SME owners are apparently keen on the idea of an annual quota for staff cuts, as they are currently struggling to get rid of underperforming employees, a new report reveals.The study, from talent management firm Hudson, shows around 77 per cent of SME owners feel that the introduction of such a quota scheme would mean that they were able to boost their company’s productivity.Nearly half of SME owners were of the opinion that it would be beneficial if they were allowed to cull five per cent of their staff every year, while one in six say that their company’s performance would improve were they allowed to rid themselves of 20 per cent of their employees annually.But many bosses are against a quota scheme, saying that, because of shortages in the UK talent pool, dismissing staff is unlikely to have any positive effect. Around 25 per cent of SME owners say they would rather retain average or below-average performers than fire them, given the current lack of skilled individuals in the employment market."Clearly, this is a massive – and, to date, relatively taboo – area of debate for British business," John Rose, chief executive of Hudson UK, said."Shedding staff in a climate where companies are desperate for talent is counter-intuitive, with retention the focus for UK organisations," he continued"But retaining for the sake of retaining will help solve neither the UK’s skills crisis nor its increasing productivity gap."© Adfero Ltd