More employees working for smaller companies trust their employer to look after them, when compared to those working for larger SMEs, despite the fact these larger organisations are more likely to have a health and wellbeing strategy.
This was the latest finding of Legal & General’s SME research. It found a direct correlation between the size of the business and the trust employees place in their employer.
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of employees in micro businesses, which have nine or less employees, trust their employer to look after their wellbeing. This reduces to 55 per cent in small companies, with between 10 and 49 staff, and just 42 per cent in medium sized businesses, with 50 to 249 employees.
However L&G points out that almost double the percentage of medium-sized business have a wellbeing strategy in place, compared with their micro-counterparts. The figures are 77 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.
Legal & General distribution director, group protection Colin Fitzgerald says: “Medium sized companies might have the tools in place – in terms of a wellbeing strategy – but it’s not necessarily translating into trust.
“So, either their benefit and wellbeing programmes are not considered relevant by all of their employees or they’re being poorly communicated.”
He pointed out that currently ‘talent risk’ is top of many CEO’s agendas, with leaders recognising the need to keep their people safe, but also connected, engaged and productive.
As a result the business benefits of providing and communication a good wellbeing strategy remain clear.
The research founds women and younger workers reported the highest levels of trust in employers to look after their wellbeing. However women were also the most likely to think employer’s benefits packagers were not relevant to them.
The research also found a disconnect between employer and employee opinions about the relevance of benefits.
For example 46 per cent of employers said health benefits — such as PMI and cash plans — were “very relevant” to their staff. But only 22 per cent of employees agreed. Similarly savings benefits (such as pensions and share schemes) were rated as “very relevant” by more than 60 per cent of employers but just 42 per cent of employees.
Fitzgerald adds: “What is key now is for employers of all sizes to build on this trust by ensuring benefit and wellbeing programme design and communication is flexible enough to meet employee needs.”
“The pandemic has shone a light on wellbeing and trust, with business recovery now dependent upon having in place a happy, healthy and motivated workforce in place.
“One-size-fits-all benefit and wellbeing programmes, supported by one-size-fits-all communication simply won’t help employers achieve this. It’s time for the insurance industry to collectively evolve, putting ‘prevention before insurance’ to support the ‘people before profits’ focus of our clients.”