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Posted 10th November 2022

Doing More for Staff Health and Wellbeing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

The costs of absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover have grown by 25% for organisations since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further analysis and modelling from Deloitte’s recent ‘Mental Health and employers, the case for investment- pandemic and beyond’ report highlights that investing in preserving employee health through screening, training, promotion, therapy and other targeted interventions, can bring a return of £5.30 for every £1 spent. This investment serves to mutually benefit employers and employees at a time when individuals and organisations in the UK are facing increasing financial and subsequent wellbeing pressure.

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doing more for staff health and wellbeing in small and medium-sized enterprises.


Doing More for Staff Health and Wellbeing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Why should small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) care about staff health and wellbeing?

The costs of absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover have grown by 25% for organisations since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further analysis and modelling from Deloitte’s recent ‘Mental Health and employers, the case for investment- pandemic and beyond’ report highlights that investing in preserving employee health through screening, training, promotion, therapy and other targeted interventions, can bring a return of £5.30 for every £1 spent. This investment serves to mutually benefit employers and employees at a time when individuals and organisations in the UK are facing increasing financial and subsequent wellbeing pressure.

What can SMEs do to improve staff health, wellbeing, and productivity?

Many workplace health and wellbeing initiatives exist in the UK. These can be a valuable resource and supportive tool for organisations wishing to embed a comprehensive employee health and wellbeing provision into their employee experience. These health and wellbeing initiatives take the guesswork out of managing health and wellbeing, allowing organisations to follow guidance that is validated and ensures that they are doing all that is possible to not only preserve but also enhance employees’ health and wellbeing. In addition, these initiatives create a community for workplace health and wellbeing leads to network, sharing learnings and best practices. This networking and cross-organisational collaborating can help to progress employee health and wellbeing on a local internal level and nationally, addressing the significant societal economic costs of poor employee health and wellbeing.

As a one local example, the Thrive at Work Programme offering from Coventry City Council in partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority is the established regional standard for organisations establishing good practice in health and wellbeing at work. The programme provides workplaces with a structured framework that encompasses group and individual health wellbeing elements. A tiered award system exists, and the framework recognises that smaller organisations may not have the capacity to achieve the same activity as larger organisations. Organisations with a minimum of eight employees can sign up to the programme, which is free of charge to organisations in the West Midlands (see Thrive At Work, privacy policy can be viewed here). Search for regional support available where you are located.

Will it work in my SME?

All SMEs are different. You know your workplace best and can select tailored options for your staff. Often staff know what will work for them but need support getting there. Workplaces enrolled in Thrive at Work are eligible for fully funded extra support that delivers an established tool to support employees in making the changes they want for their health and wellbeing. This tool has potential to improve the likelihood of being successful in goal pursuit and enjoying the associated wellbeing benefits to a greater extent than positive thinking alone. To date, there has been limited use of this tool in workplace settings even though it is effective elsewhere, including for patients and students. Book your workplace’s fully funded (free) goal setting session for staff health and wellbeing through early 2023 here.

Categories: News, People


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