Improving digital skills is a top priority for 60% of UK family businesses

Family businesses want to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge for the digital world

The top priority for family businesses is improving their digital skills, with 60 percent coming first.

The UK outlook for family businesses survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed 2,081 key decision makers in family businesses.

Over half (53 percent) would like to introduce new products and services, and 47 percent would like to make greater use of new technologies.

Research shows that only 14 percent of UK family businesses have a “solid” strategy that already has a strong skill set. “Digital Skills” is the term used to describe the skills and attitudes that individuals and organizations need for today’s digital business world.

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“In 2020, the winners were those who were already online,” says Suzi Woolfson, a private business partner at PwC. “As consumers, we never go back to ‘charging’. The digitization takes place from the front office to the back office. Stop gaps were created during Covid-19, but there is still a long way to go to digitize all of these processes. “

A lot of energy was put into survival during Covid-19 – finding a way and planning for the future. Now companies can focus on strengthening their workforce and operations again.

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Sustainability strategies are neglected

British family businesses also lag behind other countries when it comes to prioritizing sustainability in their strategies. More than half (53 percent) of UK family businesses believe they have an environmental responsibility to tackle climate change and its consequences. However, only a third (33 percent) have developed and communicated a sustainability strategy, compared to the global average of 37 percent. The survey shows that 79 percent of respondents in mainland China, 78 percent in Japan and 49 percent globally “put sustainability at the heart of what we do”, compared with 39 percent in the UK.

Hannah Harris, head of the family business PwC UK, said:

“The commitment to a broader social cause has always gone hand in hand with the family business in the UK, but there is growing social pressure from employees and business actors to demonstrate more meaningful action on sustainability and broader ESG issues.

“Listed companies have started to react, but our survey shows that UK family businesses are taking a more traditional approach to social contributions, such as: B. Contributions to the local community or philanthropy. It is up to the family business to adapt to these expectations, otherwise there is a risk of potential business risk. “

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