Workforce stability is the main focus for SMEs in 2024, despite ongoing economic pressures and an uncertain climate, according to the latest barometer from people experts HR Solutions.
The results of the fourth annual SME Business Survey from the HR specialists were revealed at Your Business Expo at Sywell Aerodrome.
More than half of respondents (54%) said their biggest business issue this year is recession and cost of living, with 47% citing recruitment as a problem and 39% worried about bringing in new business.
Yet less than a quarter of those surveyed plan to make any redundancies, instead putting an emphasis on efficient resource management.
And with half troubled by maintaining profitability and 56% concerned about controlling costs, there is little surprise that 53% plan to focus on cost reduction in order to maintain workforce stability and make better use of resources.
Recruitment and employee retention were also revealed to be pressing issues, driven by competitive job markets and the expansion of the talent pool due to remote working. A worried 45% of SMEs are concerned about the need for wage adjustments in line with inflation, 52% believe employee retention is a key issue and 38% are concerned about talent attraction.
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