Headlines: November 7th, 2003

The Work Foundation has called for the Government to adopt a new business-led approach to measuring productivity and performance in the private and public sectors. The call results from a year-long study into high performance working and productivity by the Foundation’s Work and Enterprise Panel of Inquiry. This was a business-led initiative run in partnership with six companies, Tesco, Lloyds TSB, AstraZeneca, Microsoft, Eversheds and Manpower, and the public sector trade union Unison.The Panel claims that its findings show that traditional measures of productivity are meaningless. It has developed a new productivity model, the High Performance Index, that links what an organization does to how it performs. The Index defines and measures core areas of business and can be used to track productivity performance. The areas include customers, governance systems; stakeholders; human resource practices; and creativity and innovation management.

Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, welcomed the Panel’s findings and said: “This reinforces what Government has been saying and doing. People, customers and innovation are vital to the success of any business; and every business needs to take a holistic approach to them. I want to build on The Work Foundation’s report and I plan to commission further research in the New Year.”

In addition to the promised DTI research, the Foundation plans a two stage Work and Enterprise Panel of Inquiry. This will deepen understanding of the model, study performance of firms over time and compare the performance of UK organisations with those in the US and Europe. It will also develop a model for high performance in public sector organisations.