By Gail C
In a workplace Productivity Pulse Survey, Ernst & Young surveyed 1220 public and private sector workers in New Zealand during March 2012. The findings revealed that about three in four people were motivated to do their job to the best of their ability and that 70% believe their work is valued.
Productivity levels of a worker’s average day:
- 69% of the day is spent on work that adds ‘real value’
- 16% on networking, personal development and other organisational curricular activities important to both individual and business performance
- 15% on wasted activities (Their employers put the figure higher at 21%.)
The main time-wasters were:
- dealing with unnecessary waiting for other staff to finish tasks (16%)
- unnecessary meetings and ICT issues
Indeed, according to a UK study by Dr Thomas Jackson, it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover your train of thought each time you stop what you are doing when an email arrives. On that basis, if you check your email every five minutes, you are taking up to one working day a week recalling what you were doing moments before!
flickr image by Zanzibar
Parallels with our working lives in schools
The Productivity Pulse Survey findings gave pause for a moment of self-reflection. What parallels can we draw with our working lives in schools? Which of the following four groups, by which Ernst & Young categorised the Kiwi workforce, describes one’s own self?
- Super achievers (27.3) who only spend 11% of time on wasteful activities
- Solid contributors (45.1 %)
- Patchy participants (20.3%)
- Lost souls, who do nothing (7.3 %) who spend 27% of time on wasteful activities
The biggest drivers for increasing productivity were people management issues including:
- developing staff talent
- introducing innovative practices
- streamlining organisational systems and processes
- improving technology
- including providing the right training to use the technology effectively
These drivers are also relevant to help identify areas for improvement/intervention for delivering library services that support 21st Century student learning, underpinned by The Pedagogy of the Library