I am just back from a long walk with the dog and sitting down to do some work looking out over the garden with the sun shining, so I’m feeling pretty cheerful as we head in to the weekend. My plan if the rain stays away is to get out in that garden and get it ready to face the winter – lots of shrubs to cut back and the last of the apples to collect off the tree. But what about work? It feels a little as if we’re doing the same there – getting ready for what looks set to be a long tough winter.

We are busy working with clients on getting all of their HR matters up to date, fully legally compliant and ready to face any tough times ahead. We are helping businesses look at the best ways to utilise their staff, perhaps seeking alternatives to recruiting at the moment and spending the salary budget as wisely as possible. These companies are taking wise moves now that should stand them in good stead for the future whatever that holds. We’re delighted to also be working with some clients who are still expanding their businesses and taking on more staff, which is a really positive reminder to us all that there is still some good news to be heard out there! Clients are being cautious with training budgets which is a sensible move, and at the same time it is reassuring to see that many companies are recognising that developing people to deal with tough challenges is even more essential than ever, so we’re seeing some really focussed and targetted training requirements which lets face it – is what all training requirements should be if that training is to have a positive impact on the business.

There’s no doubt that times are going to be tough for a lot of businesses but if there is a silver lining to that cloud it seems to me that it might be in the lessons learnt around making best use of budgets, maximising efficiencies and reducing waste, which businesses can carry forward to the future even when the financial situation starts to look brighter again. Wishing you all a great weekend whatever you are doing.

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