The CIPD has produced research reports and guides focusing on different aspects of people management and HR for SMEs. Take a look to help develop your thinking on these different areas.

Leadership and people management

Effective leadership and management in SMEs

This research, based on a series of case studies, examines what organisational transitions mean for leadership and management in SMEs.

Maximising impact as an HR professional in an SME

This report reflects on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by HR in SMEs and offers case study examples and practical guidance on tackling core HR issues.

Organisational culture

Keeping culture, purpose and values at the heart of your SME

This report highlights the key role of culture to business success and provides practical ideas, hints and tips for smaller businesses about how to retain what you're all about over time. It draws on the practical experience of 16 case study organisations and consultants who work with SMEs.

Entrepreneurial spirit driving growth

Entrepreneurs offer their viewpoints and experiences in this report, which explores the practices that help entrepreneurial organisations to flourish.

Resourcing and talent management

Recruiting and developing people for SME growth

This report looks at how 13 case study organisations have addressed some of the main recruitment and talent management challenges and opportunities. The case studies include: Arolite, CC Young & Co, Choccywoccydoodah, DUO, EducationCity, IMarEST (The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology), Julia’s House, MJF Cleaning, Naked Wines, Probrand, Secret Escapes, UKFast and Watford Community Housing Trust.

Valuing your talent: Life begins at 80

This report looks at the challenges of human capital management in SMEs as they grow, from the perspective of an SME that reached the tipping point of 80 employees.

Diversity and inclusion

Age diversity in SMEs: Reaping the benefits

This report explores SME attitudes to mature employees and an age-diverse workforce, age diversity benefits and challenges, and support for the extension of working lives.

Employing young people: A guide for SMEs

This tool helps SMEs explore how and where young employees can help address current and future business challenges. The practical tool, produced with Apprenticemakers, includes cut out and keep information sheets, checklists and action plans.

More on this topic

Thought leadership
Responsible business: Leading the way

A thought leadership and podcast series exploring how responsible business and leadership have changed since the pandemic

Thought leadership
Building responsible leadership for the future

We discuss how leading through crisis has shaped the way we address new challenges

Bitesize research
Leadership gender affects support provided for domestic abuse survivors

Workplace support for survivors of domestic abuse is more likely to be in place where female leaders are in decision-making positions

For Members
Thought leadership
The role of responsible business in tackling the climate crisis

Lessons on integrating sustainability into your organisation’s purpose

More reports

Menstruation and support at work

This report explores employees’ experiences of menstruation and menstrual health at work and details how employers can develop a supportive culture

Labour Market Outlook

Read our latest Labour Market Outlook report for analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions this autumn

Devolution and evolution in UK skills policy

A report seeking common ground in skills policy across the UK’s four nations

Temporary page

sub title

See all reports