Official statistics confirm that UK productivity growth is at an all-time low, with output per worker increasing by less than 1% in 2017. However, Britain’s growth companies are bucking the trend with research released today by ECI Partners showing that UK growth companies posted productivity gains of 13.5% for the same period, rising to 18% for companies in TMT and business services and 20% for London firms.
ECI’s 2018 Growth Survey, the only annual survey in the UK focused solely on high growth companies, polls business sentiment and analyses productivity gains. This year’s report shows that companies are achieving these gains by significantly investing in people skills, technology and social media:
- 71% of growth companies are investing in new IT, rising to 95% in the North West, to speed up processes and increase efficiencies;
- 70% are training staff in new skills, rising to 77% in TMT companies, as they seek to boost employee output;
- 54% of companies are leveraging social media for marketing, sales and other processes. This isn’t limited to consumer companies (71% of firms) but also business services (48%) and financial services firms (42%);
- Companies are also embracing automation in service delivery and warehousing to drive improvements.
Growth companies comment on how they are boosting productivity:
Mark Palmer, Co-Founder at soft drinks maker Cawston Press, said: “You can achieve great productivity by hiring and unlocking people who may feel constrained in bigger companies. They often have amazing training and skills, but can get frustrated by the speed of decision making and overall bureaucracy in these environments. We like to think that as a growing SME we can offer people greater overall freedom, broader ‘access all areas’ exposure and plenty of opportunities to grow without the full-blown risks of starting one’s own business and not being sure if a pay cheque is arriving each month.”