More than half of SME employees put wellbeing high on their list of priorities according to latest research by financial services provider Legal & General.
As SMEs emerge from the pandemic, the report’s findings highlight that all companies, including health insurers, need to be aware of the importance people are placing on flexible working to offer support to workers in the office and at home, post pandemic.
Legal & General Group Protection’s Wellbeing at Work Barometer found that recognition for work well done (45 per cent) as well as more flexible working options (44 per cent) were among the top requirements for almost half of all SME employees across the UK.
SMEs account for 99 per cent of UK businesses and 90 per cent of the global business population according to the World Trade Organisation, so it’s a good indication of how the majority of the workforce is feeling. Some highlights from the report were:
Recognition for work well done represents the top thing that would improve wellbeing in the workplace for around 7.6 million employees working for UK SMEs
Line Managers – the very people to whom most teams look for recognition – also seek acknowledgement for work well done, placing this as their top answer too (38 per cent)
Offering more flexible working comes a very close second
Legal & General Wellbeing at Work Barometer finds that wellbeing means different things to different people, so usage and value depends on multifaceted programmes and tailored communications
Mental health plays a more significant role in overall wellbeing for women and over 55s
The survey found that while overall, feeling mentally well was the top wellbeing priority (61 per cent), it is more important for some groups than others. Three quarters (74 per cent) of women rated feeling mentally well as an important part of wellbeing compared to just over half (54 per cent) of men.
It was also a priority in older age groups, with 76 per cent of those aged 55 and over saying it was important, falling slightly to 67 per cent of those aged 35 to 54. The younger cohort of 18 to 34 year olds18 to 34-year-olds had less than half (49 per cent) saying it was important.
“The great news for SME employers is that some of these elements don’t cost anything,” Jo Elphick, Marketing Director at Legal & General Group protection said. “As always, communication is key and, when reviewing benefits packages with their intermediary, employers should ensure they look at integrating protection benefits more broadly with culture, training and other dimensions that employees are saying they need.”
Meanwhile, employees are looking forward to business travel returning according to another report by Korn Ferry who surveyed 800 professionals. It found that more than three quarters miss business travel and are looking forward to things getting back to normal, which can only be good news for the tourism and IPMI industries that are so reliant on business travellers.