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

Leadership in the workplace

The basics of leadership and how to develop leaders in the workplace

For Members
Thought leadership
Navigating change with speed and agility is key for the C-suite

Peter Cheese, the CIPD's chief executive, looks at the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s business leaders and the strategic priorities needed to drive future success

Bitesize research
Role ambiguity can lead to bullying but supportive leadership helps

How might role ambiguity lead to workplace bullying and what is the impact of leadership support in negating this effect?

For Members

More reports

Apprenticeships and the case for a flexible skills levy

Analysis of the current Apprenticeship Levy and policy recommendations for how it can be adapted to provide a better apprenticeships system and workforce training support

Labour Market Outlook

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

Pay, performance and transparency 2024

Insight from the CIPD’s survey into factors driving pay decisions in UK workplaces and recommendations for practice

Neuroinclusion at work report 2024

Find out about the importance of neuroinclusive workplaces, what employers are doing and the working experiences of neurodivergent and neurotypical employees

See all reports