POSTED: June 03 2019
Biggest business challenges

Biggest business challenges

The differences in challenges faced by both large and small organisations is outlined in new research. HR decision makers at larger businesses say that ‘recruiting and retaining talent’ is the biggest challenge their organisation currently face whereas SMEs say growing the business is their biggest challenge.

The research* undertaken by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector outlines this key challenges faced by companies large and small.

Katharine Moxham, Group Risk Development (GRiD) spokesperson who commented: “The battle for talent has always been closely fought among larger employers, and with high employment and continuing pressure for increased productivity and growth, it’s not going to get any easier.”

Key challenges faced by UK businesses according to HRs

However, recruiting and retaining staff is made easier when companies can demonstrate that they’ll be well looked after. This might include a clear path for career progression, an attractive environment and good working conditions. Demonstrating support for health and wellbeing is also important; looking after the health and wellbeing of staff is a challenge for 36% of larger companies but when this is given more priority it can go a long way to attract and keep a loyal workforce.

Mind the gap

As legislation and employment law continually change, large corporates say they also struggle with this. ‘Understanding what gaps HRs have in their knowledge’ is a challenge for nearly half (49%) of larger employers, and ‘keeping on top of and complying with legislation’ is an issue for 47%, highlighted in the research carried out amongst over 100 large corporates.

Absence management

Just under half of larger employers (45%) say that managing HR issues, including absence management, is an issue, which is in contrast to SMEs where it is still a problem but less severe with 23% of SMEs saying it’s a challenge. There may be a tendency to be less loyal in larger companies and for many large organisations (perhaps utilising a third-party absence-management system) an employee calling in sick, whether truly ill or otherwise, is less conspicuous than within a smaller organisation.

Financial concerns

Financial concerns were also evident, with nearly a half (46%) citing ‘growing the business’ and ‘managing budgets’ being a challenge, and ‘staying afloat’ an issue for one in five.

Moxham speaking on behalf of GRiD continued: “It’s clear from these findings that, for larger employers, group risk products and employee benefits as whole may not be uppermost in their minds. However, if deployed well, such products can really help support a business and its employees through many of their operational challenges, from providing support for absence management through to access to HR and legal advice.

“It’s been an extremely interesting exercise to view the business landscape through the lens of HRs. Putting great people management at the heart of an organisations’ planning would no doubt reduce some of the current challenges faced by many larger businesses today.”


*Research undertaken by Opinium on behalf of GRiD amongst 500 HR decision makers between 4 and 18 March 2019.