FSB puts focus on small business wellbeing
The Federation of Small Businesses is targeting health and wellbeing in the workplace as part of a new nationwide campaign.
Having recognised the impacts that can result from poor wellbeing, the FSB is seeking to ensure that small firms are aware of their responsibilities and of what they can do.
The cost of sickness among the British workforce is estimated at £29 billion, while the FSB claims the number of businesses seeking help with mental health issues has doubled in the last five years.
Given that there are now more than 5.5 million small firms in the UK, employing millions of people, the need for positive and proactive approaches to wellbeing are apparent.
Mental health charity Mind and Public Health England are involved in the initiative which aims to show firms how they can manage workplace pressures, tackle loneliness and enhance overall wellbeing.
The document also targets small business owners, who it says can face widespread pressures when setting up and managing their firm.
Improved wellbeing can boost productivity and performance, while also helping to cut absenteeism – all factors that lessen pressure on a business’ finances.
The FSB has also claimed that the focus of wellbeing initiatives is often on larger firms, which is why the new project looks to help small firms to innovate.
Many small firms can ill-afford to have staff off for a prolonged period of time or to experience a drop in sales that can result from reduced productivity.
Such instances can place pressures on already stretched cash flows and could in the worst circumstances lead to the business requiring administration or other financial assistance.
Alternative finance options can provide a source of finance for growth or to consolidate an existing positon, while firms should regularly check their strategies to ensure a financially sound future.
While there is no one size fits all approach to managing wellbeing, small business owners can take steps to support staff in the workplace by actively encouraging them to take breaks or by promoting activities.
By Phil Smith