Growth markets have enjoyed significant gains in economic performance over the last 20 years by attracting investment and improving infrastructure, particularly in China and India. Localized trade, such as that occurring within Asia and Latin America, has also helped boost performance. Speeding these growth economies along on their journeys are improved political stability and vastly enhanced access to technology and education. However, they face a major challenge in the form of falling productivity, which threatens to undermine their impressive growth stories.
Many growth markets saw healthy productivity gains through the introduction of technology that helped them catch up with more developed economies. But the impact of technology on productivity levels has faded, while rising wage pressure, ineffectual leadership and low engagement levels are making those gains harder to sustain. Innovation and new technologies can no longer simply be borrowed from more developed countries. Instead, growth markets must invest capital themselves while equipping their workforces with new skills and competencies.
Organizations recognize the importance of employee engagement and its impact on productivity levels. If one group of employees produces less than another of equal education and skill, then the logical cause must be inadequate leadership and engagement.
In the last five years, Mercer | Sirota has asked around 5 million people from all over the world how motivated they are at work. Across this group, 18% tell us they do not find work a motivating place to be. For companies with bigger morale challenges, the number can be as high as 35%. This represents a huge waste of talent and time. Ask yourself: Would your company tolerate waste of one-third of any other resource?
In this article, organizational psychologist Lewis Garrad offers four recommendations for growth markets employers to better engage employees and subsequently boost their productivity.