Governance and compliance rank highest for business concerns.

Business challenged.

More than half (57 per cent) of UK businesses say governance, risk, and compliance are the biggest challenges to their workforce planning in the coming 12 months, according to new research by business analytics and modelling company, Concentra Analytics.

The survey of over 400 HR and finance decision makers in the UK and US found that risk and compliance are far higher up the agenda of UK businesses than in the US (41 per cent), which also face trade difficulties and looming export tariffs. There’s also a pre-occupation in the UK with understanding risk exposure (67 per cent) and the ability to quickly re-organise (59 per cent), while in the US this is less of a concern (52 per cent and 44 per cent respectively).

“Understanding risk and how an organisation should respond to it is unsurprisingly top of mind for British businesses,’ said Rupert Morrison, CEO, Concentra Analytics. “The uncertainly surrounding Brexit and other compliance issues, such as the gender pay gap and minimum wage, are all cause for concern.”

Morrison continued: “We’ve found that many businesses still don’t have a data-driven view of their workforce that is reliable. As we approach 29 March, it’s a strategic imperative that organisations develop a detailed understanding of their workforce, evaluate different scenarios to mitigate their risk, and plan for the future, known and unknown. Key to this is greater collaboration between HR and Finance teams. Beyond Brexit, planning ahead in an era of persistent disruption will ensure the organisation is resilient, adaptable, and positioned to thrive no matter what comes next.”

Cost cutting, which was identified as the UK’s third-ranked challenge (48 per cent), is the leading people issue for US businesses (64 per cent). The second biggest challenge facing UK businesses (52 per cent) is digital transformation, something only 37 per cent of US businesses are concerned about when it comes to their people.

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