The economy continues to pick up and many businesses are gradually doing better too. Yet some people still feel left behind. Business and society’s fortunes depend on each other, so businesses have to ensure growth works for everyone. From school to retirement, here are 6 ways that the CBI would like to see more businesses helping to make growth work for everyone:
1. Starting in schools, ensure the doors to work are open to people from all backgrounds. Business has an important role to play in ensuring individuals from diverse backgrounds are inspired about the different career pathways available to them, and that they are supported to succeed. This needs to start at an early age – so there’s more to do as our own survey indicates only 31% of businesses had links with schools at primary level.
3. From job advert onwards, challenge outdated perceptions of flexible working. Offering flexible working can help boost employee motivation, attract people to work, and better suit working families. Over 80% of businesses now allow work outside the office, but 42% of staff still say they would feel uncomfortable asking their boss about more flexible working. The onus should be on businesses to presume in favour wherever possible, challenge outdated assumptions and give their employees more confidence to ask about the options.
5. And help employees to work smarter – not harder. The value each worker adds in every hour he or she works (productivity) helps determine how fast our economy grows. It also determines what companies can afford to pay their staff. Closing the ‘productivity gap’ with the US in some sectors could boost annual earnings by 2.4%. Businesses need to take the lead by looking at how jobs are done, equipping people with the right skills and ensuring managers can manage well.
Is growth working for everyone? What more do you think businesses should be doing to help everyone feel the benefit of economic recovery?
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