What to Do About a Labour Shortage? Increase Productivity

canadian manufacturing labour market report

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) recently released a report titled “Canada’s Manufacturing Labour Market”, December 2012. Available here. It presents the results of a survey of Canadian companies.  In a recent post I made some comments concerning the post. One comment I made was that training, although necessary, may not by itself, be a successful strategy to address labour shortages and costs.

The next post from another reader asked “what is the solution?” Here’s my answer to the question:

One approach is to apply a set of best management practices that involves everyone in improving how they do their work. This means use of standards or frameworks. By that I mean the Organizational Excellence Framework or ISO 9001, or Lean and Six Sigma.

These include training but when I implement these improvement programs, we get great results only when certain things happen, e,g, having best practices to improve the work done, management commitment and participation, organized improvement projects, training, implementation, teamwork, project management, and facilitation.

When companies use the best practices of excellent companies they change how they do their work. They follow a organized approach to managing change.

The end result is that companies grow revenues faster than labour costs. The same number of people can perform more work because they are more productive.