Is leadership the missing variable in the productivity equation?

Quality of leadership is reported to be the single most important factor to impact the level of productivity in an organisation according to a new international research study. The report, The Puzzle of Productivity: What enhances workplace performance? was compiled by the Fourfront Group, The United Workplace (TUW) and WORKTECH Academy. It found that more than half of respondents surveyed (53 percent) named leadership as the most important factor in raising organisational performance. Less than a fifth of respondents named environment, technology or wellness as being the most important factor. Environment came second to leadership, but a long way behind on 18 per cent of the survey. More than half of the organisations surveyed worldwide (54 percent) said that ‘inspiring leadership’ is the best way to motivate staff to improve performance, whereas a ‘well designed workplace’ scored much lower on 19 percent with ‘a focus on wellness’ (14 percent) and ‘seamless tech’ (13 percent) even further down the field.

Aki Stamatis, chairman Fourfront Group and TUW, said,  “What’s clear from our research and the interviews is that whilst leadership is conclusively regarded as a dominant factor in raising performance, not enough attention is paid to it by those of us working within workplace. We need to allow leadership to forge a deeper understanding and strong partnership with workplace design because one cannot deliver what organisations need to improve their productivity without the other.”

Jeremy Myerson, director WORKTECH Academy said, “Leadership may be regarded as the most important factor in improving organisational productivity, but it has to be integrated with other major drivers of productivity, such as environment. To achieve that integration requires key decision makers in the market to adopt more holistic and joined-up thinking in workplace strategy. That’s why we’re setting up an annual Forum on Workplace Performance. But first we want to hear reactions to the Puzzle of Productivity. This is the opening shot in a debate that is set to run and run. We invite you to join the conversation.”

The Puzzle of Productivity is being discussed at a Workplace Week London fringe event on 13 November at 4pm in Fourfront’s offices at the Counting House, Tooley Street. Details here.