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Can Looking after staff wellbeing help close the productivity gap?

We know that the UK has a productivity gap to close. The UK is 16% below the average for the rest of our G7 partners. In terms of productivity, the South West is around 13% below the UK’s national average – which is one of the lowest figures in the country. 

The trouble is that when we are at work we are unproductive; we produce less per hour than our main economic rivals. The difference is pretty dramatic, we produce on average 30% less per hour than workers in Germany, the US and France - we even produce 10% less than the average Italian. 

So how can we redress this balance?  Jan de Jonge Chairman of FSB’s Kennet area branch and owner of Wiltshire-based consultancy People Business Psychology Ltd suggests that small business owners check out the new FSB Wellbeing in Small Business campaign which provides a guide to help the 5.5 million-strong small business community across the UK - to reap the benefits of a positive approach to wellbeing, which is felt not only by the business they run but also by the economy and society as a whole.  


Jan de Jonge Chairman of FSB’s Kennet area branch

Jan says “A clearly communicated approach to wellbeing that is adopted throughout the organisation is crucial to promote well-being amongst workers. Well-being ought to be a core strategic aim of any organisation. It is organisations that really understand this that will outperform their competitors.”

Small employers rightly take pride in their role creating local jobs and providing a good place of work for their employees. Wellbeing is central to this. We know from our members that ensuring their own health and wellbeing, as well as that of their teams, is crucial to the success of their business.

Many business owners make a conscious effort to look after the wellbeing of themselves and their employees in various ways, this guide contains suggestions for extra things you can do which you may not have thought off – on areas from helping staff return to work after an illness, to having plants in the working environment. Not all the ideas will be right for every business, but this guide is intended to help small business owners to look for ideas that are right for their business, themselves, and their staff.

Taking care of wellbeing can have positive effects on both health and productivity. We want to encourage the conversation about wellbeing amongst the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses. Join the conversation at #FSBwellbeing.

Business Psychologist Jan says: “The attention that well-being is nowadays receiving has come a long way in the last decade or so. A lot remains to be done, however. Four key ingredients are involvement from staff, trained line management and, thirdly, compassionate leadership that drives this cause, plus personal support that is readily available.”