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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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UK SMEs neglecting to provide staff with adequate personal development path


Close to half (47 percent) of surveyed UK employees feel their SME employers do not invest enough in their personal development. A further quarter (27.9 percent) admitted to having never discussed training or personal development at all.

This problem is particularly acute in London and the South East, where positive responses to the breatheHR survey, undertaken by One Poll, were 10 percent lower than in other parts of the UK.

Scottish employees came top on feelings of engagement, with 62 percent believing their employer takes their personal development seriously – this is 18 percent higher than East Anglia, at 44.62 percent.

The Personal Development in the Workplace study also revealed that two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents hadn’t been provided with a personal development plan.

Interestingly, while staff in companies of between 51 and 250 were 16 percent more likely to have a development plan, staff felt more engaged and discussed their personal development more frequently in small companies of one to 10 staff.

Broken down by gender, women responded more positively for every question in the research study compared to men.

Reacting to the findings, Jonathan Richards, CEO & founder of breatheHR, said: “The exact reason why employees in London and South East feel less engaged at work than those in the rest of UK may be down to the more competitive business environment and lower levels of unemployment. Also, the fact that there are a greater number of larger sized businesses in these regions, which tend to be less personable than those with only 1-10 staff.”

“However, the results clearly show a fantastic opportunity for small to medium sized businesses to gain competitive advantage by spending time developing employees, and the good news is that it needn’t cost a fortune and with relatively little effort they will increase productivity and reduce costs.”

Author Profile Picture
Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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