This site uses third party services that need your consent. Learn more

Skip to content


Four small changes to improve productivity in 2024

Emerging technologies have the potential to accelerate productivity growth in 2024, but business owners shouldn’t underestimate the impact of small improvements to existing skills and structures.

Small changes, big results 

We’ve seen rapid technological innovation in the last 12 months. Tools like Generative AI became more intelligent and accessible than ever, and there’s a real sense of excitement about where these tools will go in the future. 

However, while technology like artificial intelligence can be transformative, it isn’t the be-all and end-all solution for boosting productivity. Everything from skills development to hybrid working can have an impact, and mentors or boards may want to offer these suggestions to help business owners improve their productivity. 

Delegate more 

Our Productive Business Index found that improving management skills and operational efficiency have proven links to higher levels of productivity.  

Delegation is a good management skill to hone in on. Most business owners worry about losing control, but delegation can empower and upskill employees, speeding up work and creating a more efficient, skilled and loyal workforce. In turn, it frees up business owners to focus on higher value tasks that will have a tangible impact on revenue and growth. 

Monitor customer satisfaction  

Customer satisfaction in the UK is reportedly at its lowest point since 2015. Customer-facing employees now spend almost five days a month dealing with customer problems, which has a major knock-on effect on productivity. 

Measuring customer satisfaction will help business owners to spot potential issues and be proactive about implementing solutions. Productivity drag in customer service can easily fly under the radar, so if you’re mentoring a business owner, make sure it’s something they’re tracking. 

Embrace employee flexibility 

Businesses that operate a hybrid model also report higher performance and stronger capabilities than both remote businesses and those operating from a dedicated environment.  

While hybrid working isn’t possible for every workplace, small business owners can explore ways to provide greater flexibility and autonomy. An estimated four million employees in the UK have changed careers due to a lack of flexibility; offering it where possible is key to attracting and retaining skilled staff. 

Seek advice 

Business leaders who regularly seek advice are more likely to increase revenue, set strategic plans and invest in their own leadership capabilities. 

If you’ve been partnered with a small business owner through a Be the Business programme, then it’s likely they recognise the value of external advice. However, the key is to make this outreach a regular habit, rather than a one-off. A productive business isn’t built overnight, and ongoing support will ensure they’re able to rise and adapt to new challenges as they come. 

Get involved with the Productivity Programme 

At Be the Business, we’re on a mission to tackle the UK’s productivity problem. Since 2017, we've helped British small and medium-sized businesses produce a productivity uplift of £500m by connecting them with the right support. 

Want to help a small business owner find the one percent productivity improvement that could make all the difference in their company? Find out more here


Stay in the know

Subscribe to our monthly Insights newsletter to hear about our upcoming research, or browse the archive.