Most local SME employees happy in the workplace – new survey
A SLIM majority of people working for small and medium sized businesses in Kilkenny and the rest of Leinster (outside of Dublin) feel happy in the workplace, a new survey has found.
This is lower than the 60% of workers in Munster who work for SMEs who say they are happy with their working environment.
These stats are just some of the research findings that feature in a new industry-led report titled, The Future of Business in Ireland – a Conversation with SMEs.
The report, commissioned by Vodafone Ireland, was published today following engagement with more than 600 SME employers and employees and offers insight from the sector on future business growth, investment, trends in technology and smart working.
The research, particularly when considering regionalised data, highlights clear trends among SMEs and how the workplace environment is changing in different parts of Ireland.
According to the research, 52% of SME employees in Kilkenny and the rest of Leinster (outside of Dublin) feel confident about the future prospects of their company. This compares to 62% in Connaught/Ulster, 60% in Dublin, with Munster coming in highest at 67%.
Additionally, 52% of Leinster employees are happy in their workplace, which is lower than Dublin (59%), Connaught /Ulster (58%) and Munster (60%).
The national figures show there is significant optimism in the sector overall, with nearly 90% of SMEs predicting growth between now and 2021.
This optimism was shared by employees, with 60% confident about the future prospects of their company.
When asked about investment, 53% of Leinster SME business owners surveyed confirmed they plan to invest in their business within the next 12 months; with the majority (68%) being spent on sales, followed by staff retention and recruitment (61%), and customer service and support (55%).
In fact, 62% of SME’s in Leinster plan to increase technology investment within the next 1-5 years. However, 74% see barriers to growth, with 44% seeing it come from Brexit, and 40% seeing it come from lack of opportunity in the market.
Director of Enterprise at Vodafone Ireland Regina Moran said: “What is evident is that employee expectations have changed and that businesses in Ireland need to accommodate that change.
“With more than 95% of Ireland’s business economy made up of SMEs, it’s never been more important for Irish businesses to talk to each other and it is vital for us to understand the sector to serve it better, help businesses realise their connected ambition and contribute to their future sustainability.”
Sven Spollen-Behrens from the Small Firms Association said: “The economy is growing and so is Ireland’s vital SME sector. However, we need to take measures to protect this growth.
“Whilst we are seeing confidence among our members we also see concerns around our competitiveness especially in light of Brexit. Challenges like attracting and retaining talent, the increasing cost of doing business in Ireland and a tax system that puts smaller businesses at a disadvantage need to be addressed.”