Speciality drugmaker Shire has been crowned the UK’s most productive healthcare company in a major study by assessment group Profiles International, with biotechnology group BTG second in line.

The UK’s Most Productive Companies looked financial data from 594 publicly-traded UK companies on the Main market of the London Stock Exchange, grouped into 60 industry sub-sectors based on Standard Industrial Classification codes and then into 18 different industries.

Initially, Profiles looked at the revenue produced per full-time employee ratio to determine productivity, but the group then also took a closer look at the practices that enabled the best companies to out-perform the market, in order to gain a better understanding of the factors driving employee productivity within an organisation.

The healthcare sector was divided into four sub-categories and, according to the report, Shire was the “runaway top performer” in the pharmaceuticals group, with Dechra Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca in second and third places, respectively.

Elsewhere in the sector, the Assura Group topped the list of healthcare providers, Smith & Nephew were first in the medical equipment class, and BTG headed up the biotechnology category.

According to Profiles, the best practices underpinning outstanding productivity can be broken down into five ‘People Attributes’, such as a performance driven culture and efficient managers, and five ‘Strategic & Operational Attributes’, including technical, financial and operational sophistication.

People attributes 

The report notes that the UK’s most productive companies: have performance-driven cultures where actions and results speak louder than words; clearly define the attributes of people who fit their culture, which are then used to support recruiting decisions; and invest in information/tools to help managers better understand their people, amongst other factors.

“It is interesting that, despite the particular difficulties of the past few years, pharmaceutical companies like Shire are still setting the pace in terms of how they manage their people,” said Profiles International UK Managing Director Martin Goodwill, commenting on the results, and “it is more important than ever for companies to benchmark their people processes to ensure they maximise the productivity of the people they employ”, he stressed.