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Building resilience and enabling innovation in SMEs through engaging your staff

The Productivity Through Innovation project is offering a series of in-person workshops and business-specific consultancy on building resilience and enabling innovation in SMEs through engaging your staff. This support is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is at no cost to eligible SMEs.

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The offer

Students sitting in a classroom

The programme of support has been specifically developed by HR experts from Nottingham Business School.

This initiative will help SMEs to understand what employee engagement is, explore the challenges that they face, and provide practical and tailored support on how they can build resilience and enable innovation by improving staff engagement.

The four-month programme starts in September 2022 and is made up of:

  • 5 comprehensive and interactive workshops (each 3 hours)
  • tailored diagnostics
  • action learning sets
  • business-specific 1:1 support

Who is it for?

This programme is aimed at business owners, decision-makers, HR practitioners, people with responsibility for managing staff, or those with an interest in employee engagement.

Programme dates and content

We are aiming for this programme to be delivered in-person on the NTU City Campus, however should this not be possible we will facilitate virtual attendance.

Workshop 1

19 September 2022
(12 - 3 pm)
Explore what we mean by employee engagement, examine the four enablers of engagement, and consider case study examples.

Workshop 2

6 October 2022
(12 - 3 pm)
Pitfalls and opportunities: building an engaged workforce.
This session will provide informed guidance on how to progress in your journey towards engagement, and encourage discussion about barriers and how to overcome them. It will reflect themes and issues raised by the participating group.

Diagnostic sessions

Arranged directly with the business.Diagnostic interviews or focus groups (depending on your preference) based on the engagement pillars.  By the end of this process the team will identify overarching themes across participating SMEs about what fosters engagement and what holds it back.

Workshop 3

2 November 2022
(12 - 3 pm)
Action learning workshop based on insight from the diagnostic.

Workshop 4

18 November 2022
(12 - 3 pm)
Action learning workshop based on insight from the diagnostic.

Workshop 5

6 December 2022
(12 - 3 pm)
Conclusion, next steps, action planning. This stage will bring together key learning points across the programme, and work with participating SMEs to develop action plans, based on insights gained across the programme including the diagnostic phase.

Finally, a detailed report will be provided to each participating SME which will include a detailed analysis of the company-specific diagnostics provided by the research team.  It will highlight progress set against the four engagement pillars, and make recommendations for next steps.

Who is eligible for support?

  • SMEs based in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
  • Maximum 250 employees, with a suggested minimum of 50 employees
  • An annual turnover under EUR 50 million or annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million.

If you do not meet the above criteria or are unsure, please contact us regardless as we may be able to signpost you to other support available.

To enquire or sign up for the full support

We have capacity to support 8 SMEs on this programme.

To enquire about signing up for the support, please email