The CBI believes that a private sector-led recovery is essential for delivering long-term sustainable growth to the UK economy. Small businesses account for 99% of all private sector businesses and 60% of all private sector employment in the UK, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). However, many SMEs lack HR support, with managers finding themselves overstretched or sporadically outsourcing.
Why is there is an imbalance then, between the reliance the economy has on small businesses and on the support SMEs can expect to manage the people who work for them and on whom they rely to achieve their goals?
“For small businesses, having the right people with the right capabilities in key roles is essential,” explains Lisa Gower of Ubuntu HR. “Also, for businesses undergoing growth, expanding their workforce while providing the right levels of support and training is equally important.”
“Managing people and providing adaptable leadership are not always natural skills for otherwise driven business leaders”
Clear HR support can make a crucial difference here, which is why the right kind of outsourced HR assistance is an invaluable asset to SMEs.
“None of us are experts in everything,” Lisa remarks, “and seeking specialist help in key areas is a way of ensuring that where you don’t have the knowledge, you can fill in the gaps.”
Processes, Procedures and People Development
“When you hire someone to do a job, it comes with a whole set of regulations and requirements which, if you omit or get wrong, can come back to haunt you,” Lisa observes.
“From issuing contracts to following disciplinary procedures, professional HR support ensures that SMEs avoid common employment problems. Not following proper procedures can tie you up in legislation and end up costing you serious amounts of money in compensation”
There are numerous pitfalls and issues for employers to deal with, such as flexible working requests and statutory sick pay.
“Even how you communicate your expectations to employees when placing them in roles is vital to avoid conflict and confusion,” Lisa advises.
Across a range of issues, from performance to employee satisfaction and dealing with conflict in the workplace, professional, outsourced HR support can make a real difference to the fortunes of SMEs.
“The CIPD has recognised the need for a better availability and level of professional HR help when it comes to SMEs,” Lisa concludes, “and in better supporting them, we support the country’s economic growth.”