Small and medium sized businesses should be doing more to support the wellbeing of their employees, according to the results of a YouGov survey commissioned ahead of this year’s Watercooler Event which takes place on 25th and 26th April at ExCel London.
As more businesses struggle to attract and retain good staff, the poll, carried out on behalf of exhibitor Frog Systems, suggests that those investing more in the wellbeing of their people could reap significant benefits.
The YouGov survey of 3000 companies and employees shows a disconnect between what employers have been providing and what employees really need to help them.
SMEs could gain by providing more support
Forty five percent of SMEs questioned identified attracting and retaining talent as a priority with 41% also focused on improving productivity. Yet 30% said they spent £0 on their employees’ wellbeing. However almost half of those working for SMEs said they would like support for issues such as stress & anxiety, cost of living, and grief and loss.Phil Worms, CEO of Frog Systems, said:
“The results of our survey confirm that the battle for talent is a priority for SMEs and yet there is a disconnect in how to support their people. The employers who provide psychologically safe and supportive working environments will be the winners.”
Commenting on the findings, Marcus Herbert, head of wellbeing at the British Safety Council, said:
“Employers who don’t invest in employee wellness may be missing out on the productivity benefits it can provide.
“SMEs are more likely to suffer if an employee, who is crucial to their operation, has to take time off work to deal with stress or because they have a repetitive strain injury.”
Poles apart: closing the gap
Just one per cent of SME employees questioned said they felt confident about going to their boss or a work colleague if they had a problem in their personal life or with their finances.
Henrietta Jowitt, Advisor to Mind Forward Alliance and former Deputy Director General (Commercial) at the CBI, is speaking at The Watercooler Event. She says employee mental health and wellbeing should be a core part of responsible business as employers, stakeholders and regulators place greater focus on how it links to business profitability and sustainability. Reflecting on the survey results she said:
“If you don’t understand your colleagues’ needs and look after their wellbeing so that they feel they are safe, belong and are supported in a way that works for them, they will neither stay nor produce their best work.”
The online poll of 1009 British employers and 2009 employees, commissioned by welltech company Frog Systems, was conducted last December.
Workers’ wellbeing was best served in London where one in five companies reported spending more than £500 per employee per year.
Only one in ten of those working for an SME reported that they had access to an Employee Assistance Programme.
The survey results are summarised in the report Exploring The Disconnect of Employee Wellbeing and can be accessed here https://frogsystems.co.uk/download-the-report/
Frog Systems will be on stand W415 at the Watercooler event.
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