How to fix UK productivity

  • Identify the causes of the UK's productivity problems
  • Describe how the UK workforce could be more motivated
  • Identify ways to help with the UK productivity problem

Ensuring employees take annual leave is equally important.

The Institute of Leadership and Management uncovered that three in five (61 per cent) employees felt obliged to work on holiday while our own research has shown a persistent trend of presenteeism in UK workforces in the past five years.

Taking annual leave is a vital contributor to productivity.

Employees who do not regular time off work run the risk of draining their batteries, causing longer term absences further down the line, which reduces business productivity.

Once again, organisations should look at internal policy.

If appropriate, they should make it company policy for employees not to work on holiday or outside working hours. This would provide tangible evidence to their staff that they care about the work-life balance.

In addition to working practices, patterns and internal company policy, employers should consider the benefits, perks and support services they offer to staff.

Thomsons Online Benefits found that employee benefits ranked high among all factors of how staff felt about their employer.

There are approximately 44,500 Registered Group Life Assurance (GLA) policies currently in force in the UK.

However, out of the 1.4m organisations which could have group risk benefits, only 3 per cent have made the purchase.

That means 97 per cent do not have GLA, while 99 per cent do not have Group Income Protection (GIP) and 99.8 per cent do not have Group Critical Illness (GCI).

The support services included with these products have a financial value to employees as well, which can be viewed either as a saving or an increase in pay for total reward statements.

For example, we estimate the support services embedded in our proposition are valued at approximately £205 for GCI, £180 for GIP and £30 for GLA per employee.

The support services also have non-financial benefits for employers.

For example, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) which are usually offered as part of most GIP policies may include perks, counselling and wellbeing support.

In many cases, EAPs can be accessed via a mobile app.

EAPs work by preventing absence in the first place, or helping to speed up the return to work for an employee suffering from either a physical or mental illness.

This reduces the amount of time they are off work and any productivity issues that arise from an extended absence.

Many employers miss a trick with employee benefits.

The key to taking advantage of them is to proactively communicate their availability and the benefits they provide to staff.

This can help employees feel valued with little to no cost to their employer.

Willis Towers Watson found that one in five (19 per cent) employers reported a lack of employee engagement with their benefits programmes, so organisations who have spent money on their proposition should be looking to communicate them.