For the first time ever worldwide, 4,800 leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises with 10 to 100 employees were polled on quality of life at work.

This Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services/TNS Sofres survey was conducted in the following seven countries: Brazil, Chile, France, India, Mexico, Romania and Turkey. The survey highlights the importance for SME leaders of quality of life within their business. 

SME leaders in the seven countries believe that quality of life is a major strength:

  • 91 percent thought that improved quality of life ensures a better work climate

  • 86 percent thought that improved quality of life leads to increased productivity

  • 76 percent thought that improved quality of life boosts their attraction as an employer

  • 70 percent thought that improved quality of life results in higher revenue

The smaller a firm, the more important it is to take steps to improve employee quality of life. 4 out of 10 problems facing SMEs worldwide arise from HR issues such as recruitment, personal commitment, training and absenteeism.
In India for example, SMEs have to confront major HR issues, especially absenteeism.
The survey showed that in 99 percent of SMEs, absenteeism falls when employees are provided benefits and shopping vouchers.

Denis Machuel, CEO Sodexo Benefits & Rewards Services said: “As world leader in quality of life services, we wanted to conduct this survey specifically targeting SMEs. This highlights the issues confronting them every day, and in general demonstrates that quality of life does not just matter to large multinationals. For businesses of all sizes, quality of life must remain a priority in order to stay competitive

As such, services that improve employee quality of life are essential. Service vouchers, by allowing SMEs to concentrate fully on their core business while ensuring their employees are well taken care of in their daily lives, illustrate this very well. The challenge for SME leaders is to improve quality of life while boosting their business results. 

Six key ways for SMEs to improve competitiveness:

  • Recognition: 95 percent of SME leaders thought that highlighting and recognizing employee efforts and accomplishments will improve business competitiveness.
  • Physical environment: 92 percent thought that improving comfort and safety in the workplace will improve business competitiveness.
  • Staff development: 91 percent thought that promoting staff development and training will improve business competitiveness.
  • Health and well-being: 87 percent thought that helping employees take care of their health will improve business competitiveness.
  • A good work/life balance: 84 percent thought that helping employees enjoy a better work/life balance will improve business competitiveness.
  • Socializing: 70 percent thought that promoting culture and recreation will improve business competitiveness.

In Latin America and Romania, corporate events and evenings were quoted as the most popular steps taken, whereas in France and India, SMEs spend most on their facilities and work space.

For all respondents, improving quality of life boosts business performance

The survey revealed that even incremental and low-cost improvements in quality of life have a real impact on SMEs performance. SMEs leaders who have introduced measures that enhance quality of life found that their employee productivity, recruitment, revenues and business reputation sharply improved. The more quality of life features in small businesses, the more employee productivity increases while also benefiting recruitment.

Four key steps show how SMEs sharply improve business performance:

  • Allow employees to organize their private life
  • Recognize staff performance with benefits, shopping vouchers and rewards
  • Improve staff standard of living
  • Give staff healthy and balanced meals

To read the full version of the press release, please download the PDF.

Back to the list