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Many employers (and employees) would like to know the importance of a happy workforce to the success of any business. With research showing that high staff morale can lead to a 12% increase in productivity, the answer to this question may appear to be clear. However, just how much can these happy employees contribute to a business? Looking beyond productivity, the benefits of a happy workforce are seemingly endless. For the 4.8 million businesses in the UK, the average employee will be absent from work for 7.7 days per annum due to sickness. At first glance, this isn't a significant figure. However, when you consider this will cost £673 per employee on average, this can place a strain on the 99.2% of British businesses that have less than 50 employees. This can not only cause financial issues, but also work fulfillment issues. The pressure sick employees place on other employees in their absence can be significant. The happy employee, while not immune from the annual flu bugs, coughs, and colds, is far less likely to fall foul of the 66% of absence. This is short term, and avoids the top reason for long term absence from the workplace – stress. The chances are also good that they will be with you a long time. This means you will not only keep their skills and knowledge, and reap the benefits of staff continuity within your business, but you will also be negating the potential recruitment and training costs associated with high staff turnover. The recruitment costs of sourcing a new manager, inducting them into the business, and waiting for him or her to become completely conversant with the role can soar above £8,000. Even in today’s employment marketplace, 72% of businesses are citing a lack of specialist skills as their main recruitment difficulty. Therefore, it's essential for businesses take care of the people that they have. So, moving forward, how do you create this positive environment where your employees can be happy? Stephens Scown Employment Solicitors LLP highlight the importance of having solid HR policies and employment law advice so businesses can get the most from their workforce. In the UK, there is only one HR professional to every 102 employees. This suggests this area is often an area overlooked by businesses. There's no stronger message to businesses than the cost of not being proactive and potentially getting it wrong. In the last year, 186,300 claims brought at employment tribunals were accepted - costing £31.1m. A staggering 540,800 claims are still outstanding. As your business looks to move forward and with the costs of getting it wrong so high, are your employees as happy as you think and have you got all of the support in place you need? Infographic via Stephens Scown Solicitors Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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