U.K. productivity – what is the solution?

Well, in many respects, no solution is needed. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in their latest report ending September 2018 stated “…compared with the same quarter a year ago, labour productivity on an output per hour basis grew by 0.2% and has been growing for the past eight consecutive quarters.” Many would also argue that that regionally, all are struggling to increase productivity compare to 2016 – even give the ‘lag’ in statistics.

If productivity is seen as labour productivity is calculated by dividing output by labour input (the ONS again), organisations have a controlling element at the very least: get the finances better and the leadership inspiring. So, how may both be achieved?

Finance on a personal level is a factor for one: if employees worry about debt and have less job security for instance, productivity will be affected. At a corporate level, financial interventions that ensure better control over fixed and working capital help. When effectively and efficiently utilised, organisations can improve productivity: hence, the popularity of related performance management systems, such as ISO standards and Lean techniques.

Often quoted, productivity also depends upon appropriate working conditions and organisation; improving worker morale and skill-set to ensure that at least have the chance to produce more; and leadership that inspires confidence. Too often, organisations ignore both finance AND people interventions as a joint approach to productivity improvement.

Here at the University of Gloucestershire Business School, we aim to support all businesses achieve and exceed, with qualifications that address these practical ‘now’ issues: so, assessments include engagement with local business on ‘live’ issues – and that includes the productivity conundrum. Research also shows that making informed, evidence-based decisions and using the latest thinking around decision-making in general enables businesses to thrive. Establishing leader:follower trust improves productivity too: and in supermarkets, this has been shown to reduce the levels of lost or damaged merchandise.

Food, then, for thought. To develop your own skills or those of your employees, come along to an open event: book here.

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