For most (all?) countries, at the moment, that headline could ha de been rewritten as ‘Its Productivity Weak”. Productivity, globally, has been fading as a result of general  economic decline, the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine- and the effects on global supply chains.

So what should governments do?

Well, one tactic employed fairly regularly is to nominate a particular day or week s ‘national productivity day’ or ‘national productivity week’..  The aim is  to raise awareness of,  and provide a focus on, productivity in the hope that organisations will recognise the need to address  it – and improve it.

Such days (for simplicity and brevity we will drop the reference to weeks) generally do no harm – but neither do they generally do much good. This is because the governments that create such days tend not to follow through with other measures that might add some action to the rhetoric.

Focusing on productivity for one day is clearly not enough to have a significant impact.   It can be the start of a real initiative for some organisations but most will require ongoing information, advice and support …. and access to the knowledge and skills that can support a full-throttle initiative.  The organisation needs some fairly quick results – the quick wins that help maintain commitment by the senior team.

So if you are a member of a government – or a government adviser – start planning a structured programme of advice and support that can be launched on national productivity day – and then reviewed and refined in one year’s time when national productivity day rolls around again.

This support can be expensive – but not providing it is a lot  more expensive.