Work and Wellbeing · 7 November 2018

SME managers increasingly stressed by company finances

Nearly one-third of managers surveyed have felt anxious because of company finances

A study has revealed that company finances are a stressor for senior managers at SMEs – and these money worries can ultimately have a serious impact on morale and mental health.

Over half (55.4%) of senior managers at SMEs say that financial issues in their business have had a negative effect on their health and wellbeing, according to research from invoice finance provider Close Brothers.

The study found that 32.7% of managers surveyed have felt anxious because of company monetary pressures, and almost 8% have felt depressed.

Close Brothers’ research showed that personnel in more senior roles were more likely to be affected – with 82.5% of chairs and 85.5% of CEOs saying that concerns about their business’s finances had an adverse impact on their wellbeing. In comparison, 43.2% of other managers said they were adversely affected by money worries.

“Leadership teams play a vital role in creating a culture which prioritises the wellbeing of its people, but as our research shows, managers can be affected by workplace mental health issues too,” says David Thomson, CEO at Close Brothers Invoice Finance. “A whole system approach which embeds mental health awareness into internal routines and offers support for employees at all levels is, therefore, the most effective policy that companies can adopt.”

On a positive note, the study found that more than 56% of businesses with a turnover of more than £250,000 have a policy or system in place to support employees who are dealing with mental health issues such as acute stress and depression.

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These statistics improve as SMEs grow: Companies with a turnover of more than £10m, only 32% of respondents said they did not have established mental health provisions for staff.

“Healthy staff are a business asset and responsible employers should ensure that the importance of both mental and physical wellness is recognised within their company,” Thomson says. “By promoting openness, providing a supportive environment and ensuring robust mental health working policies are in place, we can help people to reduce stress and thrive both at work and beyond.”

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Jennifer is a reporter for Business Advice.

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