High Performance Working… a difficult step for SMEs?

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High Performance Working… a difficult step for SMEs?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

With much research showing the benefits of High Performance Working (HPW) to ‘bottom line’ performance, it has been adopted by many organisations that seek to build performance through people.

Indeed, though I will not go into it in detail here, the case for this is so overwhelming in terms of improvement that the government has long since concluded that the future of UK organisations lays in the highly skilled sector where we can add real value and compete globally. Yet despite this many SMEs have yet to embrace it.

  • Organisations that have embraced HPW have implemented some or all of the following;
  • Selective recruitment & selection
  • Performance related reward (financial and non-financial)
  • Learning & development aligned with business strategy
  • Clear role profiles & goals


  • Enhanced employee involvement and engagement.

Quite simply HPW employers will recruit and retain better employees who will deliver better returns, hence the term ‘human capital’.


High Performance Working a difficult step for SMEs


Trust is a critical component of organisational performance, and empowerment in the workplace helps build this as does having highly motivated employees. Too many organisations are run on the line that employees ‘should be grateful to work here’.

In normal non-recessional times such employers find out the hard way that employees are not ‘lucky’ and will not put up with such attitudes! Alternatively, dinosaur employers find their workforce to be made up of timeservers who have long since given up on improving their career by moving on or by keeping up to date with their skills and knowledge.

Ask yourself, does my organisation genuinely harness its employees and develop their capability? Is my team motivated to improve? Then ask yourself, are larger organisations leaving us behind in terms of people skills, motivation and performance?

Recent press coverage of the UK jobs market clearly indicates that there are three layers of employees: highly skilled, middle level and elementary. Presently only the highly skilled and elementary sectors are growing, so you need to also ask “How can I attract highly skilled staff? Or am I happy to join the ‘low skill equilibrium’ which dominates the UK employment market?” If the answer is yes then watch out, a cheaper economy and/or a competitor is about!

Matthew Davis is a Chartered FCIPD and Chartered Marketer FCIM qualified HR/Human Capital consulting professional

Matthew Davis is a Chartered FCIPD and Chartered Marketer FCIM qualified HR/Human Capital consulting professional. Experienced in most aspects of resourcing, business psychology, performance management and organisational development consulting as well as team leadership and budgetary management.



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