The Great Resignation or mass exodus of employees for a variety of reasons has also affected small and medium enterprises (SME), based on the latest study of cloud technology firm SAP SE. The study found 9 in 10 (91%) of SME respondents in Asia Pacific and Japan said they are directly hit by this trend.
Because of this, their digital transformation efforts were also affected. These plans, according to the report, are critical since 69% of SME respondents say that digital transformation is significant to their organization’s survival over the next year.
“The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector accounts for over 97% of all businesses and employs over 50% of the workforce in the region according to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation,” Rudy Abrahams, VP, head of SAP SuccessFactors, South East Asia and interim managing director SAP Philippines, said in a media release. “By harnessing their growth potentials and optimism and combining it with innovations that help foster talents and a strong partner ecosystem, we can help ensure their success in the years to come.”
The inadequate talent resources topped the other challenges facing SMEs in APJ, which include cybersecurity, lack of budget, and lack of understanding of available digital solutions.
The study “Transformational Talent: The impact of the Great Resignation on Digital Transformation in APJ’s SMEs,” surveyed 1,363 SME owners and decision-makers across eight countries in the region, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand. SAP commissioned Dynata Research, an independent research services provider, to script and host an online quantitative survey of respondents in December 2021 to January 2022.
The study found 40% of respondents agreed that more employees are resigning now than just 12 months ago, while almost two-thirds or 64% of SME respondents said they are not finding it easy to cope with the impact of the Great Resignation.
“This study shows how the ‘Great Resignation’ can be an existential challenge to organizations,” Abrahams said. “At SAP, we believe that having the right people is important to ensure digital transformation success. As part of retention efforts, SMEs must invest in talent as much as they invest in innovation to thrive amid these uncertain times.”
But SMEs are taking steps to ensure talent retention and among them are offering flexible working arrangements (43%) and upskilling (40%) with 72% of SMEs said they will focus on digital training throughout this year.