We have a problem...
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
UK businesses have a problem. A problem of productivity, skills shortages and a lack of employee engagement are well documented and continue to have significant impact on individuals, businesses and the economy.
The office for National Statistics published figures that show Britain’s poor productivity now has the biggest gap with other leading western economies since modern records began in the early 1990s. Output per hour worked in the UK was 18 percentage points below the average for the remaining six members of the G7 group of industrial nations in 2014.
In addition, Britain is facing its biggest skills shortage in 30 years. Almost a quarter of job vacancies last year were caused by the widening skills crisis across the UK, while 14 per cent of employer’s report skills gaps in their existing workforce, a report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has found.
The issues within existing workforces does not stop there as CIPD survey reports that only 38% of employees are engaged within their existing roles, only 37% of workers said they were encouraged to be innovative, 41% reported they felt valued at work and over 40% of people said their relationship with their manager/supervisor was poor. Out of 20 countries surveyed on employee engagement, the UK was ranked 18th.
It’s clear the existing approaches to address people performance isn’t working.
Businesses are spending billions on solutions to try and change performance through a range of traditional tools and approaches including, training courses, incentives and rewards, competitions, performance management, removing people from the business and hiring new employees. Whilst all of these things can combine to create a lift in performance, the change isn’t significant enough or sustained.
Businesses are still treating symptoms with ‘sheep dip’ solutions in the hope something works. In reality, they are still trying the same solutions to a problem they have not identified.
The statistics and evidence are united in their conclusion. UK business continues to struggle with productivity, skills and engagement. We see it in our businesses when different managers implement contradictory standards within their teams, causing confusion, disengagement and downturn in drive.
We see managers, CEO’s, MDs and HR departments attempts to increase productivity, improve engagement, up-skill its workers with the same tired solutions. And yet businesses continue to default to use them?
Is there an alternative to the wearied approach of training courses and blunted reward systems? Is there an alternative to this failing method rolled out repeatedly?
UK business has a problem. But there is an alternative.