Perhaps now, more than ever, employee well-being should be placed at the heart of every business’s strategy for future growth and development. Investment in employee well-being is likely to lead to improved performance, increased productivity and reduced sick leave and presenteeism, not to mention the wider benefits to the community and economy as a whole.
So why is this investment needed and what does it look like?
According to Vitality’s ‘Britain’s Healthiest Workplace’ survey, lost productive time has increased from 23 days in 2014 up to 38 days in 2019. 56% of employees are suffering from at least one dimension of work-related stress, and just under 40% have at least one chronic condition. This is compounded by the findings that awareness of workplace health interventions available is low with only 28% awareness.
As we move through 2020, with the additional stresses placed on businesses and individuals alike by the impact of Coronavirus, we can only assume stress in the workplace is going to be on the rise. Without the necessary investment in employee well-being, quite simply, business will suffer. A happy, healthy employee is more likely to be a more productive employee.
But it can’t just be about productivity and profit alone. The desire for a strong workforce should come from a place of genuine concern for the mental and physical health of the people you choose to spend time with and to whom, ultimately, you entrust the success of your business.
So, as a conscientious business owner looking to improve and promote the well-being of your workforce, what can you do?
Avoid the pitfalls of aggressive micromanagement and encourage more ownership, autonomy and fluidity into the roles you ask individuals to take.
According to a 2018 article authored by Jeffrey Pfeffer and published in the McKinsey Quarterly, a focus on job control and social support were two of the primary areas to focus on in order to establish good well-being in the work place.
Research performed within the British Civil service concluded that those of higher rank, and therefore having more discretion over how they performed their role, were less likely to suffer from conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes even though the demands of the job were far higher.
Consider roles and responsibilities that encourage teamwork and an emotional connection between your teammates and their place of work.
Commit to providing help and support.
One of the first steps an employer can take in the promotion of employee well-being is to display a clear commitment to providing help and support when it is needed. This kind of commitment is often demonstrated by a number of organisations who frequently feature on ‘best places to work’ lists.
If, as a business, you can ensure that all employees can get access to the medical care they need to stay healthy, both mentally and physically, and to be fully cared for if they get ill, then you are on the right path to creating an environment and culture based on well-being.
Group Health Insurance
Group Health Insurance is designed to help employees obtain access to treatment quickly for peace of mind plus from an employer’s point of view, employees will be able to return to work more effectively meaning less time off work. Corporate healthcare is an attractive employment benefit and can help attract and retain talent. It can offer a variety of healthcare cover options and benefits which aim to suit different budgets, as well as the demands of various types of businesses.
Group Income Protection
Group Income Protection will help the employer maintain a sick employee’s salary until they are well enough to return to work. Some plans also offer employee’s support to help them deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing. Services can include health assessment, short-term counselling and referral services for employees and their immediate family plus legal and financial helplines to stop these issues creating mental health worries.
Group Life Assurance
Group Life Assurance provides financial support to those left behind if an employee dies in service. The loss of a loved one affects people in different ways, so some schemes also offer bereavement support for families and employers alike. The benefit is very cost effective from an employer’s point of view but offers security for breadwinners knowing that their families are covered should the worst happen.