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  • Anbu Packirisamy

Where are We Going? The Future of SMEs

Did you know that micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up for more than two-thirds of all jobs contributing to about 48% of GDP in Singapore? With the right support, these companies could significantly boost economic growth!


SMEs face different challenges compared to their larger competitors. This includes having limited ability and resources for planning. Working towards business goals is another problem, such as the recruitment and retention of core staff.


The same management team that handles the issues mentioned usually also needs to oversee the planning and delivery of work in the company. Now that sounds stressful!


As you can imagine, this is a difficult job and may result in stressed-out employees. (And we all know where burnt-out employees go. Here’s a hint: resignation!)


Moreover, many SMEs are still operating on a fairly traditional basis, and may have not embraced digital technology to further move their business forward.


So we can’t help but wonder: with the acceleration of digitalisation, what is the future of SMEs, really, and where are we headed?


Let’s explore this together!

Finding the right team

Ensuring cultural fit for the company

We can all agree that finding the right employees to form a dream team can directly lead to a company’s success.


When talking to prospective hires, it’s important to find out if the person’s values and work ethics align with that of the existing team members.


For example, in startups, having an adaptable attitude is an absolute must-have. The startup work culture requires an individual to wear multiple hats and take on different roles, which may be outside of their area of expertise.


But that may not be everyone’s cup of tea!


So when interviewing, ask the right questions to make sure that your potential hire has the right attitude and ethics to fit your growing business.


Mapping career progression for employees

Another thing to take note of: map out a path of progression for each employee.


Though not everyone may ask about it directly, employees want to know what career prospects they have with your company. And if they feel that you can bring their career to the next stage, they’re more likely to stay! On the other hand, if they feel opportunities are limited or there’s no room for further growth, they may start looking for opportunities elsewhere.


As globalisation continues, companies are also no longer limited by geographical distance when choosing to hire employees anyway. This means job seekers now have an easier time looking for companies that can hire them remotely.


This brings us to the next point of digitalisation.

Going digital

Digital transformation has been a big topic among businesses and government sectors in recent years. And there’s no doubt that this has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, where businesses were forced to move online in order to survive!


Technology is also now more accessible at all levels of the workplace.


Yes, we’re referring to the increase in uptake of collaborative apps and cloud solutions like Microsoft Teams and Asana. These platforms help employees stay productive yet connected with the rest of their teammates, whether they’re working from their own homes in the same city or from a different continent altogether!


Digitalisation for SMEs

SMEs can make the most of these solutions to grow and expand their horizons too.

If you think about it, a key factor to an SME’s success is having reliable people. And the management and HR team are in charge of taking care of these employees.


But that’s not their only role. In a small company, (where there are only 1-2 HR staff) they’re likely to also have other responsibilities, such as managing:

  1. Attendance tracking

  2. Payroll processing (which could require hours of full attention each week)

  3. Recruiting and interviewing

  4. Benefits and compensation

  5. Employee training and wellbeing

And in the case of SMEs, the management’s role not only involves overseeing staff, but also the planning, directing, and overseeing operations and the fiscal health of a business unit/department. On top of all of that, they also have to look out for their own career development. Just reading that made us tired!


By digitising the HR process, managers and the HR team can collect data more easily and therefore make decisions more quickly. This means freeing up time for them so that they can work on other high-value tasks.


It’s a win-win situation for all.


The future is digital

For an SME to thrive in this day and age, embracing new business trends and solutions is a must, to not only help your business stay afloat, but also give it a better chance at success!

(And that means going digital if you haven’t already done so!)


The future of SMEs relies on not only having the right employees, but also embracing technology and digitalisation. People training and management can only benefit your business when it’s paired with the right mindset.


If you want to know how Adaptive Pay can redirect your business path and make your HR process simpler, contact us today for a free demo.

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