17 September 2019 | Prithvi Pandya
At least three in four (77 per cent) small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) find it challenging to recruit suitably qualified staff for their business, according to research by payroll company Moorepay.
Two-thirds of SMEs Moorepay surveyed (64 per cent) said they found staff retention an issue.
Analysis revealed that 85 per cent of SMEs surveyed said their employees feel valued, compared with just 15 per cent who believe their workers do not feel valued.
One in five (22 per cent) of all employees said their employer provides no benefits, rising to one in three (34 per cent) for employees of SMEs.
According to employees, the most common benefits being provided by SMEs are financial benefits, with six of the top 10 most common benefits offering some form of financial reward or discount such as financial bonuses, pension contributions over the minimum legal requirement, discounts on leisure and shopping, or free or subsidised travel.
It seems there are significant disparities between the prevalence of benefits offered in different parts of the country and in different industry sectors.
London-based employees (52 per cent) said they receive financial bonuses or incentives, for example, but workers in London are also much more likely to be offered the opportunity to work flexibly or remotely (52 per cent), as are employees in the South East (33 per cent).
There is widespread agreement among employers that in 2019, employees are looking for more than just a salary, with 87 per cent of SMEs participating in Moorepay's study believing this to be the case.
Anthony Vollmer, managing director at Moorepay, said: "While employees of smaller businesses appear to feel more valued than their counterparts in larger organisations, SMEs can't afford to be complacent.
"As businesses grow it can become more difficult to stay truly engaged with their employees, and they are under constant threat from competitors of all sizes who are fighting hard for the top talent. Keeping staff satisfied is of paramount importance to smaller businesses, and our study suggests that there are currently far too many unhappy workers to ignore."
The full research report can be downloaded here.