One year ago, life changed for small business owners in Hawke’s Bay and across Aotearoa. In the face of a global pandemic, the country shifted into an Alert Level Four lockdown. For six weeks, the nation came to a relative standstill. 

During this period, small business revenue growth across Aotearoa fell almost 38% and many business owners faced an uncertain future. In the 12 months since our local small businesses have shown remarkable resilience and adaptability during these unsettled times. 

But something we might be taking for granted is the impact these extraordinary times are having on the well-being of small business owners and employees. As it turns out, investing in well-being is not only good for the people in a business, it’s good for the business’s bottom line as well. 

Last Friday, Xero released new economic research demonstrating the strong link between small business economic productivity and investing in the wellbeing of small business employees.

Conducted by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), the research analyses the relationship between wellbeing and productivity. 

For every dollar spent on supporting and protecting employee wellbeing, business owners can see a return of up to $12. These gains come from the increased productivity of staff.

Alongside this research, we have launched a guide for small businesses called The Next Level to encourage and support small businesses in building simple but important wellbeing initiatives into their businesses. 

This resource has easy to follow, practical advice for small business owners who want to improve employee wellbeing and productivity.

With approximately 97 per cent of businesses in New Zealand having 20 or fewer employees, these small businesses contribute approximately 25 per cent of GDP and 28 per cent of overall employment. When our small business sector does well, New Zealand does well.

We’ve commissioned this research to show small businesses that looking after their staff isn’t only the right thing to do, can also make them more profitable. 

We want to see Kiwi small businesses embrace wellbeing to create an Aotearoa that’s healthier, more fulfilled, and more prosperous. 

Tackling employee wellbeing in the small business economy has the potential to drive significant and much-needed national economic productivity benefits for Aotearoa.

Xero is committed to discussing how we can facilitate and support wellbeing initiatives and grow capability inside small businesses across Aotearoa. 

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