Canada Falling Behind in Productivity

    TORONTO, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian companies are falling behind
their counterparts in other industrialized nations in terms of productivity
gains, and businesses in this country will have to improve their workplace
operations in a number of critical areas if they are to remain competitive,
says a major new international study.
    Proudfoot Consulting today released its Canadian Productivity Report, a
companion study to its Global Productivity Report. The data compares workplace
efficiency in Canada to 11 other countries - U.K, France, Germany, Spain,
Russia, South Africa, U.S., Brazil, India, China and Australia. Proudfoot is
the world's leading operations management consulting firm.
    Only 11% of Canadian firms are experiencing productivity gains of 15% or
more ('high performers') compared to 22% of companies internationally. As
well, Canadian managers say they could increase productivity by 13% over the
next two years, but expect to achieve gains of only 8% - leaving 42% of
potential productivity gains on the table.
    "This less-than-stellar performance in Canada can be attributed to a
number of factors, including the low level of relevant training for both staff
and managers, the slower speed of decision-making, and problems with internal
communications in Canadian organizations," said Jon Wylie, Proudfoot's
Managing Director in Canada.
    While Canadian companies identify a skills shortage as the number-one
roadblock to efficiency improvements, at the same time they provide one of the
lowest levels of training. Canadian workers receive an average of 8 days of
training per year, the second lowest level of the 12 markets surveyed and 25%
below the global norm. Not only that, but the usefulness of the training is
questionable as only 55% of managers in this country say training needs within
their company are formally and regularly assessed - the lowest score in the
    "If the labour pool lacks the necessary skills, it is incumbent on
companies to train and develop the required skills in order to be successful.
This is one area where Canada falls short," noted Wylie.
    Interestingly, Canadian managers also cite high staff turnover and low
workplace morale as significant problems. "Recruitment, retention, and morale
are closely linked to effective training and internal communications," Wylie
explained. According to the report, Canadian managers are more likely than
managers anywhere else to say staff turnover rates will get worse in the next
12 months.
    Canada ranks second to last in terms of the ease with which information
flows within companies. This inefficiency may indicate unnecessary
bureaucracy, and is a major contributing factor to the slow speed of corporate
decision-making in this country. Only 63% of Canadian managers report that
decisions are made quickly in their companies - putting Canada well back in
ninth position.
    The good news is that Canadians are open to change. According to the
study, only 7% of Canadian managers identify a lack of desire of the general
workforce to adopt change programs as a barrier to productivity. This level is
lower than all other countries studied. Similarly, only 5% of Canadian
managers see a similar lack of desire to implement change among senior
    "Enhanced productivity is critical if we want to continue to attract
investment, grow our businesses and our economy, and provide a level of
employment and a standard of living that Canadians want. Currently, we're
losing ground. We simply have to learn how to run faster in order to keep up,"
Wylie said.

    Available online at:

    - The Canadian Productivity Report
    - Backgrounder on the Canadian Productivity Report
    - Proudfoot corporate backgrounder
    - Bios and Photos for Proudfoot Personnel

    About Proudfoot Consulting

    Proudfoot Consulting is the world leader in the design and implementation
of workplace productivity programs. Founded in 1946, Proudfoot has grown to
serve clients worldwide from 14 offices on five continents. Its teams work
with client company management, and with people at all levels of the
organization, to achieve bottom-line results. Its Canadian head office is
located in Toronto, and other offices are located in Montreal and Vancouver.

    About the Global Productivity Report

    The Proudfoot Global Productivity Report is a definitive source of
information on global productivity, used by the media and respected by the
business community. The 2008 Report is based on interviews with 1,275 managers
in 12 countries and across 8 sectors, interviews with C-level executives from
a number of those markets, and analysis of data collected during Proudfoot
client engagements around the world.

For further information:

For further information: visit or contact:
Toronto: Robert Stephens or Jaclyn Clare, (416) 777-0368; Montreal: Robin
Palin, (514) 426-7137

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890