Employee Wellbeing is worth investing in!

Employee wellbeing is not just a nice company value but it can become an important factor in productivity. As Susan Silcox outlines in her report published by XpertHR, poor wellbeing has many detrimental consequences to the business. Employees with high blood pressure, bad eating habits or otherwise unhealthy lifestyle, run the risk of developing ill health conditions which will lead to absence days and disruption to the business. And even in very simple terms employees who smoke, as an example, cost their employer 64 minutes per day in lost productivity.

On the other hand, where employee wellbeing is high, staff are more productive, more engaged and less likely to be looking for other work. Staff turnover can be greatly affected by wellbeing. Fit and healthy employees are less likely to take time off sick, to raise a claim or grievance or to develop exhaustion or fatigue.

In real terms, to borrow Silcox’s examples, here is what kind of return you could get from investing in wellbeing:

    • A manufacturing company cut the cost of short-term sickness absence from approximately £130,000 per year to almost nothing by investing in health promotion.
    • A professional services company reduced employee turnover by 10% and saved £464,000 per year as a result of introducing a wellbeing programme.
    • A pharmaceutical firm saved £200,000 per year in health-insurance premiums as a result of introducing wellbeing initiatives.

It should be self-evident that healthy, happy employees are something worth investing in!

So what can you do to improve wellbeing in your company?

Encourage employees to get more active by supporting or sponsoring fitness activities that suit your workforce. Promote healthy eating in the canteen or the office. Support those who are trying to quit smoking and help motivate others to quit, too. Make sure all employees know the early symptoms of stress and how to manage these to avoid developing mental health illness – not to mention providing line managers with the training to identify and tackle these issues early on. Where possible, encourage flexible working hours and discourage long hours.

And most of all, make sure to involve all levels of the organisation in the wellbeing intitiatives so that they develop into an ongoing, embedded positive influence rather than just a short-lived campaign. One of the best ways of doing this is making sure that you use your absence management reports to identify the key causes of absence. This will allow you to tailor your wellbeing initiatives to the areas where your employees are most likely to need them, which in turn will mean a higher uptake and less risk of people dropping off the programme. After implementing the wellbeing programme you will then also be able to measure its direct impact on staff attendance and absence through your absence management reports.

For more information on implementing a wellbeing initiative into your workplace and how to use it in conjunction with your absence management system, get in touch!