What is Employee Wellness and Why Is It Important? | The Sterling Choice
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Why employee wellness will make or break your business.

There are no two ways about it; employee wellness is essential. Rather than being an HR buzzword or tick box exercise, employee wellness is a critical part of your business’s success. Failure to recognise this will be damaging to productivity, brand, and bottom line.  

The truth is that now more than ever, employers need to move staff wellbeing to the top of their people agenda, and this post will explain why.  

  

What is employee wellness?  

 Many people make the mistake of thinking that employee wellness starts and ends with fresh fruit deliveries, subsidised gym memberships and having the odd bout of mental health training.   

In reality, employee wellness should be ingrained in company culture, creating an environment in which employees know that their wellness is high on their employer’s agenda. This means they feel confident enough to approach their seniors if they think that their mental or physical health and wellness are being infringed on, and they need support.   

Employee wellness can be summarised as an employer’s ongoing contribution to improving their employee’s overall health, mental wellbeing, quality of life and job performance. This means ongoing coaching, training, behavioural change interventions, access to life or career coaching, mental health support or therapy and if needed, support that extends outside the workplace. Of course, a modern, comfortable and functional workplace with access to snacks and refreshments further enhances an employee’s experience – but in 2021 shouldn’t this be the norm rather than an ode to employee wellness?  

Yes, you may give employees access to fresh fruit, a range of herbal teas and even a subsidised gym membership, but you also need to provide them with empathy, understanding and access to support they need – when they need it. If your company culture encourages presenteeism and other behaviours that put your employee’s wellness at risk, it’s abundantly clear that employee wellness isn’t important to you.  

  

Why is employee wellness essential?  

We guess this comes down to – do you have a deep-seated respect for your employees, and people in general? Do you want to be recognised as an ’employer to work for’, attracting and retaining top talent? Do you want to have a productive, engaged workforce with a high quality of life and are loyal brand advocates, contributing to your business’s success?  

Simply answering ‘yes’ to these questions should ignite the passion and drive to make employee wellness an area to bring to life in your business. Below we break down some of the regions that employee wellness positively impacts.   

  

Staff retention  

This is a simple notion. Look after your staff, and they will stay with you, treat your team poorly, or only offer the bare minimum and they will go. They might even go without holding back to share their bad experiences with others – see ’employer branding’ section for more!   

Do you want to retain, highly motivated, high performing employees – yes or no?  

All business owners and senior leaders know that recruiting is far more expensive than retaining staff, so surely any activity that helps you keep your top talent is an investment that makes good business sense. Of course, you want to make sure it’s the outstanding employees that can drive your business forward that stay – and we can help you find them.  

Any activity that helps your employees grow and improve from both a personal and professional standpoint makes good moral sense; we all want to be happy.   

If you want to honestly know why people are leaving and what you can do to prevent this – ask your staff. Conduct exit interviews and surveys without being defensive. Take the approach that all feedback will improve your business, and you need to take it all in and reflect on it.   

This is not a witch hunt – louder for the people at the back. Stand by your employees, and in return, they will stand by you.   

  

Productivity   

Let’s be honest, as a business owner, you want to see a return on the investment from your staff, and this has become crucial during these tough economic times. But you aren’t going to get this from stress, nervous, over-worked employees.  

According to research by Vitality, UK businesses lose on average 38 productive days per employee each year, an increase of 65% from 2014. Productivity loss is higher among employees on a lower income and younger workers.   

The elements that contribute to high productivity come from both inside the workplace and outside. From inside the workplace, employees need to know they are contributing to their department’s success and the business and that contribution should be recognising, instilling worth and confidence to the employee. Ongoing practical and valuable training keeps them engaged, and develops a hunger to progress and improve further, encourages the workforce to think innovatively.  

Fostering a culture that works against the ‘stress = success’ mentality will increase productivity. More than 80% of employees suffer from work-related stress, and 35% of those reports feeling physically unwell as a result.   

Financial worries also heavily play into ill mental health, resulting in the loss of productive time doubling in these instances. The resolution – pay your staff what they are worth, make them feel valued, and they will be extremely productive.   

Do you need to know how your salaries stand up to the industry average or your competitors? We can help you with salary benchmarking.   

  

 Employer brand   

Regarding the global pandemic – employees will remember how their employer has acted during these times, so it is crucial employers have wellbeing at the top of their people agenda. It’s important to remember that your employer brand impacts your overall brand; people will not want to do business with you if there are stories of your employees being treated poorly.   

However, a great employer brand means that engaged and motivated employees will increase your reach and brand awareness and generate more business through speaking passionately about your service offering, igniting this in others.  

A workplace that places importance on employee wellness is likely to be a values-driven workplace. This makes you an extremely attractive company to work for in the millennial workforce’s eyes, in particular, giving you the competitive edge by having a pool of high-quality talent to dive into.  

Do you need to begin building a team of highly engaged, experienced candidates to align with your culture and be an advocate for your employer brand? We can help.   

  

Bottom line  

We will sum this up as ‘introducing employee wellness authentically into your business is going to improve your bottom line’.  

Engaged, happy and empowered employees – no brand advocates – with high rates of productivity and accountability, taking fewer sick days and staying with you longer, driving down recruitment costs is going to be incredibly good for your business.  

  

How can our team help you?  

Put simply – we know what talented, driven, and high-performing candidates want from their employer. This also means that we know the people that can make a difference to your business.   

We like to think we know a thing or two about creating an incredible culture that improves the quality of our employees lives – some of our young team have been with us for more than six years. We pride ourselves on our focus on training, empowering and rewarding each team member – their success is our success.   

If you want to know how to make employee wellness a priority in your business and find the candidates that you want to retain – speak to a member of the team today, we’d be happy to help.   

 

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