Why Health & Wellbeing Is Important In The Workplace
The present-day working environment has changed. Gone are the days where the employee-employer relationship starts and ends with a paycheck, nowadays many companies are turning to Emotional Intelligence and Wellbeing speakers to bring out the best in their employees. No matter the size of the business, more emphasis is being placed on the emotional and physical wellbeing of employees, with the ideology that happy workers equal higher profits. The title “wellbeing” is general in nature, covering the way people live their lives from work to relationships. Though many factors may affect an individual’s wellbeing, the research explored in this post suggests that managers can directly influence their employee's wellbeing. We spend a large portion of our lives at work, so it’s no surprise that job satisfaction can dictate our mental and physical health.
Created by Abraham Maslow in 1943, the Hierarchy of Needs triangle supports the idea that if our basic needs are met, then we can fulfil the more rewarding tip of the triangle. With the foundation of a healthy body and mind, employees will be able to achieve positive self-actualisation and self-esteem, essential factors for heightened wellbeing. Employers who support each stage of the triangle will see a happier working environment, therefore a higher ROI.
What Increases Employee Wellbeing?
An employee should value their job role, but it is difficult for them to do so when they don’t have any control over it. At the root of employee wellbeing, is the degree of autonomy they have over their job, with the happiest employees being able to manage at least some responsibilities. On a similar note, employees need to believe that they are significant within the workplace, that they are valued for their skill and ability. This can include regular feedback, both positive and constructive, with a focus on their future position within the business. Supportive supervision has the power to make employees feel needed, which is imperative to their self-confidence.
A workplace that is connected and communicative promotes happier employees, who have the emotional support to grow and improve. Each member of staff needs to be given the opportunity to use their skills, the abilities that define them as people, in order to develop their craft further. Mental support aside, employees also need to feel physically safe. If the workplace isn’t well maintained, safe and clean then staff morale will inevitably decrease. At its core, employee wellbeing is centred around job security and clear prospects, so that they feel confident in their future with the business. Staff who don’t feel both physically and emotionally safe, for example, if they are victims of bullying or they don’t feel supported by management, will be less motivated to drive profits.
What Are The Benefits Of Healthy Employees?
If your staff are happy and healthy, then they will be more motivated to increase company turnover. A business’s profits should be a collaborative effort, with wellbeing having a direct link to how invested the workforce is in the company’s future. A company’s success is a victory for the staff, as they are the cogs that keep the business turning. Countless studies have highlighted the connection between mentally and physically healthy employees, and the positive effect it has on the company’s ROI.
Increase Employee Productivity
Defined as presenteeism, low staff productivity can drastically affect a business's turnover. When an employee is physically at their desk but isn’t doing any work, it isn’t just a waste of money for the company but is also a waste of time for the worker. Employees are often blamed for low productivity, labelled as lazy, however, the reason behind presenteeism is a far cry from what is stereotypically believed. Employee wellbeing can directly improve the mental and physical health of the workforce, with general health being linked to levels of productivity. It is estimated that the cost of poor productivity connected to low staff health is 2 to 3 times higher than healthcare expenses, backing the claim that employee wellbeing should be the focus of every company. A healthier and happier workforce is a more productive workforce.
Decrease Employee Absence
Similarly to presenteeism, employee absences, or Absenteeism, has a detrimental effect on a business’s future. Workplaces that value wellbeing will experience reduced absences thanks to better health behaviours and stress management, including lower levels of anxiety and obesity. A study conducted by Harvard researchers found that for every pound a business spends on wellbeing programmes, including Emotional Intelligence and Wellbeing speakers, they will save over £2.00 per employee on reduced absenteeism. Additionally, wellbeing has a direct effect on worker’s morale, with staff who are motivated to complete tasks contributing more to the company. If an employee's health improves, so will the amount of time they spend at work.
Improve Staff Retention
It can cost a company nearly twice as much to hire someone than it does to pay them for their first year of work. Based on an annual income of £15,000 a year, a business may spend £28,000 on that employee, taking into account training and benefits. As such, it is within the company’s best interest to reduce the turnover of staff. As aforementioned, workers need to feel secure in their role and valued within the company; their wellbeing benefits both employer and employee. When a business arranges a wellbeing programme featuring an experienced speaker, they are openly investing in their staff’s future with the company. The employee is assured that the business cares about their health and values them as people. Employees with heightened personal and professional wellbeing are less likely to move to another company, so will save the business money.
Positive Health Benefits
Positive wellbeing can have physical benefits as well as mental, with employees more likely to adopt and maintain healthier habits thanks to wellbeing workshops. By making simple changes, we can all lower our health risks, which in turn lowers our chance of chronic disease and therefore absence from work. Wellbeing speakers aren’t just experts in mental strength, but the physical requirements that need prioritising, like exercise and a healthy diet. Employees who complete wellbeing workshops are more like to eat smaller portions, exercise, wear seatbelts, drink less and control their stress. These factors will drastically improve their work efficiency and productivity, increasing company profits.