With 2023 being just around the corner, it’s a good idea to start preparing your small- to medium enterprise (SME) for the new year.

We have searched far and wide to uncover the most noteworthy trends we can expect to see for SMEs next year, as well as what we predict will take place.

Keep reading to find out what our top four predictions are for 2023.

Recruitment and retention

In 2021, the UK saw the largest employee exodus in recent history between July and September, totalling 979,000 job-to-job moves. Dubbed ‘The Great Resignation,’ employees leaving their present employers for greener pastures emerged as a significant trend.

There’s no doubt that this exodus was a massive disruption for small businesses as they faced lower retention levels. Business leaders all over the UK have reported that hiring challenges have considerably impacted their ability to operate their businesses at full capacity.

Perhaps one of the largest SME trends we will see in 2023 is small- to medium-sized businesses introducing new initiatives to not only attract but to retain talent for a longer period of time. Some of these efforts will include offering more competitive compensation, investing in training and development, and introducing remote working or flexible hours.

In 2023, there will be a much larger emphasis on diversity and inclusion within SMEs.

Wellness and well-being

As a part of their plans to retain talent and decrease staff turnover, many SME leaders are now prioritising the health and well-being of their employees more than ever before.

With the cost of living crisis well underway, it’s fair to say that staff may be struggling mentally and emotionally due to financial turmoil.

In 2023, we’ll likely see more emphasis on creating wellness programmes and closer attention paid to the well-being of employees. Companies may also assist staff dealing with financial issues – not necessarily in the form of compensation – through support programmes.

Sustainability and growth

Businesses in the UK that are working on a plan to achieve Net Zero within their organisations are set to see exceptional growth in 2023.

Customers are more likely to choose companies focusing on sustainability and finding ways to conserve energy and reduce waste.

In 2023, we will see SMEs starting to commit or maintain their commitment to the climate change crisis, despite the immediate economic challenges businesses are facing.

A recent study found that sustainable businesses are more likely to see growth, despite these troubled times, in the next few years. In fact, up to 57% of environmentally conscious small businesses should see significant growth in the coming year.

Remote work and flexible hours

In an effort to prioritise staff well-being and retain talent, many SMEs now allow remote working or flexible hours. This means that employees can work from home – or any remote location they may choose – or they can work the hours that suit them.

One thing that the pandemic taught most businesses is that remote work is not only possible but also a powerful way to ensure your team has a healthy work-life balance and that they can be highly productive in an environment that suits them.

A trend we will certainly see continue in 2023 is companies investing in the technology and infrastructure required to let staff work from home or work flexible hours.

Although many companies have already made this shift, many SMEs are yet to adopt this new way of working. However, this is set to change next year.
Keep an eye on our blog for more advice and insights for UK SMEs.

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