Every employer has a moral duty of ensuring their staff work within secure conditions. That doesn’t just mean complying with relevant health and safety laws. It also extends to covering your employees’ wellbeing.
Good wellbeing is found to have direct links to higher work productivity, job satisfaction, and personal welfare. But it’s not just a great benefit for the workforce. Maintaining a good level of wellbeing at work is proven to increase your overall business success.
Let’s take a look at what employee wellbeing exactly means, why it’s important, and how to encourage it within professional and personal capacities.
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is considered to be one of the most crucial aspects of workplace health and safety. It’s all about being on top of your staff’s welfare during work – as much as reasonably possible.
There are several factors to take into account when dealing with wellbeing for employees. It may include physical being, mental health, financial status, or even their social state.
Whilst some of these may not be work-related, employees could continue to suffer from their issues during work hours. For example, they could be facing problems paying their rent, getting medication, or even going through bereavement.
For employers, you aren’t expected to heal or resolve their issue. This isn’t considered to be part of your legal duty for your staff. However, you do have a moral duty to provide support and aid were reasonably possible.
A quick conversation or referral could help fix the problem for good. In the end, you end up with happier, healthier, motivated, and loyal employees.
Why is employee health and wellbeing important?
Understandably, some employers will believe wellbeing isn’t part of their responsibility. However, an unhappy workforce may lead to business problems that you’re unaware of or hadn’t foreseen.
Employees are more likely to take more sick leave or unauthorised absences. This decreases the total amount of production hours; and places an additional burden on other workers covering work duties.
When an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing, they’re also likely to feel unsupported and unmotivated at work. Employers may be forced to dish out disciplinary actions, like hearings, demotions, or even dismissals.
In the end, it’s always better to aim to promote a healthier and happier workplace. This can include making sure employees are fit enough to work, all the way to supporting those with medical issues.
As mentioned, it’s not about relieving them of their issue completely. It’s about helping them get through it whilst balancing their professional and personal lives. And it all comes from promoting positive wellbeing in the workplace.
How to improve employee wellbeing in your workplace
When it comes to business success, your staff play an important part. That’s why many companies invest time, money, and effort into employee welfare. After all, a happy workforce leads to a healthy bottom-line.
Don’t be distracted into thinking wellbeing is another marketing or HR gimmick. A workplace culture that promotes positive wellbeing will ultimately lead to higher productivity, loyalty, and overall business success.
Let’s take a look at ways to boost employee wellbeing in your workplace:
Create a wellbeing policy
The first step employers should take is create a wellbeing policy and make it available to staff members. The policy should outline what wellbeing means, why it’s important, and how to ensure it stays protected during work hours.
Along with the policy, it’s also a great idea to present a workplace culture that vocalises positive wellbeing. That doesn’t mean holding meetings on eating healthy or cutting down on smoking. It also includes things like tending to personal mental health or treating others respectfully.
Employers should also highlight the importance of good wellbeing at pre-recruitment. This includes referring to it in job specs, interviews, and even during onboarding stages. That way, employees are made fully aware – respecting their own wellbeing state, as well as that of others.
Highlight the importance of mental health
From work-related stress to suicidal tendencies, mental health covers all kinds of diagnoses. Many people suffer alone – without medical or personal support. Positive wellbeing helps employees prioritise their own mental health; over other people, places, and even duties.
Employers aren’t expected to heal people with mental health problems. However, you must ensure your workplace doesn’t exacerbate a person’s health condition further (through triggers, negligence, or even discrimination).
Many businesses offer things like mental health prevention support, personal counselling, medical referrals, and even resilience training. It’s also important to eradicate any taboo or stigma surrounding mental health. Normalise and help those suffering in silence.
Promote a healthy work-life balance
It’s so important not to dismiss the importance of a healthy work-life balance. When it’s done right, it flourishes positive employee wellbeing all around.
Employers have a legal and moral duty to create an environment that encourages a healthy balance. This may include ensuring employees take efficient time off, working in safe conditions, and avoiding presenteeism (overworking whilst being ill).
Remember, employers should lead by example and not let others pick up bad work habits. Meaning, you should avoid working extra long hours, neglecting breaks, or working to the point of ill-health (including both physical and mental).
Encourage open communication and support
The only way to know if an employee is suffering from poor wellbeing is through talking about it. Employers should encourage open communication and support for those who need it.
Often, employees may be unable to work well due to personal wellbeing issues. For example, having trouble paying bills or dealing with an ongoing medical condition. Whatever the case, be sure to provide professional, confidential help as soon as possible.
With the recent rise in hybrid working, it’s also important not to neglect open communication with those working remotely or in isolation. Ensure they’re being supported just like any ‘office-based’ colleague – regardless of their working hours, location, or position.
Benefits of Employee Wellbeing
There are a multitude of benefits for implementing employee wellbeing policies in the workplace. These include:
- Improved employee engagement
- Reduced absenteeism
- Increased productivity
- Reduced turnover
- Improved mental and physical health
- Enhanced creativity and innovation
- Stronger company culture
- Increased profitability
What is an example of an employee wellbeing strategy?
There are countless strategies businesses can use when it comes to improving employee wellbeing. Some are free of charge; whilst others can be sought at reasonable prices.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
- Health: Like, gym memberships, sports classes, and fitness sessions.
- Medical: Like, GP appointments, therapy sessions, or health professional referrals.
- Career development: Like, shadowing, mentoring, or training sessions.
- Social: Like after-work gatherings, team-building days, and lifestyle events.
- Financial: Like, rent support, loan advice, and money vouchers.
Improve your employee wellbeing with Love2shop
Every business should nurture the benefits of employee wellbeing. Not only does it make employees feel valued and respected, it also directly leads to higher work efficiency and loyalty.
Why not help encourage it further by offering gift cards and vouchers? At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help improve your employee wellbeing rates.
However, you plan to encourage employee wellbeing, Love2shop has the perfect gift card for you.