Small business challenges

Talent and people

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A staggering 62 percent of all performing arts businesses surveyed said they relied on the Government’s furlough scheme to pay staff, with around half (51%) of hospitality and consulting sectors stating the same.

Similarly, 40 percent of security and law enforcement companies had to draw on provisions from the state. The more worrying statistic is that 33 percent of all businesses we spoke to let staff go during the Pandemic.


I had to let staff members go due to the Pandemic

I used the furlough scheme during the Pandemic

Industries which struggle with talent retention/keeping good staff

The current economic climate means that those who have jobs will likely stay where they are rather than risk moving elsewhere. What’s more, less funding and revenue could mean fewer opportunities to get the best people through the front door.

As a result, 33 percent of business owners showed concern when asked whether they would struggle to retain their best staff. Another 32 percent stated that they would struggle to afford staff training in 2021.

Industries most concerned how Brexit will affect EU/EEA/Swiss-national employees

As the UK finalises its move away from the European Union, many businesses are apprehensive about retaining foreign employees.

The media and information sectors, in particular, rely heavily on recruitment outside of the British Isles, and, as such, nearly half of businesses expressed concern.

Approximately 36 percent of all business owners surveyed said they rely on EU/EEA/Swiss-national employees.

Diversity in the workplace

Believe it or not, there was one thing to cheer about in 2020.

And that was the growing numbers of businesses who have listened to the current political climate and, in turn, proactively diversified the talent in their workplace (43%).

We can also see that a third of businesses (36%) enforce more measures to support women in their organisation. 

I proactively diversify the talent in my workplace

I proactively try to support women in the workplace

Four-day work week debate

Surprisingly, more businesses are in favour of a four-day week than not.

This news comes as hyper-productive businesses in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands continue to work an average of 27 hours a week.

The most optimistic sectors were hospitality, leisure, sport, tourism, and property, sharing 38 percent of the ‘positive’ vote apiece.

Those opposed to a four-day working week were companies operating in the legal industry, including law enforcement and security.

Implementing a 4-day working week would positively impact my business

Changes to a 4-day working week would negatively impact my business

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