Businesses complain about employees’ lax attitudes, low productivity

By Hong Chieu   May 26, 2024 | 07:23 pm PT
Businesses have raised concerns about employees' low productivity, citing issues such as tardiness, leaving before the designated time and showing up for roll call before engaging in personal work.

At the National Labor Productivity Improvement Forum on Sunday, Mai Thien An, head of Intel Products Vietnam’s production department, said many employees arrive in office on time for roll call but then proceed to eat breakfast or drink tea, delaying work.

Workers in various factories have been caught stealing products to sell them, he said. Many employees do not adhere to production processes, resulting in defective products, while others disregard safety regulations, leading to workplace accidents, he said.

Mai Thien An at Intel Products Vietnam Company speaks at the National Labor Productivity Improvement Forum on May 26, 2024. Photo by Hai Nguyen

Mai Thien An at Intel Products Vietnam Company speaks at the National Labor Productivity Improvement Forum on May 26, 2024. Photo by Hai Nguyen

Work ethics and discipline are crucial to enhance workers’ incomes, improve product quality, strengthen brands, and boost national labor productivity but are often neglected.

To address these issues, he suggested that training and behavioral corrections should start in school.
Pham Thu Lan of the Institute of Workers and Trade Union said salaries, bonuses and other benefits significantly influence employees’ productivity, motivation and commitment to their jobs.

She said low wages contribute to a high attrition rate of 8-12% per month in labor-intensive industries.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on ministries, other agencies and trade unions to implement policies to improve labor productivity.

He said this is a crucial metric for evaluating and comparing the development levels of countries, sectors and localities, and is key to enabling developing countries to escape the middle-income trap.

Labor productivity in Vietnam increased 2.7 times between 2011 and 2023, with individual output rising from VND70 million (US$2,800) to VND188.7 million.

Labor income has also risen since 2011, reaching VND7.4 million per month in the first quarter of this year. But productivity growth between 2021 and 2023 was below target.

In absolute terms, Vietnam’s labor productivity remains low. In 2022, it was only 11.4% of Singapore’s, 24.7% of South Korea’s, 26.3% of Japan’s, 35.4% of Malaysia’s, 64.8% of Thailand’s, 79% of Indonesia’s, and 94.5% of the Philippines’s.

The prime minister said essential factors for rapid and sustainable productivity growth, such as infrastructure development, shifting labor from rural to urban areas, and transitioning from the informal to formal sector have not seen significant breakthroughs.

The prime minister warned that the international situation is expected to remain complex and unpredictable, creating "headwinds" to development, and so improving labor productivity is crucial for Vietnam.

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