Our smallest businesses (0-49 employees) make up 99.3% of the UK’s total business population. They account for 36% of the UK’s turnover and serve an important role in the heart of communities.
However, many micro businesses face barriers in trying to access support and advice to improve the productivity and wellbeing of their workforce. They typically lack the formal HR resource structures of larger firms, and accessing available support is not always straightforward. This is often attributed to a people management “blind spot.”
This blind spot is not just limited to firms. As an academic community, we undertake very little research or engagement in this area. Within policy and business organisations, external support mechanisms designed to improve HR practice often miss the mark due to a failure to recognise their specific operating context.
Addressing this won’t be easy. But at the PrOPEL Hub we are keen to make a start. Our aim is to explore how high-quality, inclusive and engaging people practices can drive productivity and performance within the workplace. Over the course of a half day workshop, led by Professor Monder Ram, we will be deep diving the under-explored world of people management in micro businesses and asking the question – how can we design support structures for micro businesses to improve employee engagement and management practice?
Through a series of talks and panel discussions with leading academics and practitioners (including micro business owners, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development), we will explore the challenges facing micro businesses in accessing people practice support and lessons academics, policymakers and businesses advisers can take from this to develop a more inclusive support ecosystem.
Register for the opportunity to explore:
• The distinctive challenges facing micro businesses in their delivery of people management
• The obstacles preventing micro businesses from taking up external support
• The current gaps in the micro business support ecosystem and ideas for how these could be addresses
• The role of academics and policy makers in developing more inclusive support