Why is Employee Wellbeing So Important for Your Business?
There has scarcely been a more stressful time for employees than the Covid pandemic.
With the economic impact of the virus leading to significant job losses and severe job insecurity, not to mention the fear and uncertainty felt as a result of the dangers of Covid, understanding how you can improve employee wellbeing has never been more important.
Champion Health’s Employee Wellbeing Statistics for 2022 revealed that 35% of British workers are negatively impacted by stress. 82% of survey respondents reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and 74% reported feelings of depression.
Employee wellbeing impacts every business metric that matters, from staff acquisition and retention through to productivity and performance, so every organisation needs to make it a key focus.
What exactly do we mean by employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing combines mental, physical and financial health, as well as feeling happy and satisfied at work. US analytics and advisory firm Gallup describe employee wellbeing as being made up of five pillars:
- Career — satisfaction with daily tasks and responsibilities
- Social — healthy relationships with friends and loved ones
- Financial — the ability to manage finances effectively
- Physical — feeling healthy and having enough energy to carry out daily tasks
- Community — being able to connect with others
Showing employees you care matters
Showing employees you care should be a top priority for your organisation, but why is employee wellbeing important?
Simply put, your organisation is its people. They’re the resource responsible for your successes, or your failures.
Imagine a factory full of machinery that creates products. If that machinery isn’t maintained, upgraded and looked after, it’s going to become less efficient, make errors in the manufacturing process and, ultimately, break down and need to be replaced.
The same goes for your people.
They need to be supported in their day-to-day role, developed and trained in order for them to grow, and have their concerns listened to and acted upon. Otherwise their productivity will suffer, they’ll be less engaged in their work and eventually leave for a company that does care about their wellbeing.
Specific business benefits of staff wellbeing
Improving employee wellbeing isn’t only good for your workers There are a number of significant business benefits for organisations that prioritise the health and happiness of their staff.
1. Supportive cultures attract and retain talent better
Employees are more conscious of the importance of wellbeing than ever. As such, being able to offer programmes that support it will help to attract and retain the best talent.
Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), employee benefits and rewards platforms all go towards showing that your organisation cares about its workforce, but you also need to foster a supportive culture.
This culture needs to be reflected at every level of the company, from senior management through to junior colleagues. Build it into your onboarding processes so every new hire understands how seriously the business takes supporting each other.
2. Happy workers are more profitable
When we’re happy at work we perform better.
A study conducted by a telecommunications firm run by Oxford University's Saïd Business School found workers were 13% more productive when happy.
Prioritising employee wellbeing helps to reduce staff absence too.
Approximately 32.5 million working days are lost annually due to work-related illnesses, including stress, depression, anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders. Employees suffering from mental health issues took, on average, 21.6 days of sick leave.
Reducing absenteeism isn’t the only benefit of prioritising wellbeing though. It also reduces presenteeism - people working when they’re not really fit to do so, thereby harming productivity.
A US study found that the cost of presenteeism was at least 2-to-3 times greater than direct health care expenses. The Centre for Mental Health calculated that presenteeism from mental ill health alone costs the UK economy £15.1 billion per year.
3. They’re more creative and innovative too
The most successful companies are constantly innovating and finding smarter ways of working, but for that to be possible you need a workforce that’s creative, and wellbeing is key to this.
“People who are happier at work are more productive, more engaged, more creative, and have better concentration,” says Nick Marks from the Happy Planet Index, a global index of wellbeing.
Encouraging creative thinking is also important, but the organisation has to be willing to listen to ideas from all areas of the business. When we feel respected and appreciated we’re more likely to voice our opinions and bounce ideas off of colleagues, building a culture of creativity and innovation.
How can you better support employee wellbeing in your business?
Supporting employee wellbeing is essential for organisations that want a workforce that is productive, creative and loyal. This is particularly true post-Covid, with more and more people prioritising their physical and mental health, as well as their work-life balance.
A holistic approach to employee wellbeing, encompassing mental and physical health, financial health, career development and recognition, will deliver huge benefits in terms of staff productivity, performance and turnover.
We offer a number of programmes that have been designed to support every element of employee wellbeing:
- An Employee Assistance Programme that provides access to accredited counsellors, ensuring your staff can get support with their mental and emotional wellbeing.
- A wide range of financial incentives, rewards and benefits, including eVouchers for their weekly shop, discounts on tech products and salary sacrifice schemes.
- An Employee Benefits platform that helps you to reward success and build employee engagement.
To find out more about how Sodexo Engage’s wellbeing programmes can help to cultivate a supportive culture that leads to happier employees, get in touch with our team.