SME sector proves optimistic

by 20 Mar 2007

SEVENTY-SIX per cent of small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Australia believe that recruitment and retention are their biggest business challenges, compared to 62 per cent of SMEs globally. The survey of 357 SMEs from 39 countries also found that on a global scale, businesses were optimistic about their future, predicting growth:

In personalised service 55%

In talented individuals 53%

Over the next five years 44%

FIFTY-TWO per cent of SMEs expected to be acquired by larger players due to their innovation and agility, while 25 per cent of Australian SMEs expect to be acquired by a foreign firm.

Source: Shirlaws

Aussie managers overworked

MORE THAN 50 per cent of managers across Australia have said their average working hours have increased over the past two years. A survey of 300 upper and middle managers found that a further 57 per cent claimed they are now working more hours than they would prefer, while high-level management expressed difficulty in taking holidays over one week. More than 40 per cent of those surveyed believed pressure to send jobs offshore had increased in the past three years, and 70 per cent of managers were concerned that this would cause fear within companies and lower morale.

Source: Gold Coast Tourism

UK: employers take religion lightly

ONLY 33 per cent of employers in the UK have a formal policy on managing religious beliefs in the workplace. According to a survey of 1,369 UKemployers, three-quarters of those with a policy in place supported staff in taking time off for religious observance. Meanwhile, 61 per cent provided staff with time or facilities for religious observance in the workplace, and only 1 per cent of respondents had faced an employment tribunal claim in the past three years related to alleged religious discrimination.

Source: CIPD/KPMG

CEOs wear business reputation

SIXTY PER CENT of CEOs in the US are blamed when it comes to a loss in business reputation following a crisis. According to a survey of 950 global business executives across 11 countries, blame was attributed to CEOs by 58 per cent globally, with Europe and Asia following closely at 57 per cent. Other causes of reputation failure included security breaches (62 per cent), environmental violations (60 per cent), and health and safety product recalls (60 per cent).

Source: Weber Shandwick

Aussies feel the stress

SIXTY-THREE per cent of Australians said they would pack their bags and leave their job if they became too stressed at work. A survey of 2,416 people found that 71 per cent of workers believed stress came with the job, while the causes of stress on the job were most likely to be:

Modern pace of life 36%

Expectancy to do more work 29%

Office politics 16%

Furthermore, 88 per cent of workers believed stress had a negative impact on health, with physical symptoms including high blood-pressure, a higher rate of colds and flu, ulcers, headaches and overeating.

Source: Talent2

Hiring and orientation keys to success

SIXTY-FIVE per cent of companies with a highly engaged workforce provide interview training for managers, compared to 33 per cent of companies with a less engaged workforce. Research into the HR practices at 50 large US companies found that those with highly engaged workers also spent more time in preparing workers for their new jobs, taking an average of 35 weeks to bring a new hire up to speed versus five weeks for those with low engagement. A further 52 per cent of high financial performers said they were provided with an explanation as to why they were hired, compared to 29 per cent of low financial performers.

Source: Watson Wyatt

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