Top heavy UK fails to improve productivity

The
proportion of managers in the UK workforce is now the second largest in the
world, but staff still lack motivation and productivity is still poor.

New
research from the Economic and Social Research Council’s Future of Work
programme, shows that one in eight people supervise others, while a fifth of
companies have increased the number of managers.

Despite
this, productivity in the UK still lags behind the US, which has the largest
proportion of managers, as well as trailing most companies in Europe.

Professor
Peter Nolan, a lecturer at Leeds University, said the growing number of
managers was failing to have an impact on productivity because basic HR
measures were not being implemented.

"We
need more HR in the UK and more training," he said. "HR practices
have a positive impact on business performance, but there are too few companies
following that idea."

Nolan
said more resources should be put into training so employees could build skills
and learn to manage themselves.

"We
have a problem in this country with too much supervision. We talk about
empowering people and teams, but not enough organisations in Britain are doing
that," he said.

According
to the research, most staff lack any effective voice or representation at work
and only 26 per cent of managers consulted employee representatives.

Nolan
said the vast majority of companies were ignoring even the most basic HR
measures and as a result had workforces with low job satisfaction and poor
motivation.

The
research into 2,000 organisations shows that family- friendly policies have
failed to take off and the majority of managers have not harnessed technology
to help in their job.

"It’s
been proved that HR does make a huge difference where companies align people
management policies with business strategy," Nolan added.

By
Ross Wigham

www.esrc.ac.uk

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