Company bosses believe that people management is the key to economic recovery according to a new survey.

Despite falling short in terms of their focus on people management amid the cost pressures of last year, Midlands CEOs now see the value of prioritising the people agenda as a means of accelerating the company’s recovery and growth plans according to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Based on in-depth interviews with around 70 CEOs of UK organisations, the survey highlighted some areas of weakness in terms of the way workers were managed during the recession. Recognising this, the majority (85 per cent) of CEOs expect to overhaul their approach to people management during periods of change as a consequence of the economic crisis. 

Attending to staff morale was identified by four in five CEOs as an area for improvement and increased investment. Some 59 per cent of CEOs said they are also willing to make changes to flexible working, while 55 per cent will revise global mobility arrangements – looking at factors such as staff travel or international secondments. 

Robbie Wigley-Jones, partner and HR specialist at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the Midlands, said: “There is a need for businesses to be agile in order to adapt successfully to changing marketplaces and shifting risks at the same time as responding to new customer demands. Galvanising employees and executives with the right skills and experience will be essential in order to operate and compete effectively in the emerging environment.

“It’s encouraging that CEOs are now prioritising the people agenda. As the population ages, organisations’ and countries’ prosperity will depend on an increasingly-limited number of talented people producing wealth so CEOs are right to be concerned about having and keeping the right people in the business.”