The CIPD has launched a free online hub to help small businesses improve their people management capabilities in order to boost their performance and productivity. 

The People Skills Hub is a free online resource that contains a range of resources and tools to help small businesses, and people managers more generally, to develop their people management skills. 

Most small business owners have little knowledge or expertise in people management and often have little time or resources to improve their capability beyond basic legal requirements. 

The People Skills Hub aims to bridge that gap by giving people managers easy access to practical guidance and support on everyday HR issues. It also has advice and resources on how to design a people strategy for their business once they are ready to progress.

The CIPD will be promoting the free resource via key stakeholders such as Growth Hubs, Local Enterprise Partnerships and local chambers of commerce.

The Hub includes:

• Managing people essentials: Covering basic legal requirements, contracts, recruitment, absence, holidays and time off, family leave, redundancies, grievances and more

• Planning a people strategy: Covering team building, pay and benefits, learning and development, performance management, well-being and more. 

• Getting support: Access to additional resources including podcasts, reports and online training opportunities. 

The contents of the online Hub is based on the People Skills programme. This involved three pilot ‘People Skills’ initiatives which provided HR support to small firms in Glasgow, Stoke and Hackney in East London over the course of 12 months. 

Both the programme and the hub were developed thanks to funding from J.P Morgan through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

The programme was delivered by local partners and the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, drawing on their membership base of HR professionals. It  showed that small business owner-managers placed high value on good quality HR and people management support once they started to receive it and they had greater recognition of its importance to their business by participating in the programme.

Evidence from the pilots also suggested that access to good quality HR support could be linked to reported improvements in workplace relations, workplace productivity and positive financial outcomes.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: "Effective people management and development practices are essential to help businesses thrive and grow and improve the quality of jobs in the UK. That’s why we are delighted to launch the People Skills Hub; to provide support where it’s most needed and to give smaller businesses access to knowledge and basic support they often need to boost people management practices and business performance. Our pilots showed that once owner managers understand the importance of people management they are more likely to invest in this area of their business.

The People Skills Hub was launched today at the CIPD’s Festival of Work at Olympia London. The festival is a celebration of people at work, bringing together thousands of HR professionals and the wider business community in a 2-day event which explores the forces shaping the future of work. 

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