There’s a lot of discussion about employee wellbeing, but is it something which is a nice-to-have initiative confined to big companies who have the luxury of a big HR team and decent funding? Or is it worth exploring in a small business too?
The reality is that a focus on employee wellbeing isn’t just something big companies do to be nice to their staff, or to improve their public image. In fact it has real tangible benefits, which means it’s worth consideration even by the smallest employer.
Performance at work
High rates of employee wellbeing correlate strongly with improved performance at work in many ways. Improving job satisfaction is a central part of any focus on employee wellbeing and there is plenty of evidence that high job satisfaction increases performance in terms of quality of work, productivity rates and financial performance.
Feeling that their employer considers their wellbeing to be a priority increases the ‘goodwill’ factor and causes employees to be more co-operative, more collaborative and more willing to go the extra mile.
Improving general health rates through a focus on wellbeing can improve energy rates at work, and therefore productivity, and can also enhance employees’ cognitive abilities, improving rates of creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Employees with a high level of wellbeing and good general health will have lower sickness absence rates. This is partly because they are less likely to go down ill, but also because their recovery time will be quicker. Where there is a focus on employee wellbeing at work, work-related stress is likely to be less common, and employees who do go off sick are less likely to suffer from the ‘dreading going back’ effect.
Recruitment and retention
Employees are more likely to feel engaged with their employer and to enjoy coming to work where their employer is focused on wellbeing. This obviously improves retention rates, leading to a drop in the amount of time and money spent on recruitment, including lost productivity for new employees and lost management time for supporting fresh recruits.
A reputation for prioritising employee wellbeing can also make an employer more attractive to candidates for jobs, enhancing and increasing the pool of applicants when you do need additional staff.
Disputes and concerns
Staff with good wellbeing levels working for an employer they feel is concerned about their health are clearly less likely to be raising grievances or complaints, which are a significant drain on management time, productivity and cause huge disruption and negativity in a small workplace.
Employees’ relationships with colleagues are enhanced, reducing disputes or negativity between them, which can again reduce productivity and cause a negative atmosphere at work.
It can easily be seen that all the above effects of a focus on employee wellbeing can have a direct impact on a business’s bottom line. If financial performance and productivity are up, and the time and money spent on sickness absence, recruitment and managing disputes is reduced, this will have a positive bottom-line impact on your business.
If you’d like further guidance on taking care of your employees wellbeing do get in touch.