S'pore firms seek productivity gains through current employees

PHOTO: S'pore firms seek productivity gains through current employees

SINGAPORE - When it comes to productivity, firms in Singapore tend to rely on their employees to do more, rather than to invest in better technology, infrastructure or pay raises.

A total of 150 Singapore-based respondents took part in a global survey of more than 2,000 chief financial officers (CFOs) and financial directors conducted by recruitment firm Robert Half.

Almost half of the CFOs surveyed said that their companies achieved additional output from their team without providing additional resources. This was followed by 44 per cent who gained productivity improvements through investing in technology, and 38 per cent who employed more permanent staff to increase output.

While it was only the second most important factor in Singapore, investment in technology was the largest contributor to productivity gains globally and was cited by 41 per cent of respondents in the survey of 15 countries.

Globally, 40 per cent of respondents said they increased productivity by getting existing staff to do more with the same resources.

Ms Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore, said that the tightening labour market is a factor which causes firms to rely on existing staff instead of hiring more workers.

However, she warned that employees who are overworked may leave for other companies or move overseas.

"One thing employers need to be mindful of is the importance of motivation when it comes to getting employees to be more productive," she said.

"The push for employees to do more with the same resources works well when employees are motivated by regular honest and open communication, rewards and recognition, and being able to access flexible working arrangements," Ms Tang added.