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IIP urge bosses to focus on productivity

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Investors in People (IIP) are calling on businesses to put improvements in employee productivity at the top of their 2005 priority list.

The appeal follows research by the Future Foundation which shows that whilst British bosses recognise the importance of employee development in delivering overall productivity, they are reluctant to invest in their staff to achieve this.

According to the report, while three quarters of bosses say that effective development of employees is vital to the future productivity of their organisations, just one in three make it a priority.

IIP, who provide a framework for improving business performance and competitiveness through good practice in human resource development have announced their ‘top tips’ for managers to get the most from workers:

  • Invest in structured training courses for employees at every level of the organisation. Low skill levels in the workplace have consistently been shown to be the primary factor affecting the UK’s productivity;

  • Invest in your staff’s development outside work too. Encourage your employees to take part in evening classes by contributing to the costs. This will help their overall motivation and their new skills may prove invaluable to your organisation in the future;

  • Poor time management is one of the main reasons for low productivity. Encourage employees to plan their days properly, for example by using check-lists for their tasks;

  • Encourage staff to have regular breaks away from their work station – this will help improve their concentration, increasing output;

  • Promote a balanced work-life culture. Research by NOP World in 2002 found that 75% of UK employees feel they would be more productive at work if they could tailor their hours to their lifestyles;

  • Make sure you practice what you preach – low productivity is just as much a problem for managers as it is for their employees. Set an example by having an organised desk, after all it is claimed that managers waste up to half an hour a day simply looking for documents and files.

Ruth Spellman, Chief Executive, Investors in People UK said:

“Research shows that Britain’s managers realise the importance of employee development as a route to improved productivity, but fail to convert this understanding into action. It’s as if they see productivity as someone else’s problem, which is potentially damaging, not just to their organisations but to Britain as a whole.

“Bosses can use the New Year as an opportunity to re-evaluate their approach to issues such as motivation, work-life balance, and training, all of which can have can have a real impact on their organisation’s bottom line, given the right level of managerial commitment.”

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Annie Hayes

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