Why business leaders must invest in workplace wellbeing
With 79% of people in the UK saying they have experienced workplace stress of some kind; employee wellbeing has never been more important.
As well as benefitting the mental and physical health of employees, investing in the wellbeing of your employees can result in a more engaged and motivated workforce.
The importance of wellbeing should not be underestimated for all workplaces, especially when employees are in customer-facing roles. According to Julie McIntosh at Call Centre Outsourcing experts, workplace wellbeing should not be underestimated and is a valuable investment for a business. This investment benefits not only the employee but ultimately the customer and in turn the business.
A healthy working environment encourages and supports both mental and physical wellbeing, which in turn builds resilience. When people feel supported and encouraged their engagement improves, they perform better and the business grows.
What is workplace wellbeing?
Wellbeing in the workplace can relate to a few areas of the daily work life of an employee, and can cover how secure they feel their job is, their job satisfaction and how valued they feel within the organisation.
There are several benefits that investing in wellbeing will have, both to the individual and the workplace.
Workplace wellbeing increases productivity and performance
An employer has a duty of care for the physical and mental health of their employees. By implementing a wellbeing strategy, a business can see increased performance across its workforce.
Workplaces can be a stressful environment – in fact, 35% of employees in 2022 said that stress at work was having a negative impact on them. Stressed employees are not performing to the best of their ability, and if the wellbeing of employees is not looked after, then their output may suffer.
Increased productivity is joined by the potential boost in performance of employees who are feeling looked after and valued. Staff are more likely to want to perform for a company that has their interests at heart, and this can translate into further company benefits.
Higher engagement across the business, including buying into aspects of company culture will be seen if employees are happy within a workplace. Focusing on not overworking staff, as well as giving them the environment to shine will also see benefits passed on to customers.
In places such as a call or contact centre, customer service experiences are paramount, and these will only improve should a customer be dealing with an agent that is well looked after and happy in their place of work.
Stressed, unhappy employees can translate into staff that provide a poorer service externally, damaging company reputation, and ultimately, performance.
Workplace wellbeing leads to a more motivated workforce
Showing investment in your employees’ wellbeing at work as well as overall productivity will also help increase employee motivation and engagement.
Statistics from mental health charity Mind show that 60% of employees would feel more motivated at work but would also be more likely to recommend their workplace to others, if they felt that the employer was talking action to look after wellbeing of staff.
This indicates that employee retention would be higher when staff feel well looked after; another benefit for employers.
Higher employee retention increases the amount of talented people a company can retain. This has benefits, none more so than keeping hold of staff who are part of your team, who are performing well, without the risk of losing these to competitors – a business can gain a competitive advantage by introducing a well-thought-out wellbeing strategy.
How can employers focus on wellbeing?
Having seen the benefits of investing in a wellbeing plan in the workplace, how can an employer look to do this?
Mental health planning
Employers should look at offering mental health support. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all mental health triggers, and the workplace is no different. It is essential that employees know there is support available for these issues from management and fellow staff, and this can form part of the wellbeing strategy.
Those offering the support, be it management or designated members of staff, must be trained accordingly, with the appropriate time given to the strategy. Spotting mental health issues in staff at the earliest opportunity is crucial to dealing with any issues, and support must be provided quickly and efficiently.
Communication is key
Communication throughout a business is vital, and not just from top to bottom. A flow of communication can benefit the organisation, and it is important to ensure no one feels left out in terms of company updates or day to day goings on.
This is of particular importance with remote staff who aren’t around the office environment. Ensure regular company updates, using Zoom and Teams calls to bring all staff together, and help keep the company culture alive. Regular catch-ups can keep staff engaged, and also help performance as an issues or problems with workflow can be addressed.
Keep staff active and encourage breaks
It can be tricky, particularly in office-based environments where staff are frequently sat down at computers, or in meeting rooms, but encouraging breaks from work could form part of an effective wellbeing plan.
Screen breaks not only help with the health of your eyes, but they also allow a break from the strains of the workplace. In addition, fresh air and regular exercise should also be encouraged, as these can go hand in hand with healthy and happy employees.
Consider lunch run clubs, enrol your business in a cycle to work scheme, and investigate the potential of a subsidised gym membership for staff.
These will help keep your employees fit and healthy as well as offering mental boosts. In turn, your business can start to reap the rewards of motivated, happy, and engaged staff.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez