According to the Department of Business Skills and Innovation, small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) account for 99% of all businesses in the UK, 59% of all private sector employment and 49% of all private sector turnover. These businesses will be playing a huge part in the economic recovery of the UK, and according to the Small Business Index, there are already signs of improvement – with an increase in staffing levels of around 15%. In fact according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today (8 November), overall demand for staff rose at the fastest pace since June 2007 and there are higher vacancy levels for permanent and temporary workers, in the public and private sectors and across all monitored job categories and regions. A great sign that UK recovery has begun.
The impact of the economic crisis with the accompanying pressures on cash flow and capital investment hit the SMB market particularly hard forcing many companies into survival mode. If SMBs or indeed any organisation are to thrive and play a key role in the UK recovery, they can’t afford to focus on the short-term. One area of development that can have a real impact on the success of a business organisation is employee engagement and optimising the management of this key asset can have a huge impact on the bottom line, this means that HR has a vital, strategic role to play.
Staffing and people management issues are the central and chief concern of the HR function, whether it is managing talent and giving staff the right opportunities, attracting and retaining the right staff into the organisation or simply the day-to-day issues of keeping staff productive and engaged. With salaries currently rising due to the shortage of skilled workers it has become even more vital for HR to help organisations offer the best environment to attract and retain the best talent.
For an organisations to move from survival mode to a thriving business this will be an exciting and challenging time, HR Managers will need to innovate to get the best from each and every employee. Freeing up HR time by automating HR and time and attendance processes for HR, introducing fair and equitable absence management policies and supporting innovative ways of working such as job shares, flexible working, home and mobile working practices, means SMBs can steal a march on competitors by keeping employees fully engaged. Organisations that do engage their employees will attract and retain the best talent and ultimately benefit from greater workforce productivity and creativity, enabling expansion and recovery opportunities.
Read Aberdeen Research Report: Workforce Management for the SMB: Big Results for Small and Medium Businesses
Find out more information on automating your HR and Time and Attendance Processes