The wellbeing of employees is a fundamental part of any business; employees who are both physically and emotionally healthy are key to thriving in today’s climate. As this is World Wellbeing Week we look a little closer into just what employee wellbeing is, how easy it is to integrate into business culture and why it is so vital to employers to improve the wellbeing of their employees.
Retention and attraction
An excessive workload can often be demotivating and affect employees’ work-life balance, increase stress and negatively impact their performance at work. Employees who feel supported by their employer both emotionally and physically find it easier to manage work-related stress and as a result are likely to be more productive, allowing the business achieve its goals.
Retaining these productive employees is crucial, reducing the need to constantly recruit and train new employees, as well as allowing teams to flourish, developing stronger bonds as they work on tasks together. Employees that feel valued by their employer and happy in their place of work are much less likely to jump ship as soon as another job opportunity becomes available.
But retention is only one side of the coin; a positive culture of wellbeing will help attract new recruits too. Although it’s easy to imagine that the highest wages attract the most talented workers, a recent study by Deloitte found that a good-work life balance was the number one factor considered by young adults looking for employment.
The benefits of supporting employee wellbeing
There are some huge health benefits to be gained that will ultimately benefit your business. Ensuring that employees aren’t tired or over-worked means that they can be physically active out of hours, aiding overall health and creativity.
A 2013 study by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato found that workers who exercised four times per week were able to think more creatively than those that were sedentary. A more creative workforce can lead to improvements in both efficiency and productivity.
Recent research from Mind, a UK-based mental health charity found that of 2060 adults in England and Wales, 60% said they would not only feel more motivated at work but would recommend their organisation as a good place of work if their employer took action to support their mental wellbeing.
Putting it into practice
So far, so good but how can your business actually achieve greater employee wellbeing?
- Create a culture of openness and support
The Mind survey mentioned above also found that one-in-five people felt they couldn’t tell their boss if they felt over-stressed at work which can lead to a lack of productivity and motivation. Regular one-to-ones with managers can help, allowing employees to discuss any issues they are experiencing at work.
- Prioritise wellbeing
Involve employees in the decision-making process and inform them about the key decisions being made in the business. Employees that feel involved in finding the best ways to achieve the businesses’ goals will likely feel more motivated to achieve their own targets, providing a huge boost to morale, innovation and productivity. In fact, BITC Workwell FTSE100 Public Reporting Benchmarking Research Findings concluded that FTSE100 companies that prioritise employee wellbeing generally outperform others by 10%.
This World Wellbeing Week is a great opportunity to try out a few ideas and consider what your business could do to improve the wellbeing of its employees and its productivity.