Economic Uncertainty the Biggest Challenge Facing 2.5 Million SMEs
UK SMEs say that economic uncertainty (45%), ongoing digitalisation efforts (41%) and increased competition (37%) are the three biggest challenges facing their organisation in the next two years, according to new research from Robert Half UK.
SMEs require strong leadership to navigate this period of change in the next two years, but a significant proportion believe that strong leadership is currently lacking within their organisation.
With SMEs being the backbone of the UK economy, accounting for 52% of all private sector turnover (£2 trillion annually)2, poor leadership has the potential to cause a significant negative economic impact.
When looking at implementing new digital solutions, two in five say their leadership team is resistant to change (41%), a further two in five say they have poor soft skills (40%), while three in 10 cite a lack of communication (30%).
The skills identified for strong leadership include strategic thinking, adaptability, emotional intelligence, communication and collaboration. These soft skills – once overlooked and undervalued –– are now being identified as the most crucial to become a CEO (33%).