Tackling poor productivity

A new campaign has been launched designed to encourage British businesses to tackle the UK’s poor productivity rates. Among the G7 countries the UK now lags behind all but Japan in terms of productivity.

The nationally based Productivity Leadership Group has set up a pilot scheme for SMEs called Productivity through People in conjunction with Lancaster University Management School. By encouraging small incremental improvements in performance the promise is of significant value added.

The concept that people are key to productivity is not new, the trick is to treat it as a part of the business to which expertise can be applied. To HR professionals much of it is basic stuff. If you’ve missed the chance to enrol for the Productivity through People scheme that is already underway then there is still much you can do.

  • A functional organisation structure where everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. In an SME some people may have several roles.
  • Sound recruitment. Time saved on recruitment often leads to time wasted on under-performance, poor attendance and even dismissals down the line.
  • Managed inductions. Sometimes the best people leave within the year meaning a re-run of recruitment. Good inductions help new recruits feel that they belong.
  • Training and development. The whole culture and success of your organisation can be created by good training. Ever noticed how the staff of some national restaurants have good staff while others don’t? Invariable it comes down to training.
  • Good discipline. Employees should not feel they are in the army but equally managers and supervisors should feel confident to tackle poor behaviour, erratic attendance and lack of commitment.

If you are uncertain where to start contact Employer Solutions. Not only do we help clients with these matters day-to-day – we’ve written a book on them!

Perhaps you can enrol on the Productivity through People project next time round.

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