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Toyota chief slams Aussie workplace culture

Is workplace productivity an issue for you and your business?

It certainly is for ToyotaAustralia President and Chief Executive Max Yasuda, who has slammed Australia’s workplace culture.

Citing 30 per cent absenteeism rates in certain areas of the plant on Fridays, Yasuda observed that this was symptomatic of a workplace culture that made it difficult for him to run a globally competitive operation.

This extraordinary intervention from Yasuda, revealed on the front page of the Australian Financial Review, is hot on the heels of 350 job losses at Toyota’s Altona plant and widespread uncertainty about the future of Australian auto manufacturing,

Yasuda is the latest in a long line of Chief Executives of national and international bosses registering concern about Australia’s current workplace productivity.

The Federal Government’s Fair Work Act has also been cited by many as an exacerbating factor. Prime Minister Julia Gillard countered by saying that the Australian tradition of the ‘sickie’ well and truly predated the 2009 Fair Work Act. The Prime Minister also observed that the Fair Work Act was designed to prevent a “race to the bottom” with workers’ wages and benefits.

While some businesses struggle with absenteeism, others do not. IHR has observed that the key ingredients to workplace staff motivation and success include: clear communication to staff on company directions; opportunities and challenges at all levels; clear job descriptions and work plans; engaged and communicative managers; and a culture of inclusiveness.

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