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‘Work smart’ key to productivity

Bad people management means UK workers are less productive than their US, German and French counterparts, according to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Improving working practices and people management will do more to close this gap than any of the usual government policies for boosting productivity, according to the report. The gap isn’t measured on research and development or capital and skills levels, but how well these resources are used.

The CIPD’s chief economist John Philpot calls for smarter working practices. “‘Work smarter, not harder’ has become a modern management mantra. The trouble is too few UK organisations practice what they preach, while the government struggles to develop a coherent policy approach to improving workplace productivity,” he says.

Companies should focus on work-related training and learning rather than formal academic and vocational qualifications. There should also be a 'sensible limit' imposed on working hours with encouragement for staff to achieve more with their time, says the CIPD.

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