More than a quarter (27%) of small to medium-sized businesses have sufferednegative impacts caused by staff health and wellbeing issues, a survey has revealed.

Of that number, 52% have reported a rise in absenteeism,while almost a fifth (19%) haveexperienced a drop in productivity anda further 17% have seen an increase in staff turnover.

­­­The findings come from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey thatcanvasses the opinion of SME owners and senior management across the UK.

David Thomson
David Thomson

CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson, said: “Anything that has a negative impact on an employee’s wellbeingwill likely be reflected in their performance and consequently,that of the overallbusiness.

“Figures from the government estimate that almost 130 million working days are lost every year to sickness in the UK and that ill health among employees costs the national economy approximately £100 billion*.

“Whether it is mental or physical, any form of stress or illness can be detrimental to productivity and efficiency in the workplace. It can reduce the power and morale of theworkforce and become a significant drainon resources.”

The Business Barometer also revealed that maintaining the health and wellbeing of employees is a priority for the majority (86%) of firms.

“It’s encouraging to see that businesses are taking steps to both support their workforce and counter the negative impact of employee health concerns. We found that 47% of firms polled have introduced perks and benefits for employees such as health insurance, gym membership and company cars, and a third say they do so to motivate and inspire their staff.

“For some SMEs, managing health in the workplace may seem like a challenging and costly task, but it is an important issue and one that shouldn’t be avoided. Especially when it can bring such clear benefits to your business,” added Mr Thomson.