Kronos Incorporated today announced that increasing salaries of disengaged employees will not boost commitment or keep employees in the business according to new research from The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Coleman Parkes Research. This new survey revealed that 45 percent of employees believe that UK SMBs need to focus on providing a healthy work/life balance if they want to boost employee engagement to successfully compete with their large enterprise counterparts.

News Facts

  • Money isn’t everything. Engagement is critical to business continuity and success, especially for smaller businesses, with engaged employees much more likely to “go the extra mile” for the business. But you can’t buy employee engagement:
    • Remuneration was ranked 10th out of 11 as a reason for resigning;
    • Not feeling valued topped the list with 60 percent naming this as the key factor when considering resignation;
    • Lack of staff availability, high levels of absenteeism, poor technology, and limited support from team members within SMBs, were revealed as reasons why 85 percent of respondents felt they were unable to complete all their daily tasks;
    • This is exacerbated by the fact that employees in SMBs often perform multiple roles, especially at middle management level; and
    • The time has come for businesses to create a people-centric culture with an environment of understanding and supporting employees within SMBs.
  • Balancing employees and the books. Balancing the needs of people with the financial needs of the organisation is critical for employee engagement, however this research shows that employees are under the impression that this is not currently a priority for UK business leaders:
    • Fifty-nine percent of respondents think the CEO is only focused on the numbers, rather than the people who deliver the work;
    • Only 34 percent of respondents rate employee engagement as strong in their organisation.
  • SMB employees are stretched to the limit but that can be avoided.Seventy-two percent of respondents cited loss of productivity caused by manual systems, and:
    • Only 35 percent of employees rate their productivity as strong, but it only takes a small change to make a radical improvement. Organisations must focus on implementing the right technology to make working life easier;
    • Employees agree; with one in six respondents claiming that better technology would enhance workforce management and boost productivity; and
    • Seventy-seven percent of HR and line of business managers of SMBs cite outdated systems and technology as their biggest workforce management challenge.

Supporting Quotes

  • Neil Pickering, industry and customer insight manager, Kronos 
    “This report paints a picture of a UK SMB workforce burdened by fewer resources and low budgets, trying to compete against large enterprises by emulating the way they operate rather than concentrating on their own strengths. This appears to make employees feel disengaged as they are torn between competing demands of customers and management targets. Inappropriate technology and unnecessary administration are adding to the daily challenges they face. However, small, simple, changes can create big rewards, especially in an SMB environment, where the business impact can be much more significant and immediate. Focusing on employee engagement and empowerment is a win-win for SMBs and their most valuable asset – employees.”
  • Joyce Maroney, director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos 
    “SMBs should possess a real competitive advantage when it comes to employee engagement and should focus on competing directly with larger organisations on these terms. This research shows that the prospect that SMBs often promote, of providing a healthy work-life balance and a flexible working environment, holds a strong appeal for employees. If these are actioned properly, employee commitment to the organisation will increase, improving retention rates and increasing business efficiency. For SMBs, the impact of employees ‘going the extra mile’ will be much more impactful pound for pound against their larger counterparts and can be achieved through better communication and collaboration.”

Research Methodology

The Workforce Institute at Kronos commissioned Coleman Parkes Research to investigate the current level of employee engagement in certain UK SMB companies and the impact engagement can have on business success. Five hundred and two UK organisations with 100-600 employees in the manufacturing, retail, and services sectors, including transport and logistics sectors were polled using an online methodology in January and February 2016. Interviews were undertaken and controlled amongst HR directors/managers, operations/line of business managers and employees. In addition, controls were imposed on the employee sample so that a wide range of people by age took part in the survey but under-18s were excluded. The sample sizes and thus eventual data set provide an accurate and robust series of estimates for the population of companies as a whole in the UK.

Supporting Resources

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Tens of thousands of organisations in more than 100 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos to control labor costs, minimise compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.