7 Business Benefits of Employee Wellbeing
Over the last two years you’ve probably heard a lot about employee wellbeing. After all, the pandemic has impacted the wellbeing of all of us in a multitude of ways.
You may have been noticing the impacts on your organisation, with poor employee wellbeing linked to reduced productivity, increased staff churn and absenteeism.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to support each element of your employees’ wellbeing, but what are the benefits of employee wellbeing?
Why is employee wellbeing so important?
We consider employee wellbeing to be made up of three pillars: mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
Wellbeing is important because it affects every single facet of an employee’s life, and if any of these pillars fail, everything falls down.
In this post, we’re going to look at seven benefits of wellbeing in the workplace on offer to organisations that prioritise this essential metric, and the employees that work there.
What are the benefits to employees when their employer considers their wellbeing?
1. Appreciated and recognised
It takes companies spending just 1% of payroll on recognition in order to drive a positive impact on engagement, and it makes sense. When you recognise and reward a job well done it doesn’t just show that you care about their emotional wellbeing, but with the right rewards platform it can also support their financial wellbeing.
2. More flexibility
When an organisation considers the wellbeing of their employees they’ll recognise that sometimes the rigidity of the 9-to-5 doesn’t always work for everyone all of the time.
Whether it’s to support mental health, encourage a better work-life balance or simply make it easier to pick up the kids from school, greater flexibility is an increasingly sought-after work benefit. In fact, over 80% of employees would stay in a job longer and demonstrate loyalty if their employer offered them more flexible working arrangements.
3. Feedback is being listened to
When you work for an organisation that cares about wellbeing, this invariably goes hand-in-hand with the company listening to the feedback of its workforce.
The businesses that do best when it comes to employee wellbeing don’t take a set-and-forget approach to wellbeing initiatives, and understand the importance of listening to their teams in order to continue seeing positive business outcomes.
What are the benefits to your business when you consider the wellbeing of your employees?
The benefits to employees of working for an organisation that prioritises their wellbeing should speak for themselves, but what about the benefits of employee wellbeing for the business itself?
4. Attract and retain talent
Supporting employee wellbeing is essential for ensuring your organisation is attracting and retaining your industry’s top talent.
Employees now expect more from their employers than simply providing a monthly paycheck, and the statistics bear this out. Almost two thirds (62%) of employees surveyed by Paychex and Future Workplace identified employee wellbeing as a key deciding factor when applying for a new job.
What’s more, with a quarter of UK employees considering leaving their job within six months just last year, supporting employee wellbeing should be one of your organisation’s top priorities in 2022.
5. Happy workers are more profitable
We only perform our best at work when we’re happy at work, but British workers are among the least productive in the G7. Only Japan and Canada produced a lower output in 2020.
However, happiness makes a big difference, and research has found that we’re up to 13% more productive when feeling happy.
Recognition at work makes a big difference to productivity too. A HubSpot survey revealed that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognised.
6. They’re more creative and innovative too
To drive your business forward and hit the goals that have been set you need a productive workforce, but the most successful companies also find innovative ways of working.
Small amounts of stress can be useful in thinking our way out of difficult situations, and in the short term can spark creative thinking. However, if we experience stress for a prolonged period we quickly become emotionally exhausted, unable to think clearly or effectively.
Although stress can be useful when you need to be creative, happiness is much more effective. A study of university students found a significant relationship between creativity and subjective emotional, psychological and social wellbeing.
7. Reduced absenteeism
Stress and anxiety can be caused by concerns we have with any aspect of our wellbeing, and it’s on the rise: more than one third (35%) of British workers are impacted by stress, with 82% reporting anxiety and 74% feelings of depression.
This affects how productive we are when at work, but it also impacts absenteeism. In fact, approximately 32.5 million working days are lost in the UK each year due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
By tackling employee wellbeing and working to ensure your employees are experiencing less stress and anxiety, you can reduce absenteeism and increase how productive they are in one fell swoop.
How can a business help improve the wellbeing of its staff?
There are a number of ways businesses can improve employee wellbeing, but each pillar of wellbeing requires a different approach.
We all experience stress in our life, but we don’t always have things in place to help us deal with it. When this happens, acute stress becomes more likely, affecting us at home and at work.
Your organisation should work hard to develop a supportive culture where concerns are listened to and acted upon, but there are also things you can put in place that support mental wellbeing more directly.
For example, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) will connect your staff with professional mental health professionals, able to provide independent and confidential support when they need it. Our EAP solution provides telephone or face-to-face sessions with fully accredited counsellors.
Physical health and mental health are closely linked, so it’s just as important for you to support this pillar of wellbeing.
You can’t control the choices employees make when they’re at home, but you can encourage a healthier lifestyle through things like discounted gym memberships, providing free healthy snacks onsite, or encouraging more ‘walking meetings’. They’re great for blowing away the mental cobwebs as well as sneaking some extra exercise into the day. Philosopher Aristotle, US president Harry Truman and Steve Jobs all made use of walking meetings.
The responsibility employers have for their employees’ financial wellbeing is clear—after all, it’s the business that provides their salaries.
However, your support of financial wellbeing shouldn’t begin and end with their paycheck.
There is a huge range of benefits that can go towards supporting this pillar of wellbeing, from retail discounts, eVouchers and gift cards for recognition, through to salary sacrifice schemes.
Ready to improve the wellbeing of your employees?
At Sodexo Engage we’ve been delivering best-in-class solutions for supporting employee wellbeing for over 60 years.
Our award-winning products include:
- Employee Benefits Platform, allowing all your employees to access an amazing range of benefits all in one place. This includes high street discounts, money off family holidays and employee cashback cards.
- Employee Assistance Programme offering 27/7 mental health support, 365 days a year.
- A range of Salary Sacrifice schemes, including travel season tickets, annual leave purchase and money off energy-efficient cars.
Our list of employee benefits and wellbeing products is huge, but the truth is, not every one of our solutions will be right for your workforce. Our specialist account management team will work with you to tailor a package of benefits that will deliver genuine ROI and support employee wellbeing.
Get in touch with our experts today and discover what your organisation can achieve when you prioritise employee wellbeing.