What gets measured gets managed, so the adage goes. Which is why today, in partnership with sponsors KPMG and research partners Fraser Alexander, the CBI has launched the Scottish Productivity Index.
The index is a significant milestone in the CBI’s campaign to boost Scottish productivity and will help businesses hone in on the areas where they can make a difference within their own firms and what government can do to support that. This ranges from areas such as in-work training focused on digital skills, expanding efforts to export and taking advantage of full fibre broadband connectivity.
What is the Scottish Productivity Index?
The work combines both data and practical business insights and will be an annual tracker of Scottish productivity performance as well as feeding into the economic debate. The index features a dashboard of 15 business-relevant indicators, including levels of business investment, innovation activity, in-work training and digital connectivity.
The indicators track current Scottish performance and benchmarks them against the rest of the UK and international comparators where that’s possible. Businesses can use the indicators to see the many underlying aspects of productivity that they have influence over and consider how they can make changes within their own operations to contribute to improving overall Scottish productivity levels.
A group of senior business representatives from across the Scottish economy helped shape the dashboard of indicators. The dashboard is built into a report that sets out 12 recommendations for businesses and 12 recommendations for policy makers to help shift Scottish productivity performance, using the indicators as the starting point.
What are the key business actions in the 2019 report?
- Use performance management data and benchmarking to improve own performance
- Make use of or offer business mentoring, especially tech adoption and business processes
- Prioritise investment in management and leadership
- Forge better links with other UK exporters and universities to improve own export prospects
- Map out current workforce skills, training and tools and what’s needed in the future
- Start or expand own business engagement with primary and secondary schools
- Seek out existing technology to aid business productivity using sector league tables to identify top performers
- Consider own sales and marketing capabilities and identify potential skills gaps
- Default to positive approach to flexible working
- Put mental health on equal footing with physical health and build support structures accordingly
- Give people autonomy through more use of mobile technology
- Make maximum use of available broadband infrastructure.
The index will continue to help shape both business and government thinking about how we can improve Scottish productivity for the long-term. The business voice is pivotal to shaping how we boost Scottish productivity and grow the economy and must be heard in what is a live debate in Scotland.
We will continue the campaign to boost Scottish productivity through highlighting business case studies throughout the year and preparing the next iteration of this work as part of the CBI/KPMG Scottish Productivity Index 2020.
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