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Employee engagement

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Chris Blade of Cumbria Crystal sets his team a one per cent productivity challenge

Chris Blade is managing director of Cumbria Crystal, a manufacturer of bespoke crystal in Ulverston in the Lake District. Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full-lead, luxury English crystal in the United Kingdom.

Blade is one of the graduates of Lancaster University Management School’s Productivity through People course, a twelve-month programme run in partnership with three world class manufacturers – BAE Systems, Siemens and Rolls Royce – and supported by Be the Business, which invests in the manufacturers of tomorrow.

The MD has been frank in admitting the challenges he faces in increasing Cumbria Crystal’s productivity, including giving his employees more responsibility while maintaining the business’s focus on quality

Blade explained how the challenge to his staff – to each find one per cent improvement in what they do every month – has helped to increase Cumbria Crystal’s profitability.

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