Recruiters and business leaders are being encouraged to conduct a ‘skills audit’ to make sure they are not undervaluing their own staff.

Productivity can be boosted and costs kept down with the right internal adjustments, according to recruiters Chandler Macleod Group (CMG). They have warned that if a company is not aware of the hidden goldmine of skills within its ranks, they risk losing top talent to competitors.

Owen Wilson, CFO of CMG says: “The alternative to cutting costs is doing more with your existing workforce and generating increased productivity and financial output from your current pool of resources and talent... it’s an uncertain economic environment where many businesses, large and small, are trying to cut costs. All the while they’re trying to keep one eye on the horizon anticipating when an economic upswing may occur.”

A work performance expert said earlier this year that “all too often, the approach to low productivity is use of blunt instruments such as ‘across-the-board’ cost reductions, ‘efficiency dividends’ and downsizing the workforce - rather than on strategies to build more productive workplaces with greater skills and more innovation. Cost and debt reduction are important for productivity, and sometimes survival, but should not always be the first levers we pull.”

Many businesses are in limbo at the moment, waiting for confidence to be restored after the dust has settled on this year’s federal election. Business confidence traditional jumps at the end of the election cycle regardless of which party wins.

CMG says that businesses which focus entirely on people management and process innovation can miss out on some of the main contributors to productivity;  increased flexibility, employee mobilisation, workforce planning, product innovation and skills utilisation.