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Business leaders ‘more focused on productivity and skills development than profit’

Story by
Alex Crowther, Senior Reporter, The HR World

Leaders more focused on productivity and skills development

Only a third of UK business decision makers have heard about Rishi Sunak’s ‘Help to Grow’ scheme and know what it entails, according to a new report.

Research carried out by Agility In Mind also shows there is a disconnect between what the programme focuses on and where businesses believe they need support.

Researchers polled 500 senior decision makers in UK businesses in conjunction with Censuswide and found that a quarter know nothing or very little about the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme, with a further 39% saying despite having heard about it, know nothing about the details. 

Having kicked off in June the “Help to Grow” scheme is a 12 week-programme available to business leaders via leading business schools across the UK.

Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, it was announced as part of the budget in March 2021, with the Chancellor stating that it would “help over a hundred thousand businesses become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable.”

New Skills and Team Productivity

However, the government’s desire for financial growth on the back of the scheme was not found to be a top priority for UK business leaders this year.

The results of Agility in Mind’s research revealed that ‘new skills development’ and ‘productivity within teams’ top UK business leaders’ list of priorities for growth over the coming 12 months, cited as key factors by 36% and 35% respectively.

These priorities were noted over the growth of the bottom line, which was highlighted by under a third (31%).

In addition, having explained the premise of the scheme to respondents, UK business decision makers believed that the most important goal of a government scheme like ‘Help to Grow’ should be to grow productivity among teams and staff, with 35% proposing this as a desired outcome from such a scheme, compared to 31% citing profit growth and sales.

Andrew Jones, CEO at Agility in Mind said: “Where the scheme is called ‘Help to Grow’, the question is what does it help to grow?

“The very nature of Rishi Sunak’s role as Chancellor will mean his goal for the initiative is likely centred around growing the economy.

“However, to achieve that, there are a number of other factors UK business leaders want to prioritise before they can start to think about profit, as our data shows.

“Top of that list is a desire to find new ways to make the team more productive and increase their skillsets.”



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