In the UK productivity has been at a standstill for the past seven years. In fact, output per hour worked is still nearly 2% lower than it was at the start of the recession in 2008. This is in part a consequence of much stronger employment growth than anyone would have predicted. However, weak productivity is the main reason why average hourly earnings are still some 6% lower in real terms than they were in 2008.

This report includes analysis of two surveys conducted by YouGov on behalf of the CIPD. HR leaders were asked about the meaning, measurement and importance of productivity, as well as how they rate their organisation’s productivity and performance and the prevalence of smart and agile working practices. Analysis of these two surveys gives us an understanding of why some organisations perform better – and are more productive – than others. The report suggests possible ways for businesses to raise their productivity and improve their performance, and for government to help them to do so.

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