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‘High performance working’ boosts productivity by 20%

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Firms must promote widespread adoption of High Performance Working (HPW) if they are to maximise their productivity performance, a new report says.

The study, 'Maximising Employee Potential and Business Performance – The Role of High Performance Working', by the EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and the CIPD, demonstrates how UK manufacturing companies that introduce HPW can expect to achieve a 20% increase in productivity and profitability, and claims that private sector service firms and public sector bodies could enjoy a similar boost to performance.

HPW covers over 30 different progressive HR practices encompassing recruitment and selection, workplace learning, job design, staff appraisal and performance related reward. However, the application of these practices remains limited throughout UK industry. The report aims to highlight the opportunities for improving company performance and spreading best practice.

It claims that the challenges for firms wishing to introduce HPW successfully are multiple, requiring extensive training for managers and employees and sophisticated recruitment and selection procedures to ensure that future managers and employees can support a culture of HPW.

The chances of success of HPW can hinge on a strong and active commitment from senior management, commitment from employees to the organisation's objectives, the opportunity for managers and employees to apply their own discretion in their work and the pursuit of continuous improvement throughout the company.

"The benefits of HPW are clear to see…by making a relatively small investment in tried and tested techniques [companies] can make a substantial improvement to their performance," said EEF Director General, Martin Temple.

The CIPD's Chief Economist, Dr John Philpott, added: "The Government needs to take a lead by encouraging greater use of HPW across the public sector. This would act as an important signal to private sector firms."

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