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Building Resilience and Innovation Through Staff Engagement (RISE)

The Productivity Through Innovation project is offering a series 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 and will be delivered 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 programme starts on 6 October 2022, and is made up of 3 phases:

  1. Virtual workshop
  2. Individual diagnostics
  3. In-person, broad-based workshop.

The initiative will:

  • equip leaders with an understanding of how to improve the strategic narrative around staff engagement, based on RISE principles
  • enhance line manager understanding of how to engage their staff
  • help businesses understand and improve staff retention
  • identify skills and knowledge gaps and develop initiatives to address them
  • increase the prospect of bringing in new, fresh talent
  • promote appreciation and practical ideas of how to promote employee voice
  • improve business strategy and performance, taking account of Staff Engagement Pillars

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


Phase 1:

Virtual workshop focused on participating SMEs

6 October 2022, two hours (1 pm - 3 pm)
  • Introductions and objectives - What the programme offers; what delegates would like to achieve through it.
  • Defining staff engagement; the RISE principles; Why staff engagement matters and what can get in the way

Phase 2:

Individual diagnostic with participating SMEs

October - November 2022, arranged directly with participants
  • Identifying needs and themes; case study led, leading to a tailored report.

Phase 3:


14 December 2022, four hours (11 am - 3 pm)
  • Based on case studies: What have we learnt; what do we need to do; what steps will help us to get there.
  • This workshop will draw out headlines from the diagnostics phase, in line with RISE and University ethical principles
  • This workshop will be open to organisations beyond participating SMEs. This will allow wider networking and extend the learning of participating SMEs.

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, and make recommendations for the future.

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