It seems that no industry conference or corporate away day is complete without a rousing segment on wellbeing, specifically employee wellbeing. But how often have you found that once you’re back in the real world, you’re ill-equipped to articulate the business case for wellbeing? Or, if you’re indeed ready to invest in workplace wellbeing, you don’t know where to start?
The data on wellbeing is disconcerting. The latest CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) absence management survey finds that stress-related absences are going up every year. Along with an average employee absence rate of 6.6 days per year, the health and wellbeing challenges for HR are evident. Low levels of wellbeing impact the bottom line in several ways. Costs incurred through absence, mistakes and temporary cover, as well as profits lost as a result of reduced productivity and missed business opportunities, all have an adverse effect on an organisation’s prospects for long-term success.
So it makes sense to invest in helping employees perform at their best, by enhancing their sense of wellbeing at work.
Companies with high levels of employee wellbeing outperformed the stock market by around 2-3% per year over a 25 year period
London Business School on Great Place to Work® data
The good news is that with a few simple steps a committed leadership team can start to turn the tide today. And no, I’m not talking about a free basket of fruit and a ping-pong table!
In a recent webinar, I outlined some practical tips organisations can implement in order to boost employees’ being.
Prioritise and commit to regular team meetings and one-on-ones. So often these are the first meetings we reschedule or cancel when ‘urgent’ matters arise. Think about the message that sends. Start team meetings with a check-in and encourage people to open up and share more personal stories and experiences.
Live, Not Just Talk, Wellbeing
If you’re trying to get people to leave their desks to have lunch or switch off their mobile devices, you need to be seen doing these things yourself. Employees might not feel comfortable taking a lunch break knowing that their manager is still hard at work inside the office. And surely you need a break too!
Encourage a Positive Work Culture
Try to think about alternatives to drinking get-togethers, for example. Drinking isn’t everyone’s idea of fun and can undermine the wider wellbeing message you may be trying to promote. Be inclusive in your wellbeing initiatives and the language you use. Keep in mind that words like ‘exercise’ or ‘healthy eating’ may alienate some people.
The Simple Things
It sounds obvious, but do you have any plants in the office that have seen better days? Or, how about bags of rotten salad and half-eaten lunches loitering in the fridge? Now’s the time to clear out all that funk. A clean and tidy environment can impact how you and your team feel at work.
These can be your organisation’s first steps towards a fully aligned workplace wellbeing programme that’s a win-win for everyone. The fast-changing world of work and the constant demands it places on employers and employees mean that a commitment to wellbeing is increasingly giving businesses a key competitive edge.
Workplace Wellbeing interventions generate a return to business of between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 invested
“Thriving at Work” (analysis by Deloitte)
If you’d like to know more about making wellbeing at work a part of your organisation’s culture, get in touch – and good luck!