Investing in leadership and people management skills is key to businesses bridging the productivity gap, according to the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s report.
The majority of respondents (98 per cent) to the Chamber’s Growth Through People: 2018 Campaign Outcomes report believe there is a clear link between investment in leadership and people management skills and improved productivity.
But 32 per cent do not feel their organisation has a clear strategy in place on investing in these skills.
The report, sponsored by South & City College Birmingham, was compiled on the back of the Chamber’s Growth Through People campaign – a month-long programme of workshops, seminars, panel discussions and thought leadership content designed to help businesses boost productivity through effective employee management.
Henrietta Brealey (pictured), director of policy and strategic relationships at GBCC, said: “Our research demonstrates that businesses in the region see a clear link between investment in leadership and people management skills and improved productivity.
“However, a significant proportion of employers are not making proactive plans in this space.
“Boosting productivity is a top priority for both local and national stakeholders. Our research suggests that improving investment in these skills should be high on the agenda in policy programmes such as the Industrial Strategy.
“It also shows that more individual businesses could benefit from investing in these skills.”
The report also identifies the main barriers preventing employers from investing in leadership and people management skills.
While budgetary concerns were a significant barrier for 31 per cent of respondents, the most commonly cited issue was lack of staff time (41 per cent).
Ms Brealey added: “For many of us, time is our most valuable asset. However, it is important for employers and employees to look beyond the short term cost of being out of the business.
“The right training and development activity can offer significant mid and long term gains in improved performance.
“We look forward to the return of our Growth Through People campaign in 2019 where we’ll be giving local employers access to opportunities to “try out” relevant training and professional development sessions free of charge.”
Mike Hopkins, Principal of South & City College Birmingham, said: “The Growth Through People campaign confirms the importance of effective leadership and management to our economy and its importance to the productivity agenda.
“The campaign also identifies the need for these skills to be constantly updated given the wide-ranging challenges businesses face.
“South and City College Birmingham has already recognised this challenge and has been working closely with the Chartered Institute of Management to provide a portfolio of high quality courses, online learning materials and Management Apprenticeships.
“The Business Services Team is ready to provide easy access support that can really make a difference.”
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