Please note, this programme is now closed. You can find support for small businesses on the People Skills Hub.

People Skills support and services

Your people are the most important part of your business but managing them well can be difficult and challenging in many ways. As a small business you may not have the time or resources to focus on HR issues or be able to access expert support from a qualified HR professional.

The free People Skills service was a pilot programme aiming to offer small businesses with this expert support.

The participants had access to a range of free online tools as well as 1-2-1 advisory services, learning from a team of experienced HR professionals who’d worked with other small businesses. From making sure that they had the right policies and practices in place to finding, recruiting and developing the best staff, the People Skills service was a source of help towards improving management skills and practices in the businesses that took part to get the most from their people to make a difference to their business success.

The pilot ran from July 2015 to October 2016 and was evaluated by a team at Manchester Metropolitan University through surveys and interviews with project stakeholders. A copy of the evaluation report of the project can be downloaded from the People Skills Hub.

How did the programme work?

This was a research project available to businesses who employ up to 50 people in Hackney, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow. The programme was supported by London Borough of Hackney, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and Glasgow City Council in their respective areas with the aim of helping small businesses grow by focusing on their most important asset, their people.

The People Skills initiative was available to small business for up to 12 months and was free of charge. It included:

  • 1-2-1 guidance from senior HR professionals
  • a telephone helpline to discuss your employment issues
  • online information and practical templates to save you time when developing new employment processes
  • local events delivered on related people management topics.

Outcomes of the project

The project demonstrated that there is demand for HR support amongst SMEs and so CIPD and JP Morgan have developed the People Skills Hub to act as a source of people management support for small businesses.

You can access free information and resources specifically aimed at offering people management support for small businesses on the People Skills Hub.