Employee Benefits poll: Three in 10 (31%) respondents believe that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can support employees’ mental health by training mental health first aiders.
A straw poll of www.employeebenefits.co.uk readers, which received 49 responses, also found that 24% feel that SMEs should improve office environments in order to better support mental wellbeing, while 20% think they should consider providing counselling services.
Around 14% of respondents cite access to digital tools and apps as an approach SMEs could use to address employee mental health, while a further 10% believe wellbeing seminars would be effective.
Research published in February 2019 by small business platform Xero, which polled 500 SME owners, found that 28% are too busy to think about supporting mental health in the workplace, with 48% agreeing that they could be doing more in this field.
More than a third (37%) of respondents to Xero’s survey allow pets in the office in order to support employee wellbeing, while 35% provide support in terms of workload management and 33% give access to digital wellbeing tools and apps.
Anne Allen, director of people experience at Xero, said: “Running a small business effectively in testing times is about doing the small things well; streamlining administration and tax compliance and using technology to simplify business management.
“Our study shows [SMEs] do feel the pressure of changing times, but work environments with the right technical, emotional and personal support can ease the strain.”
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