CIPD survey highlights importance of HR to Small Businesses

An influential new report has just been launched which demonstrates the critical part HR support services play in ensuring small businesses maximise productivity and management skills.

The People Skills year-long pilot offered 400 SMEs across England and Scotland two days of free HR support.

Developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the pilot demonstrated that after using the scheme small businesses were more likely to report that their organisation was in a better or much better position on issues such as workplace relations, labour productivity and financial performance than similar firms in their sector.

The CIPD is now encouraging the government to invest £13m a year in HR support services for small businesses on the basis that it will help to improve the country’s productivity deficit. Obviously here at citrusHR we firmly believe in the importance of HR to Small Businesses, and how good HR can transform poor performing organisations. The whole pilot essentially underpins the basic principal that if you treat staff well and ensure their needs are met, they are more likely to do a good job for you, therefore both you and your business will benefit.

Top tips and lessons for working with a HR Consultant

So what lessons can be learnt from the pilot study? Our top 5 tips for working with an HR consultant are:

  1. Consider the role and choice of your HR partner carefully – you will work with them closely, building trust is hugely important
  2. Ensure you choose a Company who understands your culture and operating environment
  3. Work with an HR consultant to first ensure that the people management ‘basics’ are in place, then work with them to focus on your company’s effectiveness
  4. Ensure they have experience relevant to your industry or particular people problem
  5. Be honest and open with your chosen HR Consultant, they will be able to advise you better if they know all the facts, even if you have not always followed the rules

The People Skills pilot appears to have been a success and the role of independent HR consultants is central to this, however it also highlights that it is only a starting point, some of the lessons learned from the pilot include:

  1. Face-to-face advice is particularly valued by small businesses
  2. Some SMEs are hard to reach or engage as they don’t immediately see the benefits of addressing people management issues or working with HR consultants
  3. The best partnerships with HR consultants are ongoing and whilst the basics or essentials related to legislation may be tackled in 12 months, an ongoing relationship will produce higher value long term results

If you’d like to get ahead of your competition, and improve the performance of your team, contact us online or by phone: 0844 854 6704 to find out more.

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