Just under a third (32%) of UK employer respondents working in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have implemented benefits packages above statutory minimum levels, for example additional days of paid leave, in order to improve productivity, according to research by NatWest.
Its Productivity in focus: Germany vs the UK report, which surveyed 2,000 UK SME employers, also found that 32% of respondents have invested in workplace culture to improve productivity, for example introducing team building exercises, mentorship or buddy schemes.
The research also found:
- 26% of respondents have implemented financial and non-financial rewards for good performance in order to impact productivity. This includes commissions, bonuses and non-financial incentives.
- 69% of respondents believe improving productivity is important; however, 41% do not know what productivity means in practice.
- 39% of respondents set productivity improvement targets.
- Investing in workplace culture is estimated to have the potential to increase the output of each employee per year by £55,500, compared to a potential increase of £40,500 for investing in benefits packages above the statutory minimum and £19,200 for introducing financial and non-financial rewards for good performance.
Alison Rose (pictured), chief executive officer at NatWest Commercial and Private Banking, said: “From talking to thousands of our business customers every year, we know that many small to mid-sized businesses struggle to understand how best to improve productivity. That’s why we’ve commissioned this research to better understand the productivity landscape and source best practice in this area to share with our customers.
“It’s crucial that banks, government and business leaders tackle this problem head on and start putting measures to improve productivity into practice.”