Creating the right working relationship with staff is essential. 75% indicated
that meetings are the most useful ways of establishing a meaningful dialogue
with staff; 56.4% opted for regular meetings or briefings and 18.6% for the
second most popular option of occasional meetings or briefings.
To encourage suggestions on efficiency improvement from staff, 45% maintain an
open door policy and 19% hold meetings, while 16% hold impromptu meetings or
On average, business expectations following recent developments in the Iraq
situation seem to be improving. 35% are more optimistic or much more
optimistic, with 16% being more pessimistic or much more pessimistic. The views
of the remainder are unchanged.
Recent announcements on UK growth rates have been disappointing and many
businesses may be looking at their costs. When asked which area of expenditure
they would look to first for savings, 37% of our respondents opted for savings
on investment in plant and equipment, 25% would look to wages and salaries,
while 19% indicated that their first choice would be to cut marketing costs.
Business Advisers were asked which area their clients would look to first, and
47% believe that business would cut training first, while 22% think Investment
would be top of the list.
With the latest changes in employment law and access to employment tribunals,
and reports of large increases in the numbers of employees lodging cases
against employers, especially those running smaller businesses, we asked how
many of our respondents had had involvement with employment tribunals recently.
15% have had one involvement, and only 1.2% have had more than one involvement
over the last three years.
Listed below are extracts from feedback received in Survey
BB59 April 2003.
Comments are listed under sector headings.
Views expressed are those of individual panellists and may not represent those
of the University.
Production & Manufacturing
Q8. Which of the following do you use to encourage staff to make suggestions on
how efficiency might be improved?
We use continuous improvement principles with self-authorised teams of 6-8 who
set themselves up in any area for a 6 week programme to make changes. 1 week
define the problem/brainstorm solutions. 1 week evaluating and prioritising
solutions into action plan. 4 weeks implementing changes. we won a UK award
last year for best 'self directed improvement team'. 'Meetings' are not a good
way to promote change in their own right.
Has anyone mentioned difficulties in obtaining public liability insurance cover
or increase in costs?
Last years budget (April 2002) will affect us now more than this year's.
The major reduction in profitability will be National Insurance Contributions.