Small Changes for a Big Impact: Solving the Productivity Puzzle – A Be the Business Manifesto

The cover image of Small Changes for a Big Impact: Solving the Productivity Puzzle manifesto

The UK’s productivity – the pulse that powers economic growth and prosperity – has flatlined since 2008.

For the average UK worker, that means their annual wage is £11,000 per year lower than it would be if earlier levels of productivity had been maintained.

The effects of this long-standing poor performance are everywhere – and while it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge, we cannot blame this situation on external factors.

In this document, Be the Business’ first Manifesto, we establish the five most important areas of policy focus for the next UK government.

Some are relatively easy to adopt, others tackle more complex issues requiring behavioural change throughout the small business population – but all must be adopted by the next government if we’re to resuscitate our productivity performance.

Each ask is based on Be the Business’ position as a productivity expert. We collaborate on innovative programmes and interventions with the public and private sectors to inspire business leaders to see productivity as a tangible issue and act to address it.

We know that the UK’s SMEs have a vital role to play, accounting for 99.9 per cent of the UK’s 5.6 million businesses and employing two-thirds of those in work.

The transformative potential of making even modest improvements to SME productivity is evident. Our research shows that, if every SME employer found and maintained an annual one per cent improvement over a five-year period, this would add £94 billion to the UK economy.

It’s widely accepted that for the UK to achieve sustainable growth, we need to improve productivity. The challenge has always been how to do this effectively. That’s what we’ve been focusing on at Be the Business for the last five years: elevating the value of businesses in our communities, safeguarding jobs and improving standards of living for everyone.

To put the UK on the path to greater prosperity and improve quality of life for all, we must commit to action.  

Download our five policy asks at a glance Download Small Changes for a Big Impact: Solving the Productivity Puzzle