Top business academic to reveal how firms can boost their productivity

Mark Hart rsz
Professor Mark Hart

4 September 2018

  • Free talk for businesses will explain how adopting new leadership practices can reinvigorate the workforce and increase growth
  • Solving the Productivity Puzzle: Productivity through People will take place at Conference Aston on Thursday 6 September, 6pm-8pm. Register here.

One of the UK’s most renowned business academics is encouraging firms to attend an upcoming talk revealing how effective leadership can transform workplace productivity, and why this is vital for business longevity and growth.

Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston University and Deputy Director of the national Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), will explain how by adopting ‘high performance workplace practices’, businesses can become more productive and develop a better engaged workforce.

The UK has experienced a slump in productivity growth since the financial crisis, placing the country near the bottom of the G7 league table. Professor Hart says a key route to countering this is the development of leadership and management skills, enabling SME leaders to adopt management best-practices and drive increases in turnover, productivity and growth.

He said: “We have been monitoring growth in UK SMEs for 12 years, and it is evident that only a few businesses can truly be considered as “high-growth”. What sets those firms apart is that they utilise a variety of High Performance Workplace Practices - from a coaching style of leadership and making staff know they are valued, to using digital technology to take the burden out of everyday tasks, and making the most of the innovations that every team member can generate.

“These practices draw out the very best performance from every member of the team, and ultimately improve the business’s competitive edge. The more SME leaders that we can nurture and help to adopt these practices to drive business productivity, the better the UK economy will fare in the future.”

The event coincides with the launch of the Productivity through People programme in the Midlands. Billed as a ‘blueprint for growth’, the programme aims to support and invest in business leaders who will drive the future through the latest management practices, thinking and research. By providing a framework for new leadership styles, it will help bridge the gap between leaders and staff, empowering the front-line workforce to improve efficiency and competitiveness by directly solving business and customer problems.

The programme is co-produced by trade body alliance Be the Business, which includes world-class industry leaders BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Siemens along with leading UK business schools at Aston, Bath, Lancaster and Strathclyde universities. The programme has been directly supported in the Midlands by Rolls-Royce plc, EY, and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP.

The event will take place on Thursday 6 September, 6pm-8pm at Conference Aston. A question and answer session and an opportunity for networking will follow the presentation.

To register, visit the Eventbrite page.


Notes to the editor

Photos (click links to download)


About Professor Mark Hart

Mark is Deputy Director of the ERC and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School. At the Centre he is responsible for theresearch theme focusing on Business Demography, Productivity, Local Growth and Business Support. At Aston University he is also one of the Programme Directors and Academic Lead for the national Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme and has worked and published extensively in the areas of entrepreneurship, enterprise and small business development and policy.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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