How Great Employee Wellbeing Can Save Your Business Money
20th April 2021
What is employee wellbeing?
Wellbeing is defined as a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy; and although these are important aspects, wellbeing encompasses a much larger and richer picture of how people are doing overall, both physically and mentally, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.
Wellbeing is dependent upon the having the following:
- Good physical health
- Strong social relationships
- Access to basic resources
- Positive mental health
- A sense of purpose and achievement
In relation to employee wellbeing this can look like:
- A safe, healthy and supportive work environment
- Good workplace relationships
- Feeling valued and recognised by the organisation
- A strong sense of workplace fairness
- Easy access to wellbeing guidance and support
- A good work-life balance
It’s important to understand that workplace wellbeing and personal wellbeing are intricately and inseparably linked – if one is being neglected the other will suffer and vice versa.
Personal wellbeing cannot be parked at the door when people come to the office; similarly, people take poor workplace wellbeing home with them, which means they cannot adequately recharge and recover for the next work day.
Therefore, it’s important that employers take a holistic approach to their wellbeing strategy and incorporate a flexible way of thinking when looking at how best to support their people.
What are the benefits of supporting employee wellbeing?
Not only is it morally the right thing to do, but supporting employee wellbeing is the smart thing to do for your business.
It may sound twee, but entrepreneur Richard Brandson said it best when he said, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business”.
Workers really are your best asset, prioritising their wellbeing will give you an invaluable advantage over your competitors.
When you proactively support and invest in your workforce’s wellbeing, you are also supercharging your business performance and fortifying your business resilience.
Employees with high wellbeing tend to be:
- More engaged and productive
- Less likely to be absent due to sickness
- Make fewer work errors
- Have higher job satisfaction
- Feel greater loyalty to the organisation
Analysis by Deloitte on the ROI of employee wellbeing interventions found that, on average, employers received a return of £5 for every £1 spent on supporting employee mental health.
Similarly, research by PwC, commissioned by the Health Work Wellbeing Executive, suggests there is a strong link between the introduction of wellness programmes in the workplace and improved business key performance indicators.
Evidence from 55 case studies revealed that most of the financial benefits were found to be in the form of cost savings or additional revenue generation, as a consequence of the improvement in a wide range of intermediate business measures.
Poor employee wellbeing is unhealthy for your business
Employee wellbeing should not be viewed as a “nice to have” but instead be treated as a key pillar in building a high-performing workforce and be one of your business’s core values.
Poor employee wellbeing is not only toxic for your company culture and a drain on morale, but it can also take a chunk out of your bottom-line.
Your people cannot perform at top capacity if they are mentally or physically unwell. According to a report, poor mental health costs UK employers, up to £45 billion a year, comprising:
- £7bn in absence costs
- £27bn – £29bn in presenteeism costs
- £9bn in costs of staff turnover
It’s estimated that about 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year.
The driving factors behind the increasing costs of poor mental health are linked to a notable rise in negative workplace habits, such as presenteeism and leaveism, where individuals choose to work despite poor physical or mental health.
So, although the costs of absenteeism may appear to be decreasing, in fact your people are more unproductive and are likely to be damaging their health and wellbeing, which will ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Preventative measures yield a higher ROI
Analysis on the stage of wellbeing intervention suggests that the sooner you act the better it is for your return on investment (ROI).
A report by Deloitte found that preventative interventions to improve employee resilience can achieve a much higher impact than reactive individual-focused activities.
For example, on average, organisation‑wide culture change and awareness raising can provide a ROI of £6 for every £1 invested, while reactive support, such as offering employees therapy or treatment once their mental health had worsened, provided on average a return of only £3 for every £1 invested.
This suggests that the most effective interventions are those that are embedded in the organisation over the long term and offer a broad spectrum of interventions.
How to measure employee wellbeing
Measuring is an essential part of understanding and improving employee wellbeing as it will help you to do the following:
- Identify what the issues are
- Identify areas of existing good practice
- Identify possible hot spots e.g. teams or departments affected
- Develop evidence-based wellbeing interventions
- Benchmark wellbeing and track progress
Due to its personal nature, wellbeing is typically measured by self-report: so it’s essential that you give your people a voice and platform to share how they’re feeling with you.
Wellbeing is a dynamic state of mind, so you need to regularly solicit employee feedback and give them ample opportunities to share their true wellbeing and sentiments with you.
Unless you ask and show a genuine concern for your employees’ wellbeing they are unlikely to volunteer that information to you:
- Give employees a voice
- Make space for wellbeing in the workplace
- Provide a platform for employees to share their sentiments honestly
- Check-in with employees
- Regularly solicit wellbeing feedback
3 Tips to improve employee wellbeing
Tip 1 – Don’t compartmentalise wellbeing
Often, wellbeing initiatives fall short of expectations, or fail completely, because of a misguided, yet commonly-held, belief that employee wellbeing is the sole responsibility of the HR department or that it’s simply a box that needs to be ticked.
As a result of this mindset, wellbeing projects and initiatives are often siloed away from the everyday business, are not allotted proper resources, or lack buy-in from senior management.
To avoid this, leaders need to prioritise employee wellbeing throughout the organisation and promote the belief that wellbeing is everyone’s collective responsibility.
From company culture to people management, employee wellbeing should be integrated into every aspect of the business.
- Focus on organisation wide activities to raise wellbeing awareness
- Actively promote a healthy work-life balance
- Enable employees to actively participate in sharing their sentiment
Your wellbeing strategy and means of engaging your employees about their wellbeing should slot easily into the daily routine of the organisation and become a part of its DNA, rather than be an ad hoc activity that can easily run out of steam.
Online platforms like Trickle, which are easily accessible anywhere, are a great tool for enabling and supporting cultural shifts.
Tip 2 – Actively listen to your employees
Giving your people a voice is a great first step, but you then need to follow through by listening and actively responding to their voices.
Unless you actively listen you will not be able to gain a deeper understanding of overall employee wellbeing needs and concerns, their readiness for change or their sentiment towards the organisation.
Active listening also allows you to be more alert to patterns, trends and fluctuations in your employees’ wellbeing, enabling you to be quicker and more relevant in your responses.
- Respond to all suggestions, ideas and concerns
- Be relevant and timely in how you respond to employees
- Action feedback where possible
- Thank employees for sharing their input
Trickle automatically prioritises and highlights the top five issues most important to your employees in real-time, which means you can focus your attention where it counts the most.
The timeliness, relevance and transparency of how you respond to your employees’ concerns and suggestions will help demonstrate to employees how actively you are listening to them and how much you value their opinion.
This demonstrative and authentic behaviour on your part can also help boost employee morale, their sense of recognition, and help them to see and feel that they are contributing to the direction of the organisation, all of which are factors when it comes to building both employee wellbeing and engagement.
Tip 3 – Ensure everyone has easy access to wellbeing support and guidance
If you already have existing wellbeing guidance and support, or an active wellbeing initiative that’s currently running, it’s important that all employees are aware of it and can easily access it in a way that is both comfortable and convenient for them.
Employees who are already very busy and time poor will not be inclined to spend their limited energy digging for hidden information, which means they won’t get the help they need.
You shouldn’t assume that employees are aware of what support is available to them, so it’s important that you regularly remind your people of what’s on offer and encourage them to make use of the organisation’s wellbeing resources.
Online platforms like Trickle, are a quick and easy way to raise awareness and clearly sign-post a route for employees to access all your resources from within one platform.
Unfortunately, when it comes to wellbeing there is still a negative stigma that surrounds the subject and the issues it’s related to such as mental health, sickness, workplace bullying or asking for support with work.
As a result, people will shy away from speaking up about or asking for help with a wellbeing problem for fear of looking vulnerable or being judged poorly by colleagues.
Only 49% of employees said they felt comfortable talking directly to their line manager about mental health and wellbeing issues, according to a recent Business in the Community 2019 Mental Health at Work report.
To make sure nobody is suffering in silence and to encourage them to speak up sooner, organisations should offer employees a secure way that they can discreetly seek support.
Trickle has been specifically designed to tackle this problem by offering users optional anonymity at every stage to boost their sense of psychological safety so that they are able to get the help or guidance they need.
If a problem is really urgent or of a sensitive nature, Trickle’s Flares feature allows users to discreetly ask for more personal one-to-one support with their wellbeing.
How Trickle can help!
Trickle provides organisations with honest, unbiased and timely feedback which helps leaders to initiate evidence-based interventions and focus attention where it is most needed.
Trickle gives your employees a voice and space to express their true sentiments with you, ask for support or seek wellbeing guidance.
The open, inclusive and transparent nature of Trickle enables collaboration at all levels to reach the right solutions for everyone.
‘How was your day?’ is our in-app wellbeing tool that gives organisations a simple way to check-in daily on employee wellbeing.
This tool provides employees with a way to monitor their personal wellbeing and understand what aspects of their day, either positively or negatively, contribute to their mood and wellbeing.
Employees are provided with a summary of what has impacted them throughout the week, which can help them better manage their own wellbeing.
Responses are always anonymous, which means employees can feel secure enough to share how they’re really feeling.
‘How was your day?’ automatically ranks the top five positive and top five negative aspects that are impacting employee wellbeing across the entire organisation in real-time, providing you with a dynamic picture of how your workforce is doing.
MoodSense is another feature that organisations can use to gauge, track and support employee wellbeing. Using MoodSense, leaders can regularly ask employees to rate their sentiment by casting a vote on any aspect relating to the organisation or their wellbeing.
So, for example, a MoodSense could ask employees “How well do you feel your wellbeing is being supported?” or “Could we be doing more to support your wellbeing?”.
A MoodSense is a quick and accurate way to surface issues and take a quick temperature check of the mood in camp.
Find out more about how Trickle can help your organisation improve employee wellbeing and make things better for everyone.
Get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo.
Alternatively you can trial Trickle absolutely free for 30-days.
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By giving your people a place to voice their suggestions & concerns when they need to, you’ll inspire a happier, more productive and loyal workforce.