Post-COVID challenges for Australian SMEs

Australian SMEs face numerous challenges in a post-Covid landscape, with rising costs and labor shortages at every turn.

According to ABS Business Conditions and Sentiments, released in June this year:

  • Nearly half of all businesses (46%) face rising operational expenses.
  • Close to a third of employing businesses (31%) are having difficulty finding the right staff.
  • More than two in five businesses (41%) are experiencing supply chain disruptions.

Still reeling from the effects of Covid, SMEs find themselves in a tricky position.

The challenges are real – but so are the solutions.

Rising workforce costs

With costs increasing across the board, every SME is tasked with optimizing efficiencies.

This means getting a handle on where you are right now. Effective tracking of overhead costs is the first step to managing and reducing them.

Three common areas of concern include:

  • High staff turnover, leads to a significant waste of money on advertising and hiring to fill the gaps.
  • Employee onboarding demands, with higher recruitment rates, lead to extra costs for bedding in new hires.
  • A blow-out in repetitive manual processes, which drains money in terms of time and labor.

Solution: Consider automating as many HR processes as possible. This streamlines your data and helps you make more intelligent, evidence-based business decisions.

Scarcity of talent

The pandemic shut down businesses and closed borders around the world. As commerce struggles back to life, Covid’s legacy is felt in the talent crunch and disruption to global supply chains.

As a result, Australian SMEs are struggling to find staff with the right skill sets to fill their roles.

Without the right people on board, it’s hard to engage and retain staff. If you can’t keep your staff, you face those spiraling turnover costs that stop you from growing your business.

Firms are also facing higher than usual rates of illness and sick leave, putting pressure on the remaining staff. It’s been a difficult year all around!

Solution: Focus on improving the employee experience. This will help you retain existing staff while being a magnet for new talent. Motivate staff with new automated solutions.

Revolving door regulations

The pandemic inspired regular changes to Fair Work legislation. Keeping up with the ever-changing and complicated legal environment continues to challenge all businesses.

To stay on the right side of the law, businesses need to streamline their compliance processes and find a way to stay on top of the changes in order to stay out of trouble.

Solution: Automate HR processes via technology. Look for a platform that comes with a ready to use HR library of templates, workflows, policies and guides, ideally under-written by employment lawyers.

Don’t get stuck in a post-pandemic rut. Ask the HR experts for help in framing the right people solutions for your business.