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/