Canada plagued by productivity deficit

Almost half of employees say they could be doing more on the job according to ADP’s latest workplace survey.

Canada plagued by productivity deficit
A worrying new survey had revealed Canada is being plagued by a productivity deficit after almost half of employees admitted they could be doing more on the job.

The latest ADP Canada Sentiment Survey found that 49 per cent of Canadians felt they weren’t performing to the best of their abilities while in the workplace.

"We've identified several key causes of Canada's workplace productivity deficit, and employers should take note," said Russell Wong, CFO at ADP Canada.

"While the problem and its various causes are widespread, the good news is a combination of productivity improvements, tools and increased employee engagement can help."

The 49 per cent of Canadian employees who said they were only somewhat productive, not very productive or not at all productive, pointed to a number of reasons for their disengagement – the leading causes were:

Distraction deluge

Of the less productive 49 per cent, almost half (43 per cent) said distractions were to blame for their poor productivity.

"Distraction can be rooted in a wide variety of causes, from poor office design to overly ambitious multi-tasking to the pervasive presence of social media," says Wong.

"Every situation is different, but employers should look first at the things they can control, such as noisy or crowded workspaces and then at what their employees can control.”

Interestingly, Ontarians were by far the most distracted group among less productive workers at 53 per cent compared to the national average of 43 per cent. They were also more affected by distractions than any of the different age groups.

Process paralysis

Among less productive Canadian workers, 35 per cent complained of process paralysis which includes barriers such as cumbersome workflows, bureaucratic red tape and organizational bottlenecks.

"This is an area where tools that automate repetitive tasks can be a game changer," says Wong. "Given the widespread impact of this productivity drain, streamlining processes and actively working to remove productivity barriers should be a focus for employers."

Complacency complex

More than one quarter of less productive employees (27 per cent) admitted they just don't need to work more efficiently to get the job done.

"While in some cases complacency can be the fault of the employee, more often it comes down to issues like a lack of training, resources or low levels of employee engagement, and these are unquestionably management problems," says Wong.

"Most workers are capable of, and want to add more value to their organization, but sometimes they're simply not given the tools, opportunities or context to discuss and advance these aspirations."
Other leading causes of workplace efficiency deficit cited by less productive Canadian workers include boredom and a lack of resources or tools (both mentioned by 20 per cent), as well as overwhelming workload (15 per cent) and shortcomings in training (10 per cent).
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