New Survey Reveals Gap in UK Finance Work Practices is Hampering National Productivity

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The UK Department of Education has released their 2017 Employer Skills Survey results and reveals only 12% of Financial Services companies in the UK incorporate two thirds or more of 21 of High Performance Work Practices (HPWP). The sector ranks 4th behind Public Administration, Education and Health and Social Work. Research shows HPWPs improve financial performance. Given the UK’s long-standing productivity gap compared with international competitors, the survey recommends more businesses adopt more HPWPs.


Based on phone interviews with more than 87,000 UK employers, the biennial survey is the largest of its kind in the world. It captures data on skills needs, skills use and skills development in UK organisations. Along with previous years, this survey included questions about High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) and discovered the proportion of employers utilising HPWP has stagnated. Only 12% of UK Financial Services companies adopt between 14-21 HPWP and 38% incorporate only 1-14 tactics. 50% use none. The survey recommends that those workplaces between 1-14 tactics adopt more tactics to increase business performance. This will in turn improve the UK’s long-standing productivity gap relative to international competitors.

What are High Performance Work Practices?

High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) are people management tactics that increase business productivity and profit. These practices have been shown to increase employee engagement, support high performance and productivity and in turn, increase financial return. High performance practices are grouped across five areas: training planning, organisation, skills, rewards and autonomy. In particular, high performing work places identify talented individuals and create strong project teams that make the best use of their skills.

HPW organisations look for potential and invest in employee development through career development, mentoring programmes and other high performance work practices. They develop people who are uniquely skilled to tackle their business challenges. 

Technology that identifies and develops talent

WERKIN’s mentoring platform prompts candidates to create profiles of their skills, qualifications and experience on their mobile devices. Algorithms digitally match employees with mentors, projects and business challenges. By scanning employees impartially for capabilities, the technology reduces bias by taking human instinct out of the process. Employees receive push notifications to meet, learn and collaborate. WERKIN enables organisations to identify their most qualified candidates for teams and projects, facilitate their development and achieve their full potential.


WERKIN's tech-enabled mentoring platform helps global organisations manage, measure and scale mentoring programmes. Professionals from more than 20 financial institutions use WERKIN worldwide. WERKIN is accelerating peer-to-peer learning in large organisations.