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Will You Be At Least 6.6% More Productive?

25th November 2021

From 1st April 2022, the National Living Wage will jump from £8.91 to £9.50 (a 6.6% increase) for those over the age of 23. This will subsequently result in full-timers (those working 40 hours per week) earning £19,760 per year.

National Living Wage

The facts are:

  • The National Living Wage (NLW) increase puts pressure on the pay differential between colleagues and management levels resulting in extra costs
  • Trying to recruit and retain good colleagues is tough if you pay NLW, with the likes of Amazon offering a £3,000 starting bonus to drivers and warehouse pickers. Lidl have just announced they are going to invest £18M in wages with entry-levellers starting at £10.10 (£11.30 in London)
  • All customer-facing businesses are trying to do more for less
  • By 2024, the NLW is expected to be £10.33 or higher, from the lower age of 21 instead of 23

Managing costs

Until now, the challenge has been to offset the cost of NLW each year in your staffing budget to make it cost-neutral. In a conversation on this topic, someone said to me “We have done the easy stuff; all that is left to do now is the Ugly List”.

I think a lot of businesses are in this position, having done all the quick productivity wins and simpler changes since the introduction of the NLW in 2016. The things that are typically left on the Ugly List require:

  • Significant people change and new ways of working change
  • IT investment or other capital investment to automate as much as possible
  • Changes to the proposition or service strategy

How can you be at least 6.6% more productive next year?

The simple answer is to sell more, but that isn’t always easy to do. When you’re close to the action, it’s difficult to see opportunities for improvement or question things that ‘have always been done that way’. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes on your operation, a comparison with a set of relevant benchmarks, and a sprinkling of good ideas can provide fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to help solve your productivity challenges. So if you are struggling with your Ugly List, maybe we can help:

Do you know how much opportunity exists in your business to free up time to spend with customers?

So, what’s the reality for your business? Do you have a clear picture of how your team’s time is split? And perhaps most importantly – how would you use that information?

Knowing you spend 10% of your time on replenishing stock, for example, isn’t particularly useful on its own. Maybe that’s a standard percentage in your industry. Maybe it’s not and you should try to cut it down.But you first need to know where and how to focus your efforts, and what the pay-off might be.

Our efficiency studies aren’t just data-finding missions; they’re diagnostic tools. And they can make a big difference, often identifying thousands of hours for our clients to trim off their processes or activities that don’t add value. They then use those savings to tighten up their salary budgets or reinvest them to increase customer time

Understand how long things take and where you should be focusing

Our activity time studies eliminate ambiguity by putting clients’ processes against the ReTime app, so they know exactly how many seconds it takes to run every aspect of their business. It helps companies make sure they have the right number of people serving the right number of customers, shape strategies and keep performance on track.

A Time & Motion Study can help you figure out exactly how long it takes your team to complete certain tasks. By optimising each element of your company’s workflow, you can increase productivity

Understand what your most expensive roles are doing

In order to truly get under the skin of what is holding back your most skilled people (whether it be your leadership team or those in specialist roles, such as highly trained salespeople, baristas, or pharmacists), we recommend role studies. The great thing about focusing on specialist and leadership roles is that they are the key to the consistent delivery of your brand’s promise and how you differentiate yourself from the competition.

To find out more, please feel free to get in touch with our team.