Last week the Office of National Statistics released its most recent estimates on International Comparisons of Productivity. The report contained annual estimates of labour productivity for the G7 developed countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA) up to 2011 and showed that the UK is lagging behind. So what does this mean for service in the UK? Could our low productivity be having an effect on customer service and the service organisations’ pursuit of service excellence?
The headline finding from the report was that output per hour in the UK was 16 percentage points below the average for the rest of the major industrialised economies in 2011, making it the widest productivity gap since 1993. On an output per worker basis, UK productivity was 21 percentage points lower than the rest of the G7 in 2011.
Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s economics editor, suggested that these findings may not be as bad as they first seem commenting that “although the average British worker is nearly 40% less productive than their US counterpart, in the short-term having more people in jobs could be better for the UK economy as it preserves people’s skill levels and experience, ready to respond to the upturn when it comes.”