Productivity continues to be a stumbling block for UK businesses and, in particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Small businesses provide a fundamental contribution to the UK economy. Forecasts predict that they will give over £217bn to the nation’s pot by 2020. On the flip side, however, a decline in productivity levels amongst these businesses can have a negative impact on our economic performance.
In the UK…
According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s productivity increased by 0.7% in the period Oct-Dec 2017. However, the UK still falls some way behind the average for other G7 economies.
Improving and maintaining productivity is a challenge for many businesses, regardless of their size. Despite this, if the UK economy is to remain competitive post-Brexit, it is an issue that must be addressed.
Businesses of all sizes want stability, clarity and continuity, which in turn promotes productivity. A lack of these things is often responsible for a slump in motivation, innovation and enthusiasm. As a result, growth is often replaced with stagnation under these circumstances.
The productivity problem
Productivity is the sum of many contributing factors and these can present themselves as significant challenges to businesses.
Whether its securing funding, political uncertainty, a lack of time or keeping up with technological advancements, businesses must take steps to overcome these obstacles. Doing so will enable them to remain competitive and, ultimately, successful.
Last month, a group of some of the UK’s top business leaders, from organisations such as Amazon, BT Group, GSK and Siemens, launched a new campaign.
‘Be the Business’, led by the chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Charlie Mayfield, is about sharing good practice and pointing smaller companies, who are currently underperforming, in the right direction, in an attempt to bridge the ‘productivity gap’ in this country.
Taking this into account, it’s important to realise that businesses of all sizes have a role to play when it comes to fostering productivity and inspiring confidence amongst those who might need a helping hand.
What’s the answer?
Improved productivity amongst businesses means our economy fairs better which, in turn, benefits all of us. However, prioritising productivity within your business can be difficult and knowing where to start even more so.
Have you ever considered how we could help?
You can find out in our article ‘Making productivity a priority’ here.