Poor health, performance and passion – SME productivity killers

24 January 2017

24 January 2017: SME bosses consider skills and performance shortcomings (36 per cent), lack of passion for the job (32 per cent) and illness (17 per cent) to be the biggest impediments to the productivity of their employees, according to new research from AXA PPP healthcare.

In addition, with the New Year signalling new job aspirations, the survey also highlights bosses’ frustrations with maintaining headcount when employees jump ship.

Twenty-nine per cent of the bosses polled by the healthcare company say finding suitable replacements is the biggest challenge they face in this regard while, for nearly a quarter (23 per cent), the drawn-out recruitment process – from advertising a role to filling it – is the main headache. A fifth (21 per cent) identify the investment in time and resources needed to ensure new hires are equipped for the role as their principal bugbear. Indeed, bosses put the average cost of recruiting and replacing lost employees at £28,436 a head.

Time lost to sickness absence is also troublesome. More than half (57 per cent) of the respondents say they’ve experienced spells of absence of four weeks or more in their business resulting in those left behind having to pick up the absentee’s workload (49 per cent). Over a quarter (27 per cent) complain of the loss of key skills when this occurs and a similar proportion (24 per cent) note a drop in business productivity.

Iain McMillan, Director of SME for AXA PPP healthcare, comments: “The path to progress rarely runs smooth.

For SME leaders it’s often the case of having to deal with immediate problems while keeping a firm eye on the horizon to move the business forward. While you can’t always avoid the pitfalls and setbacks that affect your people, anticipating and having plans in place to deal with them can make a big difference.

“So start the New Year with an assessment of the risks to your people’s wellbeing and ask yourself the question ‘What can I do to mitigate them?’.” For helpful advice and tips on managing employee health and wellbeing visit https://www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/business-health-insurance/business-health-centre/business-resources/


Further information

Notes to editors



Ben Faulkner/John DuBois AXA PPP healthcare press office 01892 612822

About AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare – one of the largest and most experienced private medical insurance providers in the UK – has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides cover for medical and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division.        AXA PPP healthcare has been named the Best Healthcare Provider for three years running in the Your Money Awards and, in June 2015, was awarded the prestigious accolade of European Large Contact Centre of the Year at the 2015 European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, followed in September 2015 by the Best Customer Experience accolade in the Large Contact Centre category of the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015.

About AXA

The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 166,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. In 2016 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 8th consecutive year.

In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare and AXA Ireland. AXA employs over 10,000 staff in the UK. The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY. 

The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.