Employee wellbeing is a hot topic on the tongues of many businesses, both in the UK and across the world.
But why exactly is employee wellbeing so important for organisational success, and what can you do to improve mental wellbeing across your teams?
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is about giving your team the support and resources that they require to succeed in their role, and refers to how your people feel, both at work and in their personal lives. It can be affected by day-to-day workloads, relationships, home life and wellbeing support frameworks.
At its core, your employee health and wellbeing strategy is there to ensure that your people are coping with the stresses of life. This is a key consideration for any organisation looking for long-term success, as happy and healthy employees are more productive.
Why is wellbeing more important in 2022?
We’re witnessing a generational shift, where “businesses of all sizes are reviewing their benefits on a scale we have not seen for a long time.”
This is partially due to the ripple effects of the pandemic – what worked before Covid may not continue to work in this world of remote working and flexible working.
Workers (especially young ones) are in an incredibly strong position to demand better workplace wellbeing, as employers continue to struggle to fill their vacancies.
This means that having a comprehensive mental wellbeing strategy is more important than ever in 2022 and beyond. Employees want to see that their employers are taking tangible steps to improve wellbeing across the board, and are willing to leave organisations that don’t take this seriously, as we saw during the “great resignation”.
However, improved wellbeing doesn’t just benefit the employee – for every £1 an organisation invests into mental wellbeing, they see, on average, a £6 return on investment.
But why is this?
What are the business benefits of employee wellbeing?
There are a whole host of benefits of employee wellbeing, both for the employees themselves and the greater organisation, all of which contributes to the aforementioned return on investment.
Boost productivity and performance
Imagine two employees, employee A and employee B.
Employee A’s wellbeing needs aren’t met, they are frustrated that they aren’t being heard and are struggling to build bonds with their team. Employee A comes across as disinterested with clients, doesn’t engage in meetings as much and struggles creatively due to lack of motivation.
Employee B, on the other hand, is totally fulfilled, and has a line manager who has carefully curated a mental wellbeing strategy to support them at work. Employee B puts their all into every aspect of their work; they’re proactive with clients, vocal in team meetings and eager to build up the organisation who has actively supported them.
Employee A isn’t a bad employee, they’re just not being supported correctly.
In the best-case scenario, you develop a mental wellbeing strategy that’s tailored to both employees, ensuring that their wellbeing needs are met and effectively doubling the amount of productive employees that you have.
Do this across an entire organisation, and you can imagine the substantial productivity improvements that you’d see.
Prevent absenteeism and presenteeism
You may have heard these terms being used a lot lately, but what is absenteeism/presenteeism?
Absenteeism is when an employee regularly takes absence from their duties without good reason. This often takes the form of unplanned absences and calling in sick.
Presenteeism is when an employee works while sick or unfit. This often manifests as working extremely long hours, but not getting much done, or coming into work and being unproductive.
A tailored mental wellbeing strategy can help to prevent both absenteeism and presenteeism. By addressing the issues head on and ensuring that employees have what they need (be that someone to talk to, a place to vent frustrations, time off, proper resources, et cetera), you can ensure that employees want to be at work, and are effective when they are working.
This means that the hours they spend with you are hours that are valuable for your business while being fulfilling for them.
Improve retention & attract the best talent
The best part about having fantastic mental wellbeing across the team? People want to stay with your business.
If you’re looking after your staff, both financially and from a wellbeing perspective, then they’re far less likely to seek employment elsewhere.
This cuts down on hefty recruitment and training costs, and ensures that you build a culture in which people will want to work.
As a result, when it comes to growing your team, your reputation will precede you, and the best talent will actively want to work for your business!
Protect the bottom line
All of the above culminate into one key benefit – protecting the bottom line.
Simply put, productive, happy and healthy employees will generate more income for the organisation. More income for the organisation means more security for the employee, and more capital that can be reinvested into people.
Improving employee mental wellbeing snowballs into business improvements, before coming full circle back to wellbeing benefits.
The importance of measuring employee wellbeing
When establishing an employee wellbeing framework, it’s essential that you know what’s worked, and what hasn’t performed as well as you’d hoped.
Without accurate, actionable data, it can be incredibly hard to form an employee wellbeing strategy that works for everyone.
This post was written by 87%. They are an exhibitor on the HRTech247 Health & Wellbeing floor in the technology hall here.