What is MES?

What is MES?

Go to next section

In 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in partnership with the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), developed and conducted the Management and Expectations Survey (MES), building on the experience and outcomes of a pilot Management Practice Survey (MPS) in 2016. The MES2017 was a voluntary postal survey of approximately 25,000 businesses with employment of 10 or more drawn from and linked to the 2016 Annual Business Survey sample, covering both the production and services industries in Great Britain. In 2020 a second wave of the survey MES2020 was carried out, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). With approval from the National Statistician’s Ethics Committee, respondents of the MES2020 survey were offered feedback, based on the information they provided on their management practices. Feedback relates to each firm’s own level of structured management – based on a derived management score scale – and how that compares on average relative to businesses similar in terms of size or industry. In 2022, HM Treasury agreed to fund a third wave of MES, which is scheduled to go into the field in 2023.

MES attempts to measure four aspects of firms’ management practices:

  • continuous improvement practices – how well does the firm monitor its operations and use this information for continuous improvement?
  • key performance indicators (KPIs) – how many KPIs the firm has and how often they are reviewed
  • targets – are the firm’s targets stretching, tracked and appropriately reviewed?
  • employment practices – is the firm promoting and rewarding employees based on performance, managing employee underperformance and providing adequate training opportunities?

It also measures expectations of firms about year ahead sales, employment, business investment and matches the responses to the Annual Business Survey and other firm level information collected by the ONS.