Tuesday, 19 November 2019 IMS HomepageHome

Institute of Management Services News

UK Productivity won't get better after Brexit.

The effect of Brexit uncertainty on organisation has been mentioned many times over the past three years. Sadly this hasn’t made it any much less real. Numerous neglected Brexit “deadlines” and ongoing political turmoil have toyed with business leaders’ time horizons, that means delays to projects, cancelled product launches, and postponed investments.

British companies risk falling behind the global curve regardless of Brexit with business investment falling in every quarter last year. The challenges that directors face do not begin and end with our departure from the EU. Without domestic action to upgrade our business environment,

Regardless of Brexit the next UK government needs to focus on Britain investing again and have concrete plans on fixing the UK’s dismal record on productivity.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have pledged infrastructure spending which will be welcomed by many businesses. But the impact of these won’t be felt across the economy for years, and firms. Businesses need incentives for the here and now.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) first business manifesto paper is for a new “Productivity Allowance” for SMEs. Comprising a tax incentive to enable smaller firms to begin investing in technology, training, and professional services in order to kick-start business growth.

The current the tax system is an enemy of time-poor businesses to navigate. Current tax breaks are complicated and not enough to get investment decisions over the line. A straightforward, streamlined and signposted allowance would be a simple but effective step for any business to take.

If productivity is seen as the biggest current challenge facing the UK a close second would be on scaling up businesses. The number of start-ups the UK boasts is testament to the innovative potential and yet investors have remained cautious and founders frustrated by the barriers to growth.

Reliefs such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which gives investors a tax break for funding new and growing businesses, should be more generous, more accessible and simpler for both firms and investors.

The skills gap is in dire need of a revamp. Whilst the apprenticeship levy provides some relief it also ties up firms’ money but not on the type of training they want to offer to their staff.

The business rates system and regional business support are both outdated and in need reform.

Businesses need to be given the tools and opportunities they need to create, develop, and innovate. The UK’s reputation as a place to do business remains strong, but this strength will dissipate if we rest on our laurels, and for too long our eye has been taken off the ball.

The Brexit stalemate has brought about the general election but it should not engulf the nation.

Posted on: 17 Nov 2019@20:34:27, updated on: 17 Nov 2019@20:34:27.

 

Is happiness the key to productivity?

A recent study reveals the impact that workplace happiness has on productivity and success.

Happiness at work is the kind of ephemeral quality that many employers pay lip service to – without bothering to find out what it really means.

A new study highlights that the subject is more important than previously thought, as it reveals that employees who are happy themselves are 13% more productive and successful.

In previous studies the link between workplace happiness and productivity was established. However this most recent research provides an exact measure to the relationship. 

Academics at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School in partnership BT assessed nearly 2,000 call centre staff over a six-month period. 

“We found that when workers are happier, they work faster by making more calls per hour worked and, importantly, convert more calls to sales,” reported Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve.

 “There has never been such strong evidence” of the relationship between happiness and productivity. 

Participants ranked their happiness on a weekly, by choosing from five emoji buttons ranging from very sad to very happy. This info was cross-referenced with data on attendance, call-to-sale conversions, customer satisfaction, worker’s characteristics, scheduled work hours and overall productivity.

The study provides a strong incentive for companies to prioritise the wellbeing of their employees.

A similar worldwide study concluded nearly 20% of UK workers are unhappy in their jobs, almost 40% do not enjoy socializing with their work colleagues and almost just under 25% felt uninspired in their current role.

What is more alarming is that these figures are much higher for the UK than the European average for the same issues.

Whilst concrete evidence on what creates workplace happiness is scarce some interesting factors were highlighted.

Obviously workers with higher pay and with greater job security generally report being happier. But interestingly those who find their job more interesting and meaningful also report levels of higher wellbeing. Workers who enjoy better work-life balance as well as better relationships with colleagues and managers also have higher levels of happiness.

The full report can be seen at:  
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3470734

Posted on: 4 Nov 2019@21:37:54, updated on: 4 Nov 2019@21:37:54.

 
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