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‘Always want more’

Marlon Madden

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Despite 3.7 per cent national productivity growth in 2010 compared to 3.1 per cent in 2009, The Productivity Council is not entirely satisfied with the level of productivity on the island.
Anthony Sobers, chief programme manager, said while there was a level of satisfaction given the difficulty the economy was facing, there was still “a level of dissatisfaction”.
“We are always expecting more and we always want more. Productivity is that you want to do better every time,” he said.
“So what we did last year, we want to do a lot better this year – so we are never [fully] satisfied. You always want to improve on the performance.
“We are not totally satisfied, so this year we are renewing our spirits and putting more focus on process management and analysis,” said Sobers.
He was speaking to reporters last Tuesday at the Council’s Bellville, St Michael location as he presented the results of the 2010 national productivity results.
The five sectors analyzed were tourism (accommodation), financial services, construction, manufacturing and wholesale. Only the tourism and financial services sector recorded increased growth in productivity of 1.1 per cent and one per cent respectively.
The other three sectors recorded a decline in productivity growth: construction, down 29 per cent; wholesale and trade, down 6.4 per cent; manufacturing, down five per cent.
“We have established in the past that productivity is very important to our survival and we really need to focus a lot on improving the level of productivity. Therefore, attention must be given to how we can employ productivity, how we can build capacity within our organizations and also how we can expand the capability of companies,” said Sobers.
He said it was also important to understand that productivity helps to reduce operation costs and “drives economic growth”.
But, he said, poor productive performance slows the demand for goods and services “and by extension, kills productive capacity and leads to a lot of idle employment”.
Sobers said absenteeism was no longer a major area of concern for the council. He said it was a matter of addressing the issue in a timely manner. He said one area they would be focusing on going forward was encouraging good management-employee relationship.