Home » Employee Wellbeing » SMEs must keep their finger on the pulse of employee wellbeing

Simon Moyle

Chief Executive Officer, Vivup

Employee wellbeing is something that even busy SMEs can prioritise with new employee benefits packages.

SME decision makers are time-poor, wear a lot of hats and need easy solutions when dealing with the challenges of recruitment and retention. That is the view of Chief Executive Officer Simon Moyle, whose employee benefits company Vivup has just launched a wellbeing and benefits package for SMEs.

Reviving the SME work environment

With its heritage in NHS and public sector workers, Vivup knows that post-pandemic, smaller organisations face the challenge of trying to revive their traditionally more intimate and nurturing work environment when most employees are working from home, at least part-time.

Moyle explains: “Fundamentally, SMEs tend to be more connected to their workforce; they know exactly who’s going to be most affected by the price squeeze we are seeing right now. They feel they just can’t turn a blind eye to the financial problems that staff are going through.”

Cost of stress-related absences

Statistics tell us that almost four in five workers had a stress-related absence last year, with its associated costs for the employer and other colleagues left to pick up the slack. Moyle says: “The cost associated is staggering. The need to support and reduce these statistics is overwhelming. Wellbeing should be at the heart of every solution.”

Working from home is now the norm and, like many other SME operators, Moyle does not think things will change soon. He says: “Everyone’s telling me the same thing – that nobody wants to get back into sitting in traffic jams for 45 minutes every morning and to be paying for a coffee and a sandwich at lunch.” So, how, then does an SME employer keep their nurturing vibe?

On camera, people put on a bit of a front, so how can a manager know what’s really going on when the camera is off?

Understanding employee needs remotely

Moyle says: “It’s certainly a lot harder when you can’t offer the office environment and its water cooler moments. It becomes a real challenge for a business to say: ‘How do I grow or expand, but give people the flexibility to be at home, so they can pick up the kids from school and see them in their matches or performances and stay connected to family life?”

Another problem is that managers can’t keep on top of emerging stress-related problems or burnout when employees are working remotely. Moyle says: “On camera, people put on a bit of a front, so how can a manager know what’s really going on when the camera is off? Typically, SMEs are run by people who just get their heads down and are trying to do a good job. Managers need to understand what is really happening within the organisation and to know when problems are beginning to start.”

Introducing policies for wellbeing

Such information enables an employer to put policies in place that encourage better employee wellbeing, as well as benchmark their own company’s performance and competitiveness against industry-average metrics also provided by Vivup’s technology.

Systems today can offer functionality such as peer-to-peer recognition and a host of wellbeing resources, Moyle explains: “If ‘Sarah’ usually gets a large number of positive comments from colleagues and suddenly only gets a few, you know that something is going on. Equally, when you see a sudden spike in the use of anxiety or sleep aid resources that tells you people might be burning out.”

Vivup’s new SME package combines wellbeing and lifestyle benefits, with financial savings and recognition and reward solutions.

Key features include:

  • Mental health and wellbeing – 24/7 telephone support plus face to face and virtual counselling for a wide range of personal and emotional issues, including domestic abuse and debt advice, critical incident support and wellbeing self-help.
  • Recognition and reward – peer-to-peer recognition.
  • Lifestyle savings – savings of up to 15% across more than 300 leading high street brands.
  • Cycle to work benefit.
  • Car leasing benefit.
  • Health cash plan.
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