In Box: Performance and productivity priorities

More than 90 percent of employers plan to maintain staffing levels or hire more people in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest “Hudson Report: Employment Trends” released mid-January.
Over 60 percent (61.8) intend to keep staffing levels steady while 30.4 percent intend to lift their numbers.
Hudson, global recruitment company, also said that nearly third of all employers (30.8 percent) cite enhancing performance/productivity of their existing team as their top HR priority for 2013. This is followed by retaining staff (17.2 percent), staff development (16.9 percent), developing leadership capabilities (11.3 percent), attracting suitable staff (11 percent) and restructuring/right-sizing (8.2 percent).
They reported that business confidence in the South Island remains buoyant due to increasing signs of Canterbury rebuild-related activity. Nationally, the industries with the most positive hiring intentions include Government, education and financial services/insurance.
“Businesses are having to work harder to create opportunities,” said Roman Rogers, executive general manager, Hudson New Zealand. “There’s been huge focus on managing costs. But concurrently businesses are looking to lift productivity, performance and quality of service.”
Workloads have increased for more than half of employees and more than quarter are working more than they were year ago.
“Most companies are asking more of their people. But employers need to realise they can only go so far before this becomes counter-productive,” said Rogers. “If productivity and enhanced performance is the end-goal, employers need to recognise that key drivers are staff retention, capability and strong leadership, and take strategic approach to minimising business risk and disruption. If these factors are not addressed, enhanced productivity will be out of reach for many organisations,” cautioned Rogers. 
“Staff retention and high performance are outcomes of strong employee engagement. So, exceptional leadership, staff buy-in to what the organisation is trying to achieve and feeling part of the team are essential. It can take six months to year to bring new employee up to speed. Therefore, employers can ill afford to overlook the needs of their current team.
“While enhancing productivity requires sufficient demand, it’s also about ensuring that staff have the right capability, that is the skills, behavioural and motivational fit, and are supported by systems, process and organisational structures to deliver efficiently. Cloud-based and other new technology platforms and evolving work practices are also having an impact on productivity with organisations achieving gains of as much as 25 to 30 percent through remote working environments.” M

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