The Productivity Payoff

This is the text of the two-minute excerpt of an organizational development videotape produced in the 1970s by General Motors and the American Productivity Center.

Narrator #1

I think, by now, we all get the point. But, what does it mean in real terms?

Narrator #2

So, when I talk about productivity, I know the first reaction is, ďWell sure, Iím for that, so whatís new?Ē

But it is real. You know why itís real? It gets right down to, when you look at it, it gets down to peopleís jobs. You know, the reason we have jobs in this country is because of high productivity. The reason we have fewer work hours than we had before is because of higher productivity. Why do we work only a 40-hour week now when we used to work 65?

Because of productivity. Absolutely. Thatís the only way. Look at the other countries that donít have high productivity. They work much longer hours. Productivity got us there where we are.

Thatís one point, itís real. And secondly, it helps fight inflation. Now donít tell me there isnít anybody, first line supervisor, up or down, that isnít hurt by inflation these days.

Controls are not the answer. Government policies, generally speaking, while some of them feed inflation and some of them can help, that isnít the place to look for the answer. The place to look for the answer is right on the job, every personís job, and if we do that cumulatively, in a better way, we can beat inflation.

Narrator #1

Job security, shorter workweek, and inflation. Three good reasons to be concerned about productivity. Can you think of others?

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