Survey reveals contradictory UK business objectives for 2015

Survey reveals contradictory UK business objectives for 2015

Here’s the conundrum: if growth is not the key priority for nearly half (47%) of UK businesses, how come the IMF predicts the UK to be the fastest-growing country among G7 nations, ahead of the US?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

~ Dr Seuss

Are we heading for fast growth in 2015 or not? Our survey of UK businesses last week appears to question the validity of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predictions from a fortnight ago.

We surveyed a cross-section of business and IT leaders across the UK, including people in financial services, professional services and recruitment. We asked them to select one key objective for their business in 2015. They could choose from five options: business agility, customer service, efficiency, growth and staff engagement. As we anticipated, of the 232 who responded, growth was the most popular choice.

What we did not expect, however, was that the figure would be so very, very low. Only 53% of people choose growth as their top priority.

Which means that for 47% of businesses, growth is NOT their top priority.

But how can this be, when only a fortnight ago the IMF predicted the UK to be the fastest growing country among the G7 nations? Surely, if this were true, we’d see around 80 or even 90 percent of respondents prioritise growth?

Cloud Direct survey results

Here are the results of the survey so you can see for yourself. If you are one of the superb 232 people who completed our survey, thank you. If not, ask yourself which one you’d go for. Would you go for growth?

What is the one key objective for your business in 2015?

Business agility 8 3%
Customer service 44 19%
Efficiency 47 20%
Growth 124 53%
Staff engagement 9 4%
Total 232  

Business growth swamps employee engagement

Of course, the survey is encouraging in many respects, as efficiency and customer service are the brothers and sisters of business growth. But look at the figure for staff engagement. According to our survey, a mere four percent of business leaders prioritise their staff over customers, efficiency and growth. Maybe they should hear what Richard Branson says about the correlation between employee engagement and business profitability.

But here’s something to cheer everyone up.

Wipe away the tears; business growth makes us happy

I read an FT article earlier this year that questioned whether or not we’d all taken the recession seriously enough in terms of employee wellbeing. It highlighted a strong correlation between gloomy economic performance and depression. So let’s hope that the IMF is right and we are, in fact, storming ahead of the US (which is predicted second place) and the other five G7 countries.

And there’s more good news.

IMF report: Britain is fastest-growing economy for ninth time

To earn Britain its winning place,  the IMF predicted a GDP increase of 3.2%, compared with the US at 2.2%. But this isn’t the first time the UK has led the G7 pack. IMF reports economic growth figures back to 1980, since when the UK has topped the G7 growth league on eight previous occasions- in 1986/7, 1993/4/5 and 2001/3/7. So we can do it again.

Services remain biggest driver of growth

The IMF also reports that services remain the biggest driver of growth, followed by production (which includes manufacturing). And good news, too, for the construction industry, where growth picked up in the third quarter, according to the IMF. This supports reports from the National House Building Council (NHBC) that house-building is at its strongest since 2007 - in both London and across the UK.

How does packaged cloud IT drive business growth?

If we’re serious about high – and sustainable – growth, we need to look at our business IT. IT supports all business systems and processes, so it’s fundamental to business growth. You can find out more about how cloud IT can help you grow your business, by checking out our carefully vetted, selected and packaged cloud solutions for Office & Employee Productivity.

P.S. Find out next week if you’re the lucky winner of the awesome new iPad Air 2!

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