the 19 U.S. manufacturing sectors shrank in terms of real value added (gross output minus the cost of inputs), and overall manufacturing output declined by 10%.

So productivity did rise but not by enough.

What is the US doing about this situation. Well, my eyes and ears have detected very little awareness of the problem, let alone action to address it.

If you know more, please let me - and my readers - know!