Boosting productivity a matter of changing approach

After a report found Russian labour up to six times less productive than the West, business leaders say productivity improvements will come from a change of approach.

Russian steel and retail sectors are three times less productive, banking four times and electricity six times less productive than the United States, claims the report by consultants McKinsey.

The head of Ford Russia, Nigel Brackenbury admits he gets much less out of his staff than at the carmaker's Western plants, but rapped the lack of advanced machinery rather than workers themselves.

“It's lower because of the difference of approach, it's still some way different from other markets that have been developing industrialisation and mechanization, and volume, for some time. It's a huge gap established over a long time, that's going to take a long time to close.”

But the head of pharmacy chain 36.6, Jere Calmes, says the crisis could force them to sack workers, and make the rest produce more than they do at the moment.

“We're looking at our productivity numbers and making sure that we have the right number of people for the amount of customers and the amount of packages we sell.”

Dmitry Medvedev slammed tycoons last year for their workers being up to 20 times less productive than in developed states. That means to make the same as a Western employee does in an hour, some Russians work for almost three days.