A Healthy, Happy Worker is a Productive Worker
Whether a large or small employer, staff costs are one of your biggest financial outgoings, so why wouldn't you look after the wellbeing of one of your prized assets? As well as wanting your staff valued at work and producing, you want to avoid absences through sickness which leads to lost productivity and you want to avoid expensive recruitment and training costs each time you have to recruit a new employee!
A small investment now, to prevent absences, can pay dividend to both your business and you employees as people.
Wellbeing at Work : From Smiling to Thriving
We understand the concept of employee wellbeing, how important it is to businesses both large and small, and of course the importance to us as individuals and to our families. What is very often missing though is turning the concept into action. In essence, employee wellbeing is simply keeping staff healthy, motivated and present at work, so that they carry out the duties they are paid to do, are productive and contribute to the profit of the company.
The reality though is that many businesses pay little attention to the health of their employees until something goes wrong and by then of course, by definition, they are not healthy, not present, not working and therefore neither productive nor contributing to the profit of the company. Indeed, they go from being a contributor to your profit to being a drain on it.
If you are a small or medium sized business (SME) this can be hugely detrimental and lead to many consequential problems, such as low morale and high employee turnover. In larger companies the absence of an employee is often absorbed but this too can lead to low staff morale (other employees may be resentful of having to cover another member of staff’s work), increased employee numbers (staffing levels may take into account average absences) and a direct hit to your bottom line as staff costs are artificially inflated to anticipate absences.
Why not check your general health and wellbeing with a Health MOT? Improve your lifestyle, maintain fitness and feel healthier!
At Wellbeing People we can see that it need not be like this. We know that by embracing what we call Engaged Prevention, employers of all sizes can reduce sickness absence, maintain and encourage a healthy workforce and show a positive return on any money invested in wellbeing.
Engaged Prevention is all about helping individuals take some responsibility for their own health and encouraging each of us to understand better what we can do to promote healthy living which in turn leads to a better quality of life. We can't (and nor should we) make people do things but what we can do is 'signpost' best practice and create an environment where employees can better understand their health, in both the long and short term, and better understand that small actions now are an investment in their future wellbeing.
Let's take a simple example; from over 100,000 health assessments that we have done over the last 5 years we know that over 60% of those tested probably need to drink at least one extra cup of water a day. Not much you might think and maybe not seeming all that important but adequate hydration is a vital ingredient in our general wellbeing. Being de-hydrated affects our whole bodies and particularly impairs our concentration. It contributes to that lethargic, mid-afternoon 'energy dip' that we then feed with a chocolate bar or similar that helps give a boost in the very short term but doesn't really solve the problem. Incidentally, a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit is a much cheaper option and is far more likely to keep you alert, motivated and full for the afternoon!
An extra cup of water a day costs virtually nothing and is not difficult to achieve will have an immediate effect. To encourage this new drinking habit though, needs support; whether by way of Pee Charts which graphically illustrate when we are de-hydrated; by encouraging those attending meetings to bring a glass of water along with their notebooks or stressing the importance of water to our everyday life .
From a company perspective it's obvious that you want your employees to turn up to work every day and get on with their jobs. But even when they do, they bring with them a host of issues that can prey on their mind during the day, which in turn impacts on productivity, quality and morale. Many organisations are not equipped to deal with employees that are, for example, experiencing relationship issues, bereavement, mental health issues which affect 1 in 4 of us, addictions or financial worries.
All of these issues contribute to wellbeing at work, take a moment yourself now to think of non-work related matters which are on your mind - elderly parents, children, friends, partner or even your pets! These need not be detrimental to the running and profitability of your company if processes and support are in place.
What is better for your business, having somebody either away from work for a day or two (do you know what your 'true' sickness absence rate is?) or perhaps in work pre-occupied and worried about something or providing a professional support service that your employees can use 24 hours a day? Such a support service can be available to all your employees for as little as £1 a month per employee, a figure which contrasts very sharply with the cost of having somebody out of the workplace for a day or of spending time and energy internally on issues which you might not have the right skill set to address.
Wellbeing in the workplace is about self-preservation for both employers and employees. We ensure that our premises, equipment, cars and technology etc are fully supported, either by insurance policies, maintenance contracts or guarantees. Too few companies take the same view of their most valuable and expensive asset; their staff! Do some simple sums. Add up the true cost of sickness absences, the cost of recruiting and training staff, the cost of lost production because productivity has dropped and the cost of the time spent by HR, supervisors and managers on staff personal and health issues. Would investing (and yes, it is an investment but one with a tangible return) a set amount each year per employee make sense now that you have those figures? We know that it does.
To have a happy, contented and healthy workforce is to have a productive, profitable and growing business. Making your staff smile can only help you thrive.