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Find out how introducing new ways of working can motivate staff, improve productivity and boost your overall business performance.

Only 25% of UK employees feel they have the scope to learn and problem-solve in their jobs compared to an EU average of 39%. What’s more, half of employees in most Scottish SMEs say they're ‘under-utilised’, and feel they could make a bigger contribution to the success of the business.

By empowering your staff to be more independent in the workplace, your business could benefit from higher levels of innovation and, in turn, bring a more creative approach to your business practices.

Ask yourself these five questions to find out if your company is fully utilising its most important asset: its people.

1. Are you a modern leader?

As the world has become more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, business leaders have needed to adapt. GlobalScot David Learmond identifies six essential traits inherent in any modern leader:

  1. Purpose – define a common meaning for an organisation’s work 
  2. Trust – build through clarity of purpose, honesty and transparency
  3. Collaboration – the ability to pull people together for a common purpose 
  4. Diversity – employing people with different voices and points of view 
  5. Edge – when an organisation continually challenges itself to improve 
  6. Resilience – a company’s ability to accept knocks and come back stronger

Effective leadership is key to company success. Do you think you possess all of the traits above?

If you'd like to develop in any of these areas to become a truly outstanding leader, our Leadership Essentials programme could be perfect for you.

Leadership Essentials programme

2. Can your employees share their ideas?

Encouraging your employees to have their voices heard can foster a range of benefits, from increased motivation and retention levels to improved productivity.

It could be as simple as opening up feedback channels by introducing an employee-ideas portal to create an environment where your employees feel comfortable raising suggestions about your business.

Do you think this is an area of your company you could develop, but you're unsure where to start?

Get tips on how to ensure your work practices facilitate employee engagement and how you can manage and take action on employee feedback from the Fair Work Convention.    

Visit the Fair Work Convention website

3. Could staff receive more recognition?

From extensive research, we know that fair work practices play a particularly important role in reducing employee stress, enhancing job satisfaction and well-being, improving mental health and increasing retention.

Implementing the living wage

Find out more about how to implement the living wage in your organisation on the Scottish Living Wage website.

Paying your eligible employees the living wage falls under the umbrella of fair work practices. It’s proven to have benefits for both them and your company, including:

  • Increased commitment and loyalty
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Higher productivity
  • Enhanced reputation

In fact, 80% of employers who pay the living wage believe that it has enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, with absences falling by around 25%.

Two thirds of those employers also reported a significant positive impact on recruitment and retention after introducing fairer pay.

If you want to maximise the potential of your staff, our Managing People for Growth programme can help.

Managing People for Growth programme

4. Do your employees have the right skills to deliver?

Providing your employees with the opportunity to develop their skills is key to creating and maintaining a progressive workplace.

Staff training demonstrates your commitment to them, which in turn boosts staff loyalty, self-esteem and retention rates. A motivated workforce has been shown to increase both productivity and overall business performance.

Funding for workplace innovation

If you're interested in changing your company work practices, see if you're eligible for our workplace innovation fund.

The Our Skillsforce website explains how to identify training needs for your employees and help them reach their full potential.

Visit the Our Skillsforce website

5. Do you have the right mix of people for the job?

If everyone thinks and behaves the same way, it can limit a company’s growth potential. Employing a diverse team of people of all ages, and from different racial, educational and social backgrounds encourages creativity and innovation.

Diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management – valuing each employee as an individual and acknowledging and making the most of the skills each brings to the business.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) provides information and support on managing diversity in your workforce.

Visit the CIPD website