Avoiding the £28,000 cost of replacing employees is a key reason why UK SME bosses see staff work/life balance as their top priority in 2017, according to new research from Axa PPP Healthcare.
In a poll of 507 SME senior decision-makers – comprising CEOs, managing directors and senior managers, carried out in September 2016 – 35 per cent said staff work/life balance was their top priority, while 21 per cent cited offering more flexible working practices and 19 per cent said they would target better procurement practices to ensure cost savings.
The focus on employee wellbeing and cost control reflects the sample’s view that it costs £28,436 to replace an employee when recruitment costs, training time and lost productivity are all factored in.
The survey found 24 per cent of respondents looking to hire three to five people and a further 18 per cent looking to hire more than six people. Seventeen per cent expect to add one or two people to their team.
Axa PPP Healthcare intermediary distribution director Paul Moulton says: “Getting and keeping talented people is an essential part of running a successful business. It’s encouraging that SMEs acknowledge the importance of employee work/life balance as creating a positive environment where workers can flourish is, undoubtedly, key to building and maintaining a motivated, loyal workforce – and safeguarding a business from the risk of losing valuable people.
“It’s also promising that so many SMEs say they are expecting to grow their workforce in 2017 as this should present intermediaries with an opportunity to further support their clients’ growing businesses.”