SME partnerships – what you need to know

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Innovation is the top of the agenda for countless companies worldwide. But for some, this is not an easy feat to come by.

Many organisations are now opting to partner with small to medium sized enterprises in order to generate innovative work.

Thinking of partnering with a smaller company?

Georgie Drury, founder and CEO of Springday, told HRD magazine that there are several key steps to follow if a partnership with a smaller company is to succeed.

1. Have a baseline
According to Drury, the foundation of the partnership must be one of understanding – it’s important that you’re aware of what’s challenging their human capital agenda.

“From an HR perspective, do they have a high turnover?” Drury said. “Do they have poor engagement scores? What’s the major issue that this business is facing?”

2. Present some options

“Before you spend money, get a snapshot of what the CEO’s goals are, what the HRD’s goals are, and what the employees’ goals are,” said Drury.

“Then you can work with together to present some solutions.”

3. Get buy-in

“The most successful programs have both executive leadership engagement plus employee engagement,” Drury said, advising HR professionals to make equal efforts convincing the C-Suite to back their ideas as they do with employees.

4. Deploy

It’s important to determine the point in the business cycle where the partnership is going to be well received.

“You don’t want to be rolling out all these internal and external programs at the same time,” Drury said.

She suggested the start of a new year or springtime “because the appetite is there to receive the message”.

5. Follow-up

Drury said that while some companies will have the relevant skills to deal with issues internally, some don’t have enough resources and will require assistance such as weekly WIP meetings.
“I define how we work with businesses around how much hand-holding they want,” she explained.

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