Updated: 03/04/2014 02:46

MPs call for alternative sources to drive productivity at work

MPs call for alternative sources to drive productivity at work

Members of Parliament have stressed that productivity should not be driven solely by adopting innovative technologies and by reducing manpower but that employers have a part to play as well. 

It has been five years since the Government rolled out schemes to help businesses but figures released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry or MTI show productivity growth at zero per cent last year, from a negative two per cent in 2012. 

In debate on the Budget statement, MPs like Patrick Tay of Nee soon GRC cite surveys by human resources firms that find majority of employees feel disengaged in their workplace and that companies should improve its people management skills to effectively engage its staff to boost morale. 

"I would like to call on employers to invest more into work-life and employee engagement programmes. They will find that happier employees would be more productive as well. It could be useful for the Government to co-fund employee engagement programmes for companies which have genuine difficulties to do so."

They also spoke about the Productivity and Innovation Credit or PIC scheme. 

Although two out of three SMEs with turnover of more than 1 million dollars have claimed benefits, Non-Constituency M-P Yee Jenn Jong says more can be done, citing a survey conducted by KPMG, 

"The survey highlighted a worrying finding that SMEs and even Singapore public listed companies have not found benefits in innovation measures. Respondents in that survey commented that IRAS has been very strict in administering incentives. I hope IRAS and MTI can review the criteria and work on a more market oriented definition of research and innovation and to drive more adoption by companies in this area."

-By Gwendolyn Goh

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