Productivity through People

The Productivity through People course is an immersive form of business learning

Encouraging SME leaders to step outside of their workplace to think about their business differently and reflect on current practices is one of the founding principles of our Productivity through People programme.

Described by some delegates as a “mini MBA”, Productivity through People (PtP) is an innovative 12-month programme for SME leaders wishing to “work on the business, not in the business”.

Productivity through People provides an opportunity to share critical insights for success regarding people, leadership, communications, innovation and, ultimately, productivity. The objective of the programme is to help leaders create a high-performance workplace with a fully-engaged, productive workforce.

The 12-month programme is driven by world-class organisations including Babcock, BAE Systems, EDF, EY, GSK, John Lewis Partnership, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. These firms provide unparalleled access to work sites and senior management, enabling delegates to receive one-to-one mentoring, insights and solutions to challenges they are facing within their business. This is supported by masterclasses, workshops and case studies from industry leaders and experts who have transformed their workplaces.

A proven initiative, Productivity through People relies on industry sponsoring for its success and is facilitated through four UK universities, Lancaster University Management School, Aston Business School, University of Strathclyde and University of Bath, School of Management, . By showcasing best practice in a structured way, the programme has helped over 140 SME leaders to improve their business and personal performance, driving productivity improvements of £75m.

Find out what alumni have taken away from the Productivity through People programme

Spencer Fereday, director at Mann Williams

Mann Williams has used a number of initiatives to address productivity, but Spencer Fereday feels that Productivity Through People’s focus on what he calls “the people side” is what differentiates it.

“Very rarely do you get the chance to look at how you apply some of the soft skills to the people, to make all of us more productive, from management down to everybody else in the practice,” he explained.

“There are a wide range of organisations who work across the engineering and manufacturing industries and we all come together we all discuss it and what we find is it’s about people, understanding the people and other problems that surround that.”

Like other participants, Fereday feels the course has given him an increased appreciation of the importance of listening to one’s fellow employees.

“What I really take back from the course is to sit down, talk to, listen and embrace the ideas and concerns that come from people in the workforce.

“It’s about taking on board their ideas and thoughts and then blending them with yours to really push yourselves forward. The win from this is better working as a team. If you’re better as a team, you will deliver and the people you’re working with will enjoy working.”

Jim McKechnie, principal engineer at Supacat

Jim McKechnie isn’t the only employee from his company on the Productivity through People course at Bath, and he thinks having a group of colleagues on the same programme will help to embed changes in the business, with the aim of making it more competitive and keeping costs low.

“With a group of us, we we can work together and get some of those changes that are quite hard to get through businesses normally through and see the productivity improvements at the end of it,” he explained.

“I’m hoping that the gain is in several areas from the business point of view – it means we’re a stronger business, we’re more competitive in the marketplace and we can look into other markets and compete, and just get a better foundation for the work that we typically do but also in those new markets.”

Hear directly from four Productivity through People alumni through their video interviews



Find out more about Productivity through People in Bath.

Find out more about Productivity through People in Lancaster.

Find out more about Productivity through People in Strathclyde.

Find out more about Productivity through People in Aston.

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