Sage, the integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems provider, is partnering with Personal Group Holdings Plc (AIM: PGH) provider of employee services, benefits and employee related insurance products in the UK, to launch a new employee engagement product designed for the SME market.
Sage Employee Benefits is a first-of-its-kind product to be integrated from today into Sage's product portfolio, and is positioned to directly serve the nearly 16 million people who are employed in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. One in three people in the UK are paid using Sage Payroll, and 50% businesses in the private sector use sage payroll to pay their employees.
Sage Employee Benefits offers a range of key advantages to business owners, offering their employees unrivalled access to savings and discounts across hundreds of retailers, salary sacrifice options, insurance and protection, a hospital cash plan and health and wellbeing support. Based on Personal Group's own proprietary platform named Hapi, the Sage Employee Benefits platform is optimised for App delivery, which means that employees can access and manage their benefit services directly from their smartphone.
The impact on UK productivity as a result of launching this service could be significant. The link between a happy workforce and an increase in overall employee engagement and company productivity has been surveyed by the University of Warwick. With happy employees being found to be up to 12% more productive*, and given the large proportion of SMEs in the UK, Sage Employee Benefits could create a significant incremental contribution to UK GDP.
Jacqueline de Rojas, MD Northern Europe at Sage, said: "We work hard to make life easier for business owners to succeed. Not only by championing their causes but also by creating an eco-system for their employees to engage with and to benefit from.
"The launch of Sage Employee Benefits brings this to life. Benefits that were once the preserve of large organisations are now accessible and affordable for Sage 50 Payroll customers.
"We believe in smart partnerships and are delighted to have brought this to market with Personal Group."
Dan Docherty, Head of People Products, Sage adds: "Employee wellbeing should never be underestimated. High staff happiness can also result in lower attrition rates and better levels of engagement. So, businesses that invest in offering employee benefits tend to have increased outputs, which in turn can help to lead to better profits.
Mark Scanlon, Chief Executive of Personal Group, comments, "This is a very exciting development for small businesses around the UK, as this new partnership sees our two companies launch Sage Employee Benefits to the SME market. Our functional capability developed over 32 years, coupled with Sage's extensive market presence, is a powerful combination in order to help SMEs make their businesses better."
Ashley Doody, Managing Director of PG SME (a Personal Group Company) adds, "Our products and services drive employee engagement. We know that, in turn, that drives productivity. The reach which Sage has across the UK working population means that for the first time we can affect the business wellbeing of tens of thousands of UK businesses. Technology is the enabler and this entirely new product takes full advantage of that opportunity."
*March 2015 - 'Happiness and Productivity' by Andrew J Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi