Australian Companies Pressured to do More with Less : New Study by Robert Half

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A new study by Robert Half reveals 45% of Australian CFOs are boosting productivity by asking staff to do more without increasing resources.

Finance & Accounting Recruitment

Robert Half

Relentless deadlines can lead to low morale and reduced productivity

A new study by Robert Half reveals that Australian companies are boosting workplace productivity by asking staff to do more with the same resources, according to a survey by specialist finance and accounting recruitment firm Robert Half.

The survey included 300 Australian CFOs and Finance Directors from every major industry as part of a global survey of 2,179 financial leaders across 15 countries.

In Australia, 45 percent of CFOs said their companies have become more productive by boosting output from teams without providing additional resources, ahead of technology improvements (40 percent), and process and infrastructure improvements (34 percent). These findings align with recent research figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that show flat-lining employment figures with unemployment remaining fairly steady at 5.4 percent in October.

The study also highlights that Australia is augmenting permanent staff with temporary employees more often than 12 of the 14 other countries surveyed. Thirty-three percent of Australian CFOs cited improved productivity as a result of hiring additional temporary staff, compared to the global average of 26 percent.

Andrew Brushfield, a Director at Robert Half Australia, said that the economic climate has forced Australian companies to focus on productivity improvements and leverage temporary workers to remain competitive.

“In the current financial climate, driving existing employees to be more productive is a cost effective solution. However, companies should be mindful that expecting employees to do more with the same resources may not be a viable long-term solution. If companies are overly reliant on this strategy, they run the risk of employee burn-out.”

“Long work hours and seemingly relentless deadlines can lead to low morale and reduced productivity not to mention decreased job satisfaction. If hiring additional staff or increasing pay are not options, there are other ways to keep staff motivated, such as flexible working arrangements and reminding staff to take holidays.”

“Finance leaders in Australia clearly recognise the benefits of hiring contract and temporary staff to boost productivity – bolstering resources to match workload demands without permanently increasing headcount.”

“Using temporary professionals is not only cost effective, but also allows employers to introduce new or specialised skills into the organisation.”

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