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Leadership & Strategy


Three tips for improving your business’s productivity

Andrew Peters is the managing director of Siemens’ motion control plant in Congleton, which makes more than 1.3m motor drives each year. They are used in a wide variety of applications, including baggage handling systems, pumps, factory automation, and even roller coasters.

Here, Peters passes on three tips for improving your business’s productivity, based on his experiences in business over the past twenty years.

Tip one
Get an authentic, external perspective on your business. Peters said he’s used organisations such as BQF – British Quality Foundation – to come in and make suggestions on how to improve. He advocates bringing them back a year or two later to repeat the exercise and to assess how their recommendations worked out.

Tip two
Prioritise employee engagement. Peters noted that research papers such as the McLeod Report suggest that it can improve productivity by between 20 and 40 per cent.

Tip three
Don’t overload senior managers. Peters remembered that, earlier in his career, he would tend to allocate new initiatives to senior managers. But giving senior managers too many responsibilities, means they can run out of energy. He recommends considering lower level management and more junior staff to lead initiatives instead.

We spoke to Peters at the graduation day for the first wave of participants in 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.

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