A business coach claimed improved staff competency can boost a company’s productivity by as much as 30% during a fascinating workshop delivered to Aycliffe businesses.
Darren Race, managing director of Aycliffe-based Think Eleven, says average productivity in the workforce stands at around 55% – and can be as low as 24%.
But he has devised a unique system, which he’s already delivering to more than 40 organisations around the world, which can boost productivity to 85% – what he dubs ‘world class levels’.
Think Eleven delivered a workshop, organised by Aycliffe Business Park, to a dozen other companies at South West Durham Training, which focused on maximising the contribution of the people within your workforce.
“It was primarily focused around competency, and the fact most organisations have records of training, but not competence,” explained Darren.
“What we’ve seen is a trend for organisations and auditors to move towards a competency management approach – which provides evidence that they’ve not only been trained, but they’re competent to do the job they’re employed to do.
“With that we can take workforce utilisation, which is typically 55% efficiency, to 85%, which is world class.
“We’ve proven there’s an opportunity to maximise the productivity of the UK workforce, and companies that attended this workshop, in helping them become world-class in a very competitive market place.”
Think Eleven provides consultancy to businesses and a software service solution, which helps organisations define a transformational competency framework.
The firm works with a range of organisations – from companies with 15 staff to multi-nationals, including the likes of Siemens, Argos, Sainsbury’s Bank, TechnipFMC, Bombardier, Daewoo and Huawei.
“The framework is designed to improve the performance of their workforce not only technically, but behaviourally and culturally within their business,” says Darren.
“We take that information, and put it into an online tool called Skill Station, which allows our clients to manage, report and continuously improve a particular process across your entire workforce in a very objective and measured way.”
Local councillor John Clare, cabinet support member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, attended the recent business workshop.
“There were some fantastic insights and tips from the presentation,” said Cllr Clare.
“It was absolutely fascinating, and very important for local businesses to get their heads around staff competency.
“County Durham is not only a poor area, but it’s getting poorer – our disposable income is dropping.
“We have quite high employment rates. It’s not lack of jobs that is the problem, it’s the lack of high-paid quality jobs.
“But when you combine full employment with low productivity, where is our growth going to come from?
“Durham County Council is trying to grow our county’s economy, but the only place we can do this is by increasing productivity and skills.
“So it’s absolutely vital for our employers to be able to get the best out of their staff, because it will enable them to grow and create more wealth for our region.”