In the early days of human resources (HR), only large businesses could afford the necessary tools and software. But times have changed. HR software is now available for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at a fraction of the cost.

So, how do you choose the right HR software for your SME? In this blog post, we will discuss some important factors to consider when making your decision.

HR Software: An Overview

Human resources software is a tool that helps businesses manage employee data, track employee performance, and manage payroll and benefits.

It can also help with onboarding new employees and compliance with employment laws.

Most HR software is offered as a cloud-based subscription, which means you pay a monthly or yearly fee to access the software. Some HR software providers also offer on-premise versions of their software, which means you would need to install the software on your own servers.

On-premise HR software can be more expensive than cloud-based software, but it may offer more features and customisation options.

Factors to Consider When Choosing HR Management Software

There are a lot of different software options for you to choose from, and that might become overwhelming,

When choosing HR software for your SME, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. Let’s take a look!

The Size of Your Company

The number of employees you have will impact the features you need and the price you pay for your HR software.

For example, if you have a small team of fewer than 25 employees, you may not need all the bells and whistles that come with more comprehensive HR software packages.

On the other hand, if you have a large workforce, you will need an HR solution that can handle a high volume of data and employee records.

Your Budget

As with any business purchase, you need to consider your budget when choosing HR software.

Be sure to compare the costs of different software packages and get quotes from multiple vendors before making a decision.

The Features You Need

When considering which HR software to buy, make a list of the features you need.

Some common features to look for include:

Once you understand the features you need, you can start narrowing down your options.

Your Industry

The industry you are in may also dictate the type of HR software you need.

For example, if you are in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare or finance, you will need an HR solution that can help you meet compliance requirements.

On the other hand, if you are in a more creative industry, you may want an HR solution that offers more flexibility and customisation.

Common Issues in HR Management

Once you have a good understanding of the factors to consider when choosing HR software for your SME, it’s important to understand some of the common issues you may face in HR management.

Some common issues include:

Addressing these issues is essential to keeping your employees happy and your business running smoothly.

The right HR software can help you address these issues and keep your employees engaged and productive.

Common Issues in HR Management Software

Once you have a good understanding of the different types of HR software available and the factors to consider when making your decision, it’s time to take a look at some common issues in HR software.

These include:

Data security is a major concern for businesses of all sizes.

When choosing HR software, be sure to select a solution that offers robust security features such as data encryption and user authentication.

Compliance with employment laws is another common issue in HR software.

Be sure to choose an HR solution that can help you meet compliance requirements for your industry.

Lack of integration with other business systems is another issue you may face when using HR software. Choose an HR solution that offers seamless integration with your existing business systems and find an integration partner who can help.

User-friendliness is also an important factor to consider when choosing HR software. If your team cannot navigate the system properly, it will not be effective.

Make sure to choose an HR solution that is user-friendly and offers a good user experience.

Main Features of HR Technology for SMEs

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of HR software available and the factors to consider when making your decision, it’s time to take a look at some of the main features of HR software.

These include:

Employee self-service is a feature that allows employees to access and update their own records.

This can be a useful tool for reducing the workload of HR staff.

Performance tracking is a feature that allows you to track the performance of individual employees. This can be useful for identifying areas where employees need improvement and for setting goals.

Onboarding is a feature that helps new employees get acclimated to your company. This can be useful for making sure new employees are productive and engaged from the start.

Payroll and benefits management is a feature that allows you to manage payroll and benefits for your employees. This can be useful for ensuring that your employees are paid on time and that they have the correct benefits.

Costs of HR Software

When choosing HR software for your business, it’s important to consider the cost.

HR software can range in price from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds per year, depending on the features and solutions you need.

However, now that HR software and technology have become more accessible, many SMEs can benefit from the same features and solutions at a fraction of the cost.

To get the most bang for your buck, compare the features and costs of different HR software solutions before making your decision.

The bottom line is that HR software can be a valuable tool for SMEs. By understanding the different types of HR software available and the factors to consider when deciding, you can choose the right HR solution for your business.

When it comes to HR software, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The key is to find an HR solution that meets the specific needs of your business. With so many options available, you’re sure to find an HR solution that perfectly fits your SME.

SAP SuccessFactors: The Benefits

If you’re looking for an HCM software solution that’s specifically designed for SMEs, SAP SuccessFactors is a great option.

SAP SuccessFactors offers a comprehensive HCM software solution that includes all of the features and solutions you need to manage your HR effectively.

In addition, SAP SuccessFactors is an affordable HCM software solution that won’t break the bank.

Let’s take a look at the benefits that SAP offers.

Simple User Experience

One of the best things about SAP SuccessFactors is its simple user experience. The software is easy to use and navigate, so your team will be able to use it effectively from the start.

Seamless Integration

Another great thing about SAP SuccessFactors is that it offers seamless integration with other business systems. This means that you won’t have to waste time and money on duplicate data entry or manual processes.

Flexible Deployment

SAP SuccessFactors is a flexible HCM software solution that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. This means that you can choose the best deployment option for your business.

Wide Range Capabilities

SAP SuccessFactors offers a wide range of HCM capabilities, including employee self-service, performance tracking, onboarding, payroll, and benefits management.

No matter what your HCM needs are, SAP SuccessFactors has you covered.

Automated Compliance

SAP SuccessFactors offers automated compliance with regulations and standards. This means that you can be confident that your HR processes are compliant with the latest laws and regulations.

Insight and Intelligence

SAP SuccessFactors offers a variety of HCM analytics and reporting tools. As a result, you can gain valuable insights into your HR data to help you make better decisions about your HR strategy.

Constant Innovation

SAP SuccessFactors is constantly innovating and adding new features to its HCM software. This implies that you can trust that you’re employing the most up-to-date HR software.

Customer Support

When you choose SAP SuccessFactors, you can be confident that you’re working with a company that offers excellent customer support.

If you ever have any questions or problems, you can contact the Jigsaw Cloud SAP SuccessFactors customer support team for help.

Skill Development

In addition to customer support, SAP SuccessFactors also offers a variety of HCM training and development resources.

SAP can help you identify opportunities for training and development so that you can build a well-rounded HCM team.

Inclusive Technology

SAP SuccessFactors is an HCM software solution that’s designed to be inclusive. The software includes features and tools that are accessible to all users, regardless of ability or skill level.


Finally, SAP SuccessFactors is a flexible HCM software solution. The software can be customised to meet the specific needs of your business.

In addition, SAP SuccessFactors offers a variety of HCM services that can be tailored to your specific needs.

How Jigsaw Cloud Can Help

If you’re looking for an HCM software solution for your SME, Jigsaw Cloud can help.

Jigsaw Cloud is a leading provider of HCM software solutions. We offer a variety of HCM software solutions that are specifically designed for SMEs. We are the award-winning Gold partner of SAP and can deliver solutions to bring your business to the next level.

As the leading partner of SAP, we offer the latest HCM software solutions designed to meet your business’s specific needs.

In addition, we offer a wide range of HCM services that can be tailored to your specific needs.

Jigsaw Cloud Case Studies

If you are unsure about the decisions that lay ahead of you, look at our case studies, Murata, and ByBox.

As a result, they have improved their HCM process and achieved better business outcomes.

Another one of our clients, Paysafe, has used Jigsaw Cloud to streamline their HCM process and improve employee engagement. As a result, they have seen increased productivity and decreased turnover.

HR Software for SMEs: Start Today

HR Software for SMEs doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or time-consuming. Jigsaw Cloud can help you find the right HCM software solution for your business and also offers a pre-packaged SAP SuccessFactors implementation designed just for SMEs, Smart Start.

If you’re ready to take your HCM to the next level, contact Jigsaw Cloud today.

We offer a free HCM software consultation so that you can learn more about our HCM software solutions and how they can benefit your business.Schedule your free HCM software assessment today!

To determine how valuable HR dashboards are, and how you can make the most out of them, we spoke to Jane Corbett, Jigsaw Cloud’s Head of Professional Services

In recent years, many HR leaders have been adopting dashboard solutions to gain a better view of their organisations. Dashboards can be a valuable tool for providing visibility into companywide KPIs, diversity quotas, demographics, and more.

However, they’re much more than just tracking tools; they have the capabilities to transform HR into a true strategic partner for the business.

We spoke to our Head of Professional Services, Jane Corbett, to find out how today’s HR leaders can succeed with dashboards, and what they should be looking for in the right solution. Here’s what she had to say:

What challenges drive HR leaders to build or adopt dashboard solutions?

“To help deal with challenges such as The Great Resignation, employment needs from new generations of employees, and COVID-19, it’s crucial HR leaders gain an understanding of their organisation.

Many HR and management information systems (MIS) analysts will be familiar with the increased data and report requests into headcounts, competencies, and how their business is performing against its KPIs. It’s these needs for insights that are fuelling the need for faster and more efficient reporting systems.

Unfortunately, many organisations still use offline solutions like spreadsheets to manage their data – which is often a slow and strenuous process. Using spreadsheets can involve days of manual effort collecting data from siloed sources and inputting the data into cells. It’s a lot of work before you can produce any meaningful insights, and it involves risks of errors and miscalculations.

Even if you do produce accurate insights, they’ll often be hard to visualise and difficult to understand – which is especially challenging if you want to share them with senior management teams.”

How can the right dashboard solutions address these challenges?

“Many HR systems are often big, complicated databases – and with some dashboards, that data won’t be any easier to consume. They can have the complexity of an aircraft flight deck: lots of numbers and dials but too many to view all at once.

The right dashboard should be simple. It should have high-level data in one view, and the ability to show more of what else is available in different – but just as simple – pages. It should allow data to be easily visualised and managed, without all the manual effort that’s associated with data analysis.

Effective dashboard solutions can also automate the collection of data from siloed sources and its analysis. This can give HR leaders instant access to powerful insights and reporting capabilities – helping them stay focused on their output, rather than data management.

The ability to generate and visualise consumable, real-time insights can even help HR leaders better inform senior decision makers and outside stakeholders. This leads to great conversations about what’s happening in the business and helps the entire organisation see how it’s performing against KPIs.

Finally, dashboards can equip HR leaders with the ability to evaluate their own processes, spot inefficiencies, and help them determine whether to intervene in certain scenarios – transforming HR teams into a more strategic partner throughout their businesses.”

How do dashboards work in SAP SuccessFactors?

“Dashboards within SAP SuccessFactors are created with the People Analytics solution, a single tool for reporting, insights and workforce analytics and planning. It allows for more complicated calculations than canvas reporting, and the best part is that the solution exists as part of the core HR product and comes at no extra cost.

The People Analytics solution directly connects to SAP SuccessFactors modules like Payroll, Onboarding, Compensation, Performance Management, and more, giving HR leaders easy access to the data using only one solution.

HR leaders have multiple pre-built reporting templates to choose from to analyse their central HR processes, which means the People Analytics solution is easy to get started with. And that’s one of the biggest benefits of dashboard solutions like this – they bring huge value in a straightforward, visual way.

Despite People Analytics’ ease of use, there’s still a lot of depth to its capabilities, and the potential to create highly customised dashboards and reports that meet your unique needs. And as your organisation grows, so will your data demands – whether that means tracking new KPIs or meeting new quotas – so it’s crucial you have a solution that can scale with you.”

Why is it better to partner with Jigsaw Cloud for custom HR dashboards?

“Building and maintaining custom dashboards involves a significant amount of data manipulation skills that many organisations don’t have available in house. Without these skills, it can be easy to end up with solutions that aren’t properly integrated or don’t fully meet the organisation’s needs.

The easiest way to get the most out of a dashboard solution like People Analytics is to find the right partner. Here at Jigsaw Cloud, we offer a consultancy approach to creating bespoke dashboards for our clients.

We look at what they really need from their workforce analytics, and help them build and implement customised dashboards that integrate with their existing systems and meet HR requirements from a compliance perspective. What we’re really trying to do is help our clients become self-sufficient, so they can easily build customised solutions themselves as their analytics requirements change.

That’s why training is such a big part of our process. Before a dashboard goes live, our clients build core competencies and comfort levels among their teams so that they can create any customisations they might need on top of their bespoke dashboards and reports.

Our partnership continues after the dashboards go live, too. We have a support portal and ticketing system available for any ongoing support our clients need – plus, we’re only a phone call away.”

Make the most of your HR dashboards with SAP SuccessFactors

If you’d like to find out what you could achieve with your own custom HR dashboards, or you’d like to learn more about what’s possible in SAP SuccessFactors, we have consultants like Jane with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors. Just get in touch to see how we can help.

Find out how change has contributed to employee fatigue, how it’s affecting your business, and how you manage it effectively to minimise further disruption.

Gartner reports that 54% of HR leaders recognise their employees are fatigued from recent organisational changes.


Over the past two years, employees across every industry have been through significant changes as their businesses adapted to the challenges of the pandemic.

From transitioning to hybrid working, to embracing new working processes, employees have had to manage a lot of additional pressure on top of their everyday roles – and in many cases, it’s led to fatigued workforces.

It’s a challenge that’s increasingly present on HR leaders’ minds, too. Gartner reports that 54% of HR leaders recognise their employees are fatigued from recent organisational changes. And they’re trying to solve it – Gartner’s report also revealed that change management is HR leaders’ second-biggest priority in 2022.

In this blog, we’ll explore what’s created this build-up of employee fatigue, how it’s affecting organisations, and how you can strategically manage change to minimise its disruption moving forward.

A closer look at what’s causing employee fatigue

One of the biggest changes that contributed to fatigue during the pandemic was the shift to remote and flexible working, which significantly affected how people work, and how they collaborate and socialise with their colleagues.

Remote and flexible working requires employees to manage their own schedules, often giving them more responsibility and less support. Also, it means being physically isolated from team members and other departments, which can quickly have a negative impact on team cohesion.

Managing these pressures during the onset of the pandemic undoubtedly contributed to a lot of additional stress on top of employees’ daily responsibilities and workloads. And this was only worsened by the pressure to adopt new technologies.

According to Deloitte, 75% of office workers started using at least two new types of technology for work since the start of lockdown, and a quarter of workers felt overwhelmed by all the different technologies they needed to use. Combined with the additional pandemic-related concerns around the economy, job security, and health, employees had some big burdens to carry – and they’ve had lasting effects.

Gartner’s report revealed that today’s average employee can only absorb half as much change before becoming fatigued, compared to how much they could handle in 2019. And without support, this fatigue can quickly snowball into wider business problems.

The real impact of employee fatigue

Employee fatigue often transforms into burnout, frustration, and apathy, impacting engagement and affecting organisations’ ability to remain productive.

In fact, the Gartner report identified that when employees experience high levels of fatigue, employee performance and their discretionary effort both decrease by up to 33%. Plus, fatigue has an even bigger impact on wider team working, with as much as a 39% decrease in effective team collaboration, and up to a 44% decrease in employee inclusion.

Crucially, employee fatigue has the biggest impact on employees’ intent to stay – with employees up to 54% less likely to remain with their employer if they’re highly fatigued. These pressures mean that HR leaders will need to focus on how they make organisational changes moving forward, to ensure they don’t contribute to further employee fatigue or disrupt the business.

A strategic approach to change management

Managing change and increasing your employees’ ability to cope with change will involve refocusing your organisational design strategy to consider the overall health and wellbeing of your workforce.

Helpfully, Gartner splits this new approach to organisational design into three key focus points: healthy employees, healthy relationships, and healthy environments.

As part of supporting the health of your employees, it’ll be important to organise regular check-up meetings to gauge individuals’ stress levels. And if you haven’t already, it’d be beneficial to introduce wider team welfare meetings that consider the needs of the workforce.

These are also considerations many employees want to see, with almost half of workers (46%) willing to share their personal health data with their employers to improve their wellbeing at work.

It’s not just about managing health on an individual level, either – you’ll need to consider the relationships between colleagues, and between line reports and managers. You’ll need to find opportunities for collaborative projects that help build team cohesion, and create spaces where employees can openly communicate and share their thoughts and experiences around company changes, no matter where they’re based.

These efforts will ultimately pay off, as HRDrive reported that businesses with strong team cohesion have 1.8x greater capacity for change than those with low team cohesion.

Gartner’s third focus point, creating a healthy environment, will mean changing how you lead everyday change. The most successful organisations adopt an open-source approach, actively engaging all employees at every step of change, rather than leading it from the top down. As well as increasing inclusion and trust, adopting an open-source approach can increase the probability of change success by as much as 24%.

Of course, making changes across these three focus areas doesn’t just involve one-time efforts. It’ll involve monitoring the health of your employees, teams, and working environment over time to identify the effects of your changes – and ensure you’re moving in the right direction.

And according to HRDrive businesses with strong team cohesion have 1.8x greater capacity for change than those with low team cohesion 


Need help managing the change?

If you’d like to discuss how you can minimise disruption and mitigate employee fatigue, we have dedicated HR consultants with decades of experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help

Discover how you’re responsible for driving sustainable changes in your business – and get some best practice advice to help your organisation be greener.

71% of employees and employment seekers say that environmentally sustainable organisations are more attractive employers


Following the pandemic, almost every industry looks a little different – and in a lot of cases, they’re more sustainable. The pandemic forced organisations to adopt hybrid working, digitalise their processes, and implement virtual communications technology – all practices that reduced companies’ carbon footprints and created new opportunities for companies to drive sustainable changes.

Now, many organisations are looking to cement those sustainable practices in place and commit to their sustainability goals. And since people play such a big part in actioning sustainable change, HR leaders will be expected to step up and manage this movement.

In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of going green and the responsibilities that sit with HR, and offer best practice advice on how you can drive sustainable changes in your business.

Why sustainability matters

Climate change is already having an impact on working environments, as well as employee health and productivity – through extreme weather, natural disasters, and changing demographics.

In fact, according to a 2019 report by the International Labour Organization, an increase in heat stress resulting from global warming is projected to lead to global productivity losses equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs by the year 2030. To mitigate these effects, every organisation will be responsible for adopting and maintaining sustainable practices – sooner rather than later.

But cutting carbon emissions isn’t the only benefit to gain from adopting sustainable practices – there’s also the chance to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and create a more compelling place to work for potential employees.

According to an IBM survey, 71% of employees and employment seekers say that environmentally sustainable organisations are more attractive employers – giving them an edge to gaining and retaining the best talent. And, a report by PwC suggested the interest in working for a sustainable employer is already leading to wider changes, with 36% of HR professionals building their hiring strategies around their organisations’ social and environmental stance.

It pays to be sustainable, too – customers also want to see greener organisations. According to Deloitte’s 2021 study, 34% of the UK’s consumers have previously chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable practices, and 32% would be willing to pay more for goods and services from brands that commit to reducing their carbon footprint.

These factors mean it’s more important than ever to adopt sustainable practices, and like many organisation-wide initiatives, HR will need to play a key role in driving the change.

Keeping your employees safe should be one of your first priorities, which can be more difficult when they’re working remotely. You’ll need to understand your responsibilities as an employer, and ensure remote work environments are compliant and meet the necessary safety regulations, all without being too intrusive in your employees’ personal spaces.

These safety precautions need to extend to your office environment too. During the remote working period of the pandemic, your teams may have expanded, and that means you need to provide a suitable office environment that can comfortably support the full capacity of your workforce.

In addition to safety, you’ll likely face reluctance from some employees to return to the workplace at all. It’ll be crucial you host honest and constructive negotiations with these employees, to understand their demands and challenges, and clearly communicate their contracted obligations.   

It can also be harder to keep track of tasks when employees are working from home; how you manage remote workers is likely to be different than if they were in the office. The same goes for keeping people engaged and responsive.

This is where having the right communication tools will become essential. Everybody needs to be using the same platforms, and be easily contactable at any time – no matter the working environment they’re in.

How you can lead sustainable change

As a first step, you’ll need to identify how sustainable your organisation currently is. The Department for Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs has a helpful guide for how you can estimate your carbon footprint – or you can use an online carbon footprint calculator, or get support from an external professional.

Using your carbon footprint measurements, you’ll be able to set more specific sustainability goals. To ensure these goals are relevant and realistic, you can align them with international agreements like the UN’s Sustainable Development goals – or the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe’s climate neutral by 2050. These will offer a helpful guideline as to what you should be aiming for, and what other businesses are working towards.

Once you’ve outlined your goals, you’ll need to look in granular detail at your HR processes and identify how they could be adapted to be more sustainable. Chances are, you’ll have already adopted virtual communication software, and the majority of your documentation will be digital.

However, lots of organisations are still printing, particularly during the onboarding process – think contracts, handbooks and other documentation that needs to be signed. Instead, with the right HR technology, your employees can access new start paperwork in an easy-to-use employee portal and digitally sign anything they need to, saving printing costs and reducing emissions.

Offering hybrid working is another way to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint. According to the ONS, a reduction in personal travel, including commuting to work, drove household greenhouse gas emissions down by 25 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020. And by avoiding the commute just one day per week, across a year with 46 working weeks, you’ll save the equivalent of 337kg in CO2 per employee. Having set out your goals to begin with, you can easily track and monitor your energy efficiency, waste reduction, total emissions, and progress to carbon neutrality – and see the difference organisation-wide changes can make.

82% of business leaders believe organisations should support employees in making sustainable decisions

People Management

Engaging employees

It’s also important to engage your workforce. Many organisations are working to create sustainably conscious workforces, with 82% of business leaders believing organisations should support employees in making sustainable decisions.

You can start engaging employees by running environmental surveys to identify the varying levels of knowledge across your teams, and figure out what’s most important to your existing workforce. Not only will this help support your future sustainability goals, but it’ll also help to engage employees in the overall sustainability conversation.

Once you’ve identified your employees’ sustainability knowledge, you can offer short, regular training sessions on your new sustainability goals, carbon neutrality, reducing resource use, and printing – to make sustainability part of the company-wide conscience, and help employees operate more efficiently. You’ll also be able to use these sessions as an opportunity to share how your goals will impact them and their day-to-day work on a granular level, as well as organisation wide.

One way you could deliver effective training is by using modern eLearning solutions. Using these solutions, you can manage, develop, and deploy both instructor-led learning and self-serve online training – providing personalised modules, automating compliance training, and giving your employees the freedom to access training resources whenever it suits them most.

Plus, offering a rewards scheme for most completed modules or biggest improvement is likely to get your workforce invested and incentivised to learn more about sustainable practices, and action them across their daily responsibilities.

Get in touch and go green

If you’d like to delve further into your role in creating a more sustainable organisation, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help

Many employees today expect hybrid working as a permanent option. Explore why it’s important to consider, the challenges that come with it, and how to solve them.

According to the ONS, less than 30% of employees in the UK worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to the ONS, less than 30% of employees in the UK worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of March 2020, when working from home guidance was enforced across the UK, that number increased to 46.6%

Two years later, now that most government restrictions have been lifted, many employees are still expecting the option to work remotely or come into the office on their terms. In fact, Gartner reports that 75% of hybrid or remote workers say their expectations for working flexibly have increased – and 4 out of 10 employees are even at risk of leaving if their employers insist they return to an in-person office environment.

This should come as no surprise to many HR leaders, as reports suggest that 95% expect some employees to work remotely. However, these new employee expectations do bring some major challenges.  In this blog, we’ll explore why it’s so important to get hybrid working right, the challenges your organisation might face implementing it permanently, and how you can overcome them.

The value of Hybrid working

While most organisations don’t offer employees a default option to work remotely, many now see hybrid working as a legitimate employment right, and it can be a key determining factor in organisations’ ability to gain and retain great talent.

If you don’t offer hybrid working, you might see your employees leaving to work remotely elsewhere, or potential employees choosing other companies over yours – even if that means taking a pay cut. After all, they’re likely to recoup their losses in the savings they make on travel expenses.

But it’s not as easy as just offering employees the option to choose where they work. For some employees, it could be detrimental to their productivity and engagement. With a lot of your workforce working separately, many employees are more likely to feel isolated – especially new joiners and younger members of the workforce. These factors mean it’s crucial you take a strategic approach to hybrid working to encourage happy and productive environments no matter where your employees work. And it starts by identifying the key challenges involved

How to manage hybrid workforces

Keeping your employees safe should be one of your first priorities, which can be more difficult when they’re working remotely. You’ll need to understand your responsibilities as an employer, and ensure remote work environments are compliant and meet the necessary safety regulations, all without being too intrusive in your employees’ personal spaces.

These safety precautions need to extend to your office environment too. During the remote working period of the pandemic, your teams may have expanded, and that means you need to provide a suitable office environment that can comfortably support the full capacity of your workforce.

In addition to safety, you’ll likely face reluctance from some employees to return to the workplace at all. It’ll be crucial you host honest and constructive negotiations with these employees, to understand their demands and challenges, and clearly communicate their contracted obligations.   

It can also be harder to keep track of tasks when employees are working from home; how you manage remote workers is likely to be different than if they were in the office. The same goes for keeping people engaged and responsive.

This is where having the right communication tools will become essential. Everybody needs to be using the same platforms, and be easily contactable at any time – no matter the working environment they’re in.

Keeping employees connected

Overcoming the logistics of hybrid working can be a big task, and it’s only one part of implementing a successful working structure. Giving your employees the choice of where they want to work can quickly lead to disconnected teams.

To maintain a strong connection between your teams, you’ll need to put in additional efforts throughout the working week – including both remote and in-person team building experiences.

Inviting regular remote workers into the office for out-of-the-ordinary workdays – such as in-person team building days, strategic company discussions, or important meetings – can help create and maintain the rapport your organisation needs to sustain a successful working structure. This’ll be especially important for new joiners and young people, who will benefit from building connections with senior employees and gaining valuable learning and mentoring opportunities.

With employees potentially working in different environments regularly, even something as simple as weekly hybrid coffee mornings, lunches, or workshops can help create regular points of connection between employees – keeping morale up, maintaining employee satisfaction across your workforce.

And according to Gartner, 75% of hybrid or remote workers say their expectations for working flexibly have increased – and 4 out of 10 employees are even at risk of leaving if their employers insist they return to an in-person office environment. 


Bridge the gap with the right tools

Technology can also be a valuable way to overcome some of the challenges associated with hybrid working.

For example, performance management tools can be a helpful way to get a better idea of employee output and support employee engagement, even when teams are working from home. Also, tools like these give you the ability to manage individual employee goals, book performance reviews, and tailor your management processes – wherever you and your employees are.

Alongside embracing systems like these, it’ll also help if you move from task-based management to output-based, measuring the work employees produce rather than how much time they spend behind their screens. This can help employees feel trusted when working from home, and feel like they’re working towards shared goals. The final area that’ll need extra attention is onboarding – you’ll need to help new joiners feel supported, even when they’re starting their roles from home. With the right onboarding tools, you can automate a lot of the tasks involved in the process, and deliver consistent, end-to-end support to new employees. Tools like these can even help you support new hires before they’ve started – helping them access your employee portals, complete paperwork, and sign contracts remotely.

The right working model for you

Of course, hybrid working isn’t the future for every organisation – there are some exceptions where hybrid working won’t be the right solution. To find a strategy that works for your business, it’ll be important you consider the needs of your employees, and identify where hybrid working could bring value to your workforce.

Ready for the future of work?

If you’d like to discuss further how you can manage hybrid workforces, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help.

Identify the critical skills and competencies your organisation needs to become resilient in 2022 — and find out how to start building them.

According to Gartner, building critical skills and competencies is the number one priority for 59% of HR leaders in 2022. This isn’t surprising, considering the unexpected challenges many businesses have faced over the past two years – many HR leaders will want to make sure they’re equipped for anything 2022 brings their way. 


Staying resilient and reducing risk across your organisation demands completely new skillsets that either weren’t needed or didn’t exist before the pandemic. To future-proof your organisation and stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to assess the skills your employees have today and spot where your gaps are. 

Below, we’ll explore how you can evaluate your organisation’s current skillsets, source and grow any additional skills your teams need, and use valuable tools to track skills development across your employees.  

Evaluating your current skills

Stepping back and taking stock of your current skills is a crucial first step to future-proofing your organisation, but there’s no doubt it’s a tricky challenge. 

If you’re a business that spans multiple locations with dozens of people, it might be difficult to gain a clear oversight of your teams and their skillsets. And equally, if you’re a smaller business, it can be hard to identify skills gaps among your teams if you don’t know the skillsets you need.

In either case, using a central HR platform with the right succession planning tools can help you identify and track the existing skills among your employees, spot top performers, and ensure everybody is in the right roles within your organisation. 

It’s also a good idea to speak to the line managers, as they’ll have their finger on the pulse as to who’s ready to progress and expand their skillset, who could do with additional support, and where there are specific skills missing among your teams.

Closing your skills gaps

Once you’ve identified which missing skills you need to become more resilient, you can start to develop them across your organisation. But you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools and development structures in place to grow these skills effectively. 

A great place to start is by focusing on the skills your employees actually want to develop. They’ll benefit by gaining a chance to progress their careers, and you’ll benefit by raising employee morale and broadening skillsets among your teams. Plus, PwC reports that 74% of employees are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain in order to remain employable in the future – so there’s a clear appetite for opportunities to learn.

Supporting skills development doesn’t need to take up a lot of your senior employees’ time, either. With an easy-to-use modern eLearning platform, you can offer your employees access to training resources wherever they’re based, giving them a chance to take control of their development journeys.

Modern eLearning platforms can also be useful for developing softer skills such as communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence among your employees and managers. Skills like these have become even more important since the pandemic – with many teams working remotely, soft skills are crucial to keeping employees engaged and motivated, and feeling like they’re supported. 

How technology can help

Succession and eLearning platforms aren’t the only technologies that can help you fill your skills gaps and become more resilient. With the right performance management tools, you can continuously assess the growing skillsets across your business and keep track of where you’re missing any essential skills. 

Many of these tools will offer automated insights on what’s working within your business and what isn’t, and help you manage goals across the teams and structure performance reviews.

And according to Gartner, 81% of HR leaders are already making changes to their performance management structures, so now’s the perfect time to enhance your review processes. 


For the skills you can’t develop within your business, you’ll need to recruit – but the recruitment process doesn’t need to take up all your time and resources. Many HR leaders are already using dedicated recruitment management tools to simplify the recruitment process for candidates, and automate a lot of the administration tasks involved with application management.

There are other automation opportunities across your business, too. A lot of today’s HR leaders are using AI-powered tools such as chatbots to automate data management processes, and help employees book holidays and record absences. With these repetitive tasks covered, it leaves you and your employees free to use your skills in more valuable parts of your business.

Ready to get the skills you need in 2022?

If you’d like to explore how you can build critical skills and competencies in your organisation, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help. 

Discover how the pandemic has impacted productivity, see what’s behind the statistics, and explore how you can manage performance effectively.

According to Deloitte, 55% of workers believe that their colleagues are just as, if not more, productive now than before the national lockdown measures. 


The pandemic triggered a huge shift in working structures, with government guidance sending many employees to work from home – and with it, came a big shift in productivity.

With new working environments filled with different distractions, employees had to adapt quickly. For some, the freedom and lack of structure made them more productive, but for others, it had some serious consequences.

In this blog, we’ll look at productivity statistics from the pandemic to explore the true impact the disruption had on employees, what the results mean, and how you can manage productivity among your employees going forward.

A boost in productivity

Productivity statistics throughout the pandemic varied drastically across individuals, organisations, and industries. But surprisingly, for a time of such disruption, there were a lot of results that suggested remote working boosted productivity.

According to Deloitte, 55% of workers believe that their colleagues are just as, if not more, productive now than before the national lockdown measures. And according to a study by the University of Southampton, 54% of people thought their productivity had gotten higher for every hour they worked compared to before the pandemic.

For many organisations that saw remote workers’ productivity rise, technology has been at the forefront of that success.

In a lot of cases, the pandemic has sped up the adoption of technology – with 75% of office workers using at least two new types of technology for work. From teleconferencing platforms that support online video calls to workflow automation tools, the pandemic forced organisations to digitally transform to survive.

And for the most part, those that were quick to adopt these technologies saw the benefits in their productivity. Automation has helped employees focus on more valuable and important tasks, and remote working has seen 12.9% more meetings, keeping employees engaged, connected, and motivated.

53% of workers think that wellbeing has become more of a priority for their employer since lockdown.

The Conversation

Reports suggest employer support increased productivity

It isn’t just technology that’s had an important impact on employee productivity – employer support played a big role too.

Many employers recognised that happier workers are more productive, and introduced measures to support their employees’ wellbeing during the pandemic. These covered everything from being lenient towards childcare responsibilities and pandemic-related anxiety, to setting up virtual coffee mornings and social events. Ultimately, many of these efforts had a positive effect – 53% of UK workers think that wellbeing has become more of a priority for their employer since lockdown.

However, these positive effects in productivity might not necessarily all be down to helpful efforts from employers. Greater productivity could also be attributed to longer workdays and a blurring of workplace boundaries. The average workday increased by 48.5 minutes through the pandemic, and 8.3% more emails were sent after business hours – giving people more time and flexibility to complete tasks.

Where was productivity negatively affected?

While working longer hours increased productivity for some organisations, they haven’t triggered a rise in productivity for every team. In fact, 69% of employees experienced symptoms of burnout during the pandemic, and 56% said they found it harder to switch off.

Another main cause for a dip in productivity was employees working separately from their colleagues. Sitting at a screen all day is a very different experience from being in the office, collaborating, and spending lunch with colleagues, with 67% of people feeling less connected to their colleagues when working remotely.

This disconnected feeling was even worse for employees working from either a sofa or bedroom. Of those without a suitable desk or work environment, 59% said they felt more isolated from their colleagues.

67% of people feel less connected to their colleagues when working remotely.

Royal Society for Public Health

Pandemic-related anxiety led to a negative effect on productivity

On top of unstable working conditions, the pandemic itself was also a key factor in why productivity was negatively affected for some organisations.

It comes as no surprise that anxiety was high in the pandemic, and government-imposed lockdowns and working from home guidance had big impacts on productivity. A recent report from Deloitte revealed that 38% of workers said lockdown measures had a negative impact on their wellbeing, leading to low morale and difficulty concentrating.

Plus, these effects were worse for people who were poorly productive before the pandemic. One study found the lack of productivity was rooted in the individual, and only exacerbated by remote working.

With a greater level of trust involved in remote working, it’s easier for employees to be less productive because they’re out of sight and isolated from their immediate colleagues or senior management. And this isn’t just a problem for those who already struggled with productivity – 85% of UK workers admitted to slacking off when working from home, and instead concentrating on household responsibilities and browsing online content.

How you can manage productivity

Managing remote workforces, many employers struggled to measure how their productivity was affected during the pandemic – but now, a lot of organisations are starting to find new solutions through technology.

A recent Gartner report revealed that 16% of employers have started monitoring their employees through virtual clocking in and out, tracking computer usage and checking email and internal communications.

Using automated solutions, employers can also track their employee’s productivity in granular detail, without being distracted themselves. For example, many employers are using performance management tools to track employee output, monitor their time and attendance, and manage their development goals.

It shouldn’t just stop at productivity, either. It’s also crucial to monitor employee engagement as wellbeing, as these factors are tightly linked to fluctuations in productivity.

Employees thrive in safe, clean, and strategically designed work environments, and can’t be expected to be productive all the time. It’s important to recognise productive limits and build these into KPI and performance targets, to protect from burnout and stress, and increase overall efficiency.

Enhance your productivity

If you’d like to discuss further how you can better track and improve productivity, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help.

Employee experience will be crucial to attracting and retaining top talent in 2022. Read on to find best practices to incorporate into your strategy this year. 

After a year of record-high resignation figures across nearly every industry, many HR leaders are focusing on how they can retain their top performers and attract new talent into their organisations. And as a result, employee experience is quickly becoming one of the top priorities for 2022.

Employee experience considers how your employees feel about their jobs, the physical work environment and culture within your company, and their relationships with colleagues, management, and executives. And every element is crucial to helping employees remain engaged, satisfied, and committed to staying with your company. 

If managed strategically, positive employee experiences can have huge impacts across your business – such as reducing staff turnover, improving productivity, differentiating your brand to prospective employees, and much more.  

But despite the value of positive employee experiences, many organisations still aren’t hitting the mark. In fact, Gartner reports that 87% of employees aren’t fully satisfied with their experience today.

Throughout 2022, HR leaders will need to refocus their efforts on employee experience by accurately measuring the state of their experiences today and designing strategies that truly consider the needs of their employees.

To help you design your employee experience strategy for 2022, we’ve gathered some best practices for creating positive experiences at every step of the employee journey, from the moment they join to their everyday working lives.

An employees’ experience starts from the moment they find your company

Employee experience doesn’t begin on their first day – it starts as early as the recruitment process. Research from HR Grapevine’s Employee Experience Playbook shows that 78% of candidates believe the hire experience is a good indicator of what a company’s employee experience will look like. Also, 60% of candidates talk about their application experience to others. This means it’s an essential first step to get right – otherwise, you might be jeopardising your ability to attract top talent.

A good place to start is by looking at the accessibility of your application process. According to the research from the playbook, top performers are more likely to begin applications on their mobile phones, so your website and forms need to be up to date and mobile-friendly. 

You’ll also need to give a realistic overview of the job in the application and during the interview, to help manage employees’ expectations and help them figure out if they’ll be a good fit for the role. If you can get this right from the beginning, it’s more likely you’ll find committed, well-suited employees for your company. 

Dedicated recruitment and talent management solutions can also help with tasks such as signing contracts, completing essential paperwork, and getting new employees connected with your workplace before they’ve even walked through the door. If these administration responsibilities are dealt with upfront, recruits will be able to focus on their new roles as soon as they start.

Gain insights by continuously listening 

Employee experience isn’t just something to consider for new or potential employees. Continuously listening to your current employees, especially at times of change, can help you gain the insights you need to improve their experience and create a culture of high engagement and productivity.

Research suggests formal, wide-scale surveys are a strong approach for understanding your employees’ needs. Annual surveys are particularly important to understanding how your employees are feeling on a broader scale about their roles and your company culture. During these surveys, you’ll need to consider what questions you’ll ask, how you’ll manage the data you collect, and how you’ll action the feedback. 

Delivering employee surveys around important events or big changes in the company can also help you gather insights throughout the year, and help your employees feel their opinions are valued. This might include events such as onboarding, quarterly reviews, employee exits, or changes to your working models.

With the right employee management tools, you can also track and manage the data from these surveys and compare it with fluctuations in productivity and output across the year – and even correlate the results to the actions you take to see if you’re on the right path.

With employee happiness comes success 

Employee experience also extends outside the office, with employees’ health, finances, family, and social life all impacting their overall wellbeing and experience at work. 

There’s a fine line between where your influence and responsibilities lie as an organisation – you can’t seek to support every part of your employees’ lives, but all these factors can have a significant effect on their productivity and engagement during their working day. 

A good place to focus on is making all the administration tasks outside of your employees’ roles easier, to prevent them from spending additional time outside of their working day.

For example, offering an employee portal that’s connected to your central HR system can give employees a convenient way to book annual leave, report sickness and absences, file requests, and communicate with your HR team whenever they need to.

Outside of relieving them of administration hassle, you can help employees feel satisfied in their roles by offering a clear sense of direction and progression. This can be achieved with regular catch-ups with line managers, or with a dedicated performance and learning management tool that helps employees track their progress towards goals, rewards, and promotions.

Tools like these can be an effective way to boost employees’ engagement with their roles and your company, especially if it’s paired with a modern eLearning solution that helps them take control of their own training opportunities.

Ready to kickstart your employee experience strategy in 2022?

If you’d like to discuss your employee experience strategy, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – just get in touch to see how we can help. 

The Gartner HR Priorities 2022 report is out. Jigsaw Cloud has analysed the results with thoughts and expert advice for HR leaders from our founder and managing director in our latest blog. 

HR leaders have had some big responsibilities over the past two years. They’ve helped organisations manage wide-scale disruption, adapt to new ways of working, and navigate new employee management challenges.

Going into 2022, their roles are just as crucial. They need to cement temporary changes into long-term strategies that’ll give their organisations and employees the guidance they need over the next few years.

Recently, Gartner surveyed more than 500 HR leaders across a broad range of industries to assess their priorities and expected challenges for 2022 – covering everything from the predicted skills gap and the future of leadership, to organisational design and change management. 

To put the results into context, we asked Jigsaw Cloud Founder Paul Rae and Managing Director Liz Williams to offer their expert takes on the findings and share advice for HR leaders currently planning their strategies for the coming year.

Gartner result: Building critical skills and competencies is the top priority for HR leaders in 2022, with 59% making it a priority next year

Gartner Report 2022

Liz Williams: 

“I’m not surprised to see such a strong focus on building critical skills and competencies. The pandemic made many organisations realise their resilience isn’t at the level it needs to be – and a big part of that is down to the lack of certain skills across teams.

Now, many employers and HR leaders are planning to build resilience by transforming core parts of their business, such as leadership, development, and ways of working. Strong skillsets are the foundation of any successful transformation, so it’ll be critical that HR leaders know what they have in house, what they’ll need to develop, and what they’ll need to outsource.”

Gartner result: 48% of HR leaders are concerned about their employee turnoverA chance to rethink what modern learning looks like

Gartner Report 2022

Paul Rae:

“Unfortunately, we did see an incredible level of churn across organisations during the pandemic. Peoples’ living situations changed, many rethought their careers, and some were let go or never returned from furlough.

The churn really proved that trust and loyalty are still incredibly important between employees and employers. Employees want to feel their employers are invested in their development and personal wellbeing. Also, employers need to trust their employees, and create working environments that make team members feel welcome and valued.

These concepts will be critical as employers and HR leaders face the challenge of replacing lost skills in their organisations. If not managed effectively, some employers may find themselves losing other valuable members of their teams.”

Gartner result: 92% of HR leaders expect to see at least some of their employees working remotely

Gartner Report 2022

Paul Rae:

“There’s no doubt that remote working is here to stay. For many employees, it offered greater flexibility that they won’t want to give up anytime soon. But, it does create challenges for HR leaders and employers who now need to manage a permanent hybrid workforce.

To help maintain a sense of team cohesion and keep remote employees on track, HR leaders will need to encourage managers to move away from task-based management to output-based management. Or, to put it another way, focus on the bigger picture of their teams’ outputs, rather than just individual tasks. 

This will help organisations ensure their employees don’t feel isolated from their colleagues, and help retain the sense that they’re working towards shared goals.”

Liz Williams:

“I think HR leaders will also need to identify where their responsibilities are in terms of wellbeing. During the pandemic, the line blurred between home and work for many employees. We also all got to know each other a little better, seeing the background of each other’s homes during Zoom meetings and hosting regular social catch-ups.

Now, HR leaders will need to clearly communicate the support available for remote employees and the professional standards expected from them going forward. It’ll also be important to keep remote employees in the loop just as much as those in the office – this is where a robust employee management system can really help.”

Gartner result: Just four technical requirements and three years of experience eliminates 98% of today’s candidate pool

Gartner Report 2022

Liz Williams:

“Following the pandemic, we’re now left with a candidate market that doesn’t have the skills organisations need to complete their large-scale transformation programmes – and that’s a challenge that’s faced worldwide.

I think this result is partly due to shifting employee behaviours. A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that younger workers are less likely to remain in their roles for long periods – 43% said they’d leave within two years, and only 28% said they plan to stay longer than five years.

Job hopping can be triggered by a wide range of factors too, such as financial gain, career progression, relocation, and general wellbeing. HR leaders will need to consider all these factors if they’re to retain and upskill their top performers to solve their skill shortages. And critically, it’ll involve creating the right modern learning strategy that nurtures talent effectively.”

Gartner result: 54% of HR leaders say their employees are fatigued from all the change

Gartner Report 2022

Liz Williams:

“This is one of the most important results for HR leaders to consider. Employees have been through a lot of disruption and change over the past two years, and organisations haven’t always been best-equipped to support them.

Change management strategies will need to be a key focus for HR leaders in 2022, helping employees to adjust to working patterns and structures that’ll be in place for years to come. Gartner’s three pillars – day-to-day change, trust, and team cohesion – offer a good framework for HR leaders base their strategies on, but crucially, it’s also important to communicate with employees to identify the support they’ll need.

I’d recommend looking back to the advice we shared on the return to work after the pandemic, because a lot of the suggestions remain just as important for designing change management strategies for the year ahead.”

Need helping planning for 2022?

We’ve only covered a fraction of what HR leaders will face in 2022 – there’s much more to consider across the future of work, employee management, skills development, and diversity and inclusion.

If you’d like to discuss your priorities and strategy for the year ahead, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors. Just get in touch to see how we can help.

When the pandemic forced organisations to shift to remote working, many had to quickly adapt their learning and development strategies – and in some cases, even put them on pause. 

Training Industry Magazine reported that only 33% continued their training programmes as they were, while 56% retooled and repurposed theirs, and 37% delayed the rollout of new programmes altogether. 

But now that organisations have welcomed their workforces back to the office – or put the measures in place for a permanent remote workforce – many are looking to refine their learning and development strategies for 2022 and beyond. And that means finding a learning management system (LMS) that can help them deliver intuitive, modern training experiences that’ll keep employees engaged.

In our recent webinar, we explored why finding a future-proof LMS is so critical to creating successful learning and development plans today – and offered a closer look at SAP Litmos, an industry-leading LMS used by organisations worldwide.

You can watch the session on demand at any time to see the full SAP Litmos demo. In the meantime, read on to find out how a forward-thinking engineering consultancy company uses the LMS to deliver industry-renowned training courses to its clients across the world.

Merlin – Delivering essential online learning with SAP Litmos 

While SAP Litmos can be a powerful LMS for educating your own employees, it can also be a valuable system for delivering professional training courses outside of your organisation.

During our webinar, we were joined by Neil Armstrong, Engineering Director at Merlin, to hear exactly how the company has used the LMS to take its online learning to new heights in 2021.

Merlin serves a wide range of sectors, supporting any company that’s looking to drill complex wells of up to 50,000ft. Every operation involves significant risks, and if anything goes wrong, it can be catastrophic – from both a financial and safety perspective.

The risks make strategic, well-thought-out training programmes essential for any team planning drilling projects. And that’s exactly what Merlin offers – four in-depth courses covering extended reach, managed pressure, geothermal, and complex well drilling. 

A chance to rethink what modern learning looks like

Previously, all Merlin’s courses were delivered in person to clients worldwide, involving frequent travelling for the company’s instructors and a significant volume of printed resources for their learners. 

While time consuming, it was a method that proved successful for the company, generating almost £650k in revenue for Merlin in 2019. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced educators to move online, the team had to rethink its strategy.

We had already started shifting some of our courses online by the time remote working started. We implemented our first LMS in April 2020 – it initially made us much more efficient, but we encountered a lot of problems with the system we used.

Neil Armstrong, Engineering Director at Merlin.

Merlin wanted to find an alternative LMS that offered its team greater flexibility and full control over the learning experiences they’re delivering.

“With our previous LMS, we had to rely on an external vendor any time we wanted to make changes to our courses and learning environment,” said Neil. “Even something as simple as changing our registration confirmation emails couldn’t be done in-house.”

After taking a step back to compare potential solutions – and redefine its course strategy – Merlin chose SAP Litmos to host its professional courses. 

Intuitive modern learning powered by SAP Litmos

In just three weeks, Merlin set up its entire online course library on SAP Litmos, complete with the company’s branding and customised content. Using the LMS, Merlin offers its clients intuitive self-guided and instructor-led online courses that include pre-built and custom-built modules tailored to the drilling industry. 

“Our courses have really taken off since our migration to SAP Litmos. We can now offer a wide range of interactive learning resources, pre-course and post-course assessments, course completion certificates, and much more,” explained Neil. “We can even offer our clients post-course reports on their employees’ performance, generated from data within the LMS.”

Critically, SAP Litmos offers Merlin’s team complete control over its entire learning environment – allowing trainers and administrators to easily customise course content, engage with learners, and make system changes without external support. 

SAP Litmos offers greater flexibility than our previous system, and it’s much more cost-effective. We’ve been really impressed with the results so far – we’ve delivered 31 courses on the system, received a lot of positive feedback, and significantly reduced our carbon footprint.

Neil Armstrong, Engineering Director at Merlin

Watch the full webinar to see SAP Litmos in action

Merlin’s impressive course delivery is just one example of what’s possible with SAP Litmos. Watch the webinar on demand to discover some of the systems’ most compelling features, with an expert-led demo by our own SAP Litmos Specialist Alex Rae.

(P.S. You’ll also find out how to get a free 14-day trial for SAP Litmos, so you can see how it fits into your own learning and development strategy)