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How one SME accelerated growth by elevating employee engagement

How one SME accelerated growth by elevating employee engagement

Building resilience to future shocks is essential for businesses to not only survive, but to thrive during times of economic uncertainty. This is even more critical for SMEs (small to medium enterprises) who must continue to innovate during trying times to boost growth, while ensuring employees remain engaged and are bought in to the company’s vision, mission and values.

University of Salford Business School has been supporting the North West’s SME community with their scaling strategies in recent months, enabling them to accelerate growth by making simple changes.

Data has confirmed highly engaged workforces are considerably more profitable, while low employee engagement costs companies billions each year. Further to this, recent research from Small Business Britain and TSB Bank revealed, SMEs across the UK are bearing the brunt of the UK’s economic crisis, with 52% of small businesses currently experiencing difficulty but continuing to press on. While the vast majority (81%) are concerned about recession, which is having a knock on effect to confidence and optimism on the future, also resulting in them downgrading growth plans.

It is however a different story for businesses like System Hygienics, a ventilation compliance company, which has been able to considerably improve productivity and efficiency by enhancing employee engagement, thanks to the support of Salford Business School’s Help to Grow: Management course.

System Hygienics is a company that employs 80 people each with different working styles, across various departments within the business. From Engineers and Project Managers to sales and administration employees, Commercial Director, Phil Tetlow, manages an eclectic mix of people and required support to help empower change by engaging each and every member of his team.

Phil comments: “Following a recommendation from an associate of our Managing Director, I registered for the Help to Grow: Management course and haven’t looked back. While it’s still early days, after only completing the three-month programme a few weeks ago, I’ve already been able to make considerable improvements that I know will be instrumental as we continue to accelerate our scaling strategy.

“High-performing teams are crucial to business success and growth, which is why I was keen to develop my management skills. Since completing the Help to Grow course recently, I’ve been able to showcase how the new processes we are planning to implement will benefit every team within the business”

The Help to Grow: Management course is 90% funded by the UK Government and is open to all businesses with between 5 and 249 employees, who would like support to scale their company. Covering everything from enhancing management and strategic capabilities, as well as improving employee engagement, to building resilience, learning how to innovate and driving digital transformation through the adoption of new technologies to boost productivity and operational agility, the programme comprises a range of modules to help businesses grow domestically and across international markets.

Richard Magennis, Help to Grow Programme Lead at Salford Business School, adds: “SMEs are a vital part of the UK economy, making considerable contributions. Many are paving the way when it comes to innovation and positively disrupting their respective industries, while offering exciting employment opportunities nationwide.

“SMEs will play an essential role in the UK’s ambitious growth plans and supporting them to thrive during the current challenging economic climate, through programmes like Help to Grow, is an integral part of our strategy at Salford Business School.”

System Hygienics was established in 1993 and has developed a reputation for being innovative and responsive within the ventilation compliance industry. The business works with many high-profile customers including, The Restaurant Group, Battersea Power Station, Heathrow, AstraZeneca, Alstom, IKEA and Barclays, amongst others.

Phil continues: “Help to Grow enabled me to take a step back from the day-to-day within the business and focus on the bigger picture, to determine what was required for us to grow in the current landscape.

“The course enabled me to establish long-term goals and meet other businesses experiencing similar challenges to ours, to learn from each other. The mentoring was also particularly valuable and the changes we have been able to implement, thanks to the course, have set us in great stead for the multiple ISO accreditations we are aiming for.”

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