UK faces a productivity puzzle, HR should drive the way in ensuring we tackle this problem

HR will drive the way in ensuring companies are more productive and HR departments should be renamed “the productivity department” this arises as recently the UK suffered its biggest productivity drop in five years.

This is what Josh Bersin, founder of the Josh Bersin Academy, which is a professional development school for HR thinks. This was discussed in HRreview’s webinar, Career pathing is your best employee retention strategy that took place on the 24th of October 2019.

This idea that HR could take on the problem of productivity is especially important as the UK currently finds itself in a productivity puzzle.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on the 9th of October 2019, output per hour dropped by 0.5 per cent after four consecutive quarters of negative growth for labour productivity. This being the biggest productivity fall in the UK for five years.

Jon Boys, labour market economist at the CIPD, said:

The statistics confirm that poor productivity still haunts the UK economy. Worse still, it’s actually down on the same quarter of last year.

Businesses may have more immediate concerns than raising productivity, but it’s the only way to increase pay packets in the long term. We mustn’t be fooled by recent strong earnings growth figures, which have been driven by a tight labour market and not an increase in employers’ ability to pay.

Though we talk of a productivity puzzle, there is an obvious culprit and that’s uncertainty. Government needs to reduce uncertainty, so businesses aren’t deterred from investing for the future. We need to see more money being put into skills and people management training given our service dominated economy, where the knowledge and talents of individuals are what gives UK PLC its USP.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.