With the growing awareness of the positive impact of wellbeing initiatives and the impact of poor physical and mental health on employees, organizations are facing an even greater responsibility to provide for their employees' wellbeing.
Below is a snapshot of just a few industry insights into why it is no longer a sensible business decision to ignore employee wellbeing:
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men in England are classed as physically inactive – doing less than 30 minutes of moderate activity per week (Source: Public Health England)
- 1 in 4 employees experiences a mental health problem each year. Mental illness is now the largest cause of absence at work (Source: Mental Health Foundation)
- 40% of workers say money worries have made them feel stressed over the last year (Source: CIPD)
- Presenteeism costs the UK an estimated £15 billion per year in reduced productivity (Source: Business in the Community)
- Sickness absenteeism costs UK businesses £14 billion a year.
How employers are approaching the wellbeing problem
Workplace wellbeing has changed moving from a curative solution – reacting to employee ailments – to preventative solutions, ensuring that employees don't get to the stage of being signed off work or needing professional help in the first place.
It's now much less about crisis management and fixing problems, and more about helping people to live and feel better by facilitating sustainable lifestyle changes that really make a difference.
Of course, a person's wellbeing is unique to them. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for wellbeing. It’s crucial that employers, therefore, offer a wellbeing solution that has the breadth that allows employees to choose their own personal journey.
A holistic wellbeing solution should cover three key pillars of wellbeing:
- Physical – Input (nutrition) & Output (exercise/activity).
And to achieve success it has to be:
- Proactive – help employees to get/stay healthy and happy.
- Personal – it has to be unique to everyone.
- Inclusive – everyone has to be able to get involved regardless of location, role, motivation or ability.
The desired result
Looking after employees' physical, mental and financial wellbeing can have a hugely positive effect on a business. Organisations which help their people to make small, gradual changes to improve their wellbeing will put them in the perfect position to perform their best at work.
Investing in employees' wellbeing will have a positive impact on their approach to both their personal and working life. Here are just some of the attributes of those who feel physically and mentally fit:
- Healthier and less prone to illness.
- Positive can-do attitude.
- More likely to innovate and be more creative.
- Be truly present and engaged.
- Have more energy and be more productive.
Promoting wellbeing within an organisation will not only see an improvement in the quality of life for employees. It will also assist in building a positive working atmosphere which will benefit the entire workforce and the culture and performance of the organisation.
Benefits of introducing a wellbeing program to an organisation include:
- Improved employee engagement.
- Reduced absenteeism.
- Increased productivity.
- Stronger resistance to stress.
- Improved team-working.
- Talent acquisition and retention.