The productivity puzzle

The poor performance of UK plc in terms of productivity levels has been much in the news over the last 12-18 months. This noise reached something of a crescendo over recent weeks when the Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to blame much of the UK’s slowing growth and dodgy economic outlook on poor productivity. So, everyone agrees we need to significantly improve performance in this crucial area if we are to avoid further economic misery. But what exactly is the cause of low levels of productivity?

Well, if you have the luxury of time on your side and are looking to fill a few hours/days, then the Bank of England quarterly bulletins, along with speeches by Governor Carney and his Monetary Policy Committee members, present a plethora of statistics covering investment in technology, worker migration levels, capital investment levels, wage ratios, sector variances, blah, blah, blah. I am sure they are right, but what does it actually mean to Directors and leaders up and down the country who want to improve productivity, boost revenues and create wealth? We actually think the answer, at a fundamental level, is really quite simple.

It’s called employee engagement.

If you create an environment where people want to come to work, go above and beyond to ensure great customer service and are strong advocates for their company, then all the scientific evidence (and there is a lot of it out there) says you can transform performance and radically improve the bottom line.

But, and it is a big but, it isn’t easy to do. Often, it requires human beings to do something that is inherently difficult to do – change behaviours and habits. However, once bad habits are replaced by good ones, the results can be spectacular. This is particularly the case with leaders at all levels in business. Engaging leaders, no matter what the industry, are in short supply and our obsession with management by numbers (we call it contact centre syndrome) has not helped. It is far, far more important to measure the right things, than measure things right. And this is a key element of engagement.

With over 50 years leadership experience in blue-chip companies such as Prudential, Mars, Egg, Experian & United Biscuits, together with hard experience of applying those skills in the workplace, the team at Chris Cooper, Business Elevation, are uniquely placed to guide you through the engagement jungle and help you to transform your business.

A journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step……..

John Jennings

John Jennings
Associate Director, Chris Cooper Business Elevation

 

 


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