The abatement of the pandemic at the beginning of the year gives every hope for the recovery of the economy of the UK and other countries, but business is still operating in unstable conditions. Companies are still dealing with the consequences of the pandemic and facing new challenges: the war in Ukraine, alarming trends in the labor market (Great Retrenchment), and high inflation. In addition, several tax changes will take place in 2022, which will affect business in Britain in one way or another.
ACPM members held an online meeting with business representatives and training providers to discuss these pressing issues and possible solutions. During the discussion, several issues were identified as a top priority for company management to address.
Supply chain disruption
The interruption in the supply of materials from abroad was caused by a number of factors: bureaucratic procedures after Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the problem worsened due to the war in Ukraine. Therefore, the just-in-time model adopted by many enterprises is no longer the best option. Difficulty in finding inventory forces manufacturing companies to hold more inventory and develop hedging strategies to reduce the impact of uncertainty.
The sharp rise in energy prices, combined with the economic crisis and supply chain problems, has led to inflation that could reach 5% in 2022. So inflation is now a major concern for business. Not only goods and services rose in price. Workers are demanding higher wages and want to work from home so they don't have to spend time and money commuting to the office. But it will be difficult for the business to meet these requirements, because the salary increase will not affect the level of sales or the quality of customer service. It is necessary to improve the qualifications of employees and adapt them to new working conditions.
Talent retention in the company
The next problem arising from the first two is the retention of qualified employees. In order not to lose valuable employees after the Great Retirement of 2021, CFOs need to engage more with staff, especially younger workers, demonstrate the level of flexibility employees expect, and conduct corporate in-service training. Management must now create all the conditions so that key employees benefit from their work and have all the opportunities for career growth.
Lack of resources for business digitalization
As experience shows, companies already undergoing digital transformation have better financial results, because technologies help save money and increase the efficiency of business processes many times over. But not all companies have switched to new technologies due to a lack of funds, talent and resources for digitization. Therefore, in the near future, businesses will be looking for specialists who will help implement digital solutions in conditions of limited resources for the recovery and modernization of companies.
During the ACPM meeting, it was decided to continue on course to improve training programs in finance and digital management to help management professionals manage risks and help companies become more resilient to change.
It was also emphasized at the meeting that the war in Ukraine is changing the geopolitical situation, many Ukrainians are moving abroad and most likely will continue their careers in European companies. Therefore, ACPM members spoke about the need to develop training programs to support Ukrainian specialists.