Develop your business practices to enhance your competitive edge

Productivity through People will help you improve your business by focusing on working practices. People are the most important asset your business has, so it makes sense to put this at the centre of everything you do. 

Productivity through People is a six-month national programme designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by Aston Business School and Be the Business and sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group. The programme is dedicated to transforming leadership and management capability in forward-looking SMEs owners and senior management leaders in order to develop modern, high-performance workplace practices.


Testimonial 1

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"It's impossible to know it all as a business leader, but that through access to the fantastic mentors and other leaders you get on this course the solutions are out there, which you may never have discovered on your own. Pre-Covid we forecast 63% growth in the business, but it’s actually been 110%"

Read more here.

Emma Heathcote-James- MD- Little Soap Company


Testimonial 2

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“I can honestly say that the Productivity through People course changed my life! We’ve grown, kept our staff and won new clients, including a large global contract, even during the pandemic. Amazingly we’ve seen our gross business profits increase by an incredible 48%."

Stephanie Chamberlain- MD- Magic Milestones


Testimonial 3

“The most important factor that attracted me to take part in the Productivity though People programme was the culture and team engagement piece. The programme gave us the opportunity to learn from a wide range of different people like academics, business leaders from blue chip companies and also SMEs. We have been able to see how small and big businesses are implementing the changes to improve productivity. For me, one of the main benefits of taking part in the course was getting time out of the day to day running of the business, in order to think and reflect on the bigger picture.”

Chris Hoare, Development Director, AEGIS Engineering Systems

Benefits for you and your business
  • Practical masterclasses in a peer to peer learning environment to stimulate and challenge thinking on topics such as Leadership and Teams, Employee Engagement and Culture, Internal Communications, Innovation and Digital and New Technology Adoption led by leading academics from Aston Business School and industry experts,
  • Business benchmarking and future planning,
  • One to one coaching from highly experienced SME experts,
  • Action learning to address real business issues real business issues you are experiencing in a facilitated and confidential group setting, 
  • Industrial Visits to award-winning manufacturing and professional service environments, which will enable you to formulate high-performance workplace strategies. Previous participants have benefitted from visiting businesses such as EY, Rolls-Royce and Williams F1 Advanced Engineering, 
  • After graduating, participants will join the Productivity through People national alumni, a valuable network of business leaders and senior managers to support their on-going learning and development in a series of themed events.
How the programme works & dates 

Email to express interest in the programme and be informed of when applications reopen for our next cohort.


SME owners and/or senior team leaders who can influence change within the organisation

  • Any industry sector
  • SMEs with between 10 and 500 employees 
  • Annual turnover between £1m and £50m   
  • Organisations must have been trading for more than twelve months

 *Turnover and employee numbers prior to Covid-19 2020 crisis can be taken into consideration.


This programme has received significant investment from its industrial partners. As a result, the subsidised cost of this programme is £2,500 per delegate*.

*Bursaries and payment plans may be available, speak to one of the team to find out more.

How will this course be delivered? 

The programme has been carefully adapted to be delivered online. All masterclasses, webinars and industry visits will take place online unless otherwise advised.

Find out more or Apply

To find out more, register your interest or apply for Productivity through People please click here. Alternatively, if have a specific question you can contact one of the team by calling 0121 204 3225 or emailing


Mark Hart: Deputy Director of the Enterprise Research Centre

Productivity through People: What do you gain?

Our partners 

Lloyds Bank logo


EY logo


Be the Business logo