How can small businesses attract, retain and engage top talent using wellbeing_sf

How can small businesses attract, retain and engage top talent using wellbeing

In September 2022, we asked over 2,000 UK employees about their perceptions of small and large businesses in terms of wellbeing, workplace benefits and culture.

The research reveals that, while the majority (76%) of workers are generally satisfied with their current position, almost half (46%) are either actively or considering looking for their next role. And with the cost of a new hire averaging around £3,000, this employee exodus could result in a potential £41.9bn cost to businesses across the country.

But this unexpected talent drain also presents an opportunity for organisations — particularly SMEs — to attract new talent and become even more appealing places to work.

Key findings

46% of workers are either considering or actively looking for a new job.

34% of workers say they'd prefer to work for an SME with fewer than 250 employees.

85% of people feel there's a link between company culture and their wellbeing.

48% of employees think great culture is a key benefit of working for an SME.

How SME culture attracts top talent

When it comes to workplace benefits, employees feel generally positive about SMEs, highlighting a number of advantages over large businesses.

In fact, over a third of UK workers (34%) say they’d prefer to work for an SME with fewer than 250 employees.

People feel that small and medium-sized companies are more likely to offer:

  • Regular contact with senior leaders (60%)
  • A positive workplace culture (48%)
  • Better work-life balance (35%)

SME perceptions

For smaller businesses, this link between wellbeing and culture is their most powerful tool. With top talent up for grabs, SME leaders can play to their strengths and make a big impact in terms of both employee wellbeing and business outcomes.

How does your workplace wellbeing offer shape up?

The majority of SMEs already offer some form of employee wellbeing provision, with the most common benefits being access to mental health support (39%), flexible working hours (33%) and remote or hybrid working (27%).

SME wellbeing perks

With 67% of SMEs reporting that they have an allocated wellbeing budget, it's clear that leaders are recognising how investment in a wellbeing culture can make a real difference in terms of both employee happiness and productivity.

Since employees already view company culture as a major plus point for SMEs, leaders can capitalise on this 'USP' with a relatively little financial outlay.

With this focus on culture plus some smart investment in key wellbeing areas, like mental health, small businesses can build a reputation as a progressive, supportive employer and attract job seekers away from larger companies.

Download the free report

Head to our Wellbeing for SMEs page to download the full report and watch our Small Business, Big Wellbeing webinar for more advice on how small businesses can use wellbeing to improve the employee experience and attract top talent.

SME report preview graphic

The Big Opportunity: How small businesses can attract, retain and engage top talent using wellbeing

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