How do Hong Kong SMEs Meet
Employee Needs in Well-being and Training?

25 Mar 2024 / ESG Matters

In today's business world, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are becoming increasingly important for both investors and consumers. Employees, as the most valuable asset of any company, are also paying more attention to how their employers perform on social issues such as health, welfare and training. 

How can Hong Kong small and medium enterprises (SMEs) meet the expectations and needs of their employees in these areas?

To answer this question, Bowtie Life Insurance, ESG Matters and Dialogue in the Dark conducted a survey in Hong Kong from different sectors and backgrounds. The survey aimed to assess the current initiatives and performances of SMEs in Hong Kong in promoting well-being and training for their employees, and to provide recommendations on how to improve them. 

The collaboration hoped to raise awareness and encourage SMEs to prioritise employee welfare, invest in comprehensive training programs and create sustainable workplaces that foster growth with social influence.

Some of the key findings are:

agreed that their companies have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment, which shows a high level of respect and protection for staff.

said that their companies offer flexible working hours, which reflects a focus on employee wellbeing and a recognition of their diverse needs and preferences.

agreed that their companies prioritise disability inclusion at work, which indicates a need for strengthened efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
Based on these findings and using the break-even goals of the Future Fit Business Benchmark as a reference, the survey report provides some recommendations for Hong Kong SMEs to improve their social performance, such as:
Employees are subject to fair employment terms
Implement fair working hour policies such as ensuring breaks during work hours are provided consistently to all employees, can contribute to improvement. 
Employees are not subject to discrimination
Provide diversity and inclusion training can help with mitigating discrimination risks. Conducting regular training sessions can raise awareness about discrimination, unconscious bias and inclusive practices, fostering a safe and respectful work environment where employees feel valued and supported. 

This survey is a valuable tool for Hong Kong SMEs to summarise the views of their employees on welfare and career development, and to understand their needs and satisfaction levels more deeply. Companies should seize this opportunity to strengthen their competitive edge by improving their social performance.

Matters Academy, as an ESG training specialist, can provide tailored solutions for Hong Kong SMEs to assist them in upgrading their social performance. By collaborating with Bowtie Life Insurance and Dialogue in the Dark, Matters Academy can effectively elevate the benefits and development of staff, as well as reinforce the competitiveness of SMEs in the social area of ESG.

For more information and full bilingual reports on the survey, please download here:

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ESG Matters

Founded by one of the sustainability pioneers Dr Glenn Frommer, ESG Matters specialises in ESG data analytics, intelligent sensing technologies and sustainability advisory. Since 2014, ESG Matters has been a creator of digital platform solutions to meet the needs of sustainable impact investing and green financing. Working closely with listed companies, SMEs, and various growing organisations, ESG Matters aims to address the global market through providing business process outsourcing (BPO) services and solutions to achieve the relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) and building resilience to climate change.

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