What Is Employee Wellbeing and Why Should You Care?
Learn what employee wellbeing is, its benefits for your workplace and employees, and how you can start improving the wellbeing of your team.
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is all about the health of your team in the workplace; this means their mental, physical, and emotional state. It's when your employees feel happy, satisfied, and healthy.
Lots of things can influence your team's wellness:
- Personal growth
- The company culture
- A good work-life balance
- Financial security
- Social connection
We cover employee wellbeing and what you can do to support your team in more detail in our complete guide to workplace wellbeing — check it out here!
Why is employee wellbeing important?
You've probably heard the term employee wellbeing come up in conversations at work. It's become quite the buzzword in recent years. Employee wellbeing is all about creating and fostering a positive work environment for your team, but why is it so important?
The rate of individuals suffering from stress has increased in recent years, especially after the pandemic. In 2022, almost 60% of employees are struggling with anxiety.
Career Builder's survey found that high-stress levels negatively affect employee wellbeing. It reached a point where it caused:
- Physical issues (e.g. insomnia and back pains)
- Mental issues (e.g. anxiety and depression)
- Low productivity
When employees are content and healthy, they're likely to be more motivated. So if you're looking to improve your bottom line, investing in a solid employee wellbeing programme is a great place to start!
Employee wellbeing programme
Employee wellbeing programmes are initiatives designed to improve your employees' overall health and wellbeing. Some great examples of employee wellbeing programs you can introduce include:
• Health screenings (e.g., cholesterol and blood pressure screenings)
• Wellness challenges (e.g., walking challenge or healthy eating challenge)
• Educational workshops ( e.g., stress management and healthy eating).
• Fitness classes or gym memberships.
• Mental health counselling.
Why support employee wellbeing?
In the last few years, our Benefits Benchmarking report has shown that improving employee wellbeing has become a priority for many businesses.
There are many reasons why you, as an employer, should invest in employee wellbeing programmes. They can…
- Improve employee health
With the right programme, you can help improve your team's mental and physical health by working to reduce stress, prevent burnout, and increase morale.
You will have happy and healthy employees who are more driven and engaged. This leads to increased productivity and efficiency for your company in the long run.
- Improve Employee retention
If your company provides a strong employee wellness programme, this can actually help promote your team's loyalty.
It shows that you're invested in their wellbeing and want to help keep them happy and healthy. This creates a positive work environment, encouraging employees to stay at your company.
The proof is in the stats, as a Wellness at Work Report found that 75% of workers are loyal to a business if they are committed to their wellness.
- Increase productivity
Wellbeing programmes give your team a sense of control over their lives and create a positive work environment so they feel supported by you.
This will make your employees feel valued and satisfied. For example, Oxford University researchers found that happy employees are 13% more productive.
- Save costs
Offering employee wellbeing programmes can actually save you money. It promotes a healthy lifestyle for your team, which combats absenteeism and presenteeism.
Businesses that invest in employee wellbeing programs often have lower staff turnover rates, which reduces recruitment and training costs.
Besides, it also reduces healthcare benefits costs, as healthy employees are less likely to require medical care.
- Increase profitability
Fostering a communicative, energetic, and content team will be more profitable for your company in the long run. But first, you need to invest in wellbeing programmes as these will help you achieve this.
A study showed that businesses with good employee engagement are 22% more profitable than those without.
Another study showed that a lack of wellbeing programmes and workers' absences cost businesses £77.5 billion annually. That's why employee wellbeing is essential for your business!
Types of employee wellbeing
There are about five main types of wellness that you should focus on improving if you want a healthy and productive team. They can also be seen as pillars of employee wellbeing.
- Physical wellbeing, it's all about your team being physically healthy, energetic, and fit to work.
- Financial wellbeing is when your employees have their finances in order and don't struggle with money.
- Emotional wellbeing refers to the mental and emotional state of your employees.
- Social wellbeing refers to the relationships your team has with each other. In other words, it's the social support system at work.
- Spiritual wellbeing is the sense of meaning and purpose employees find in their work.
How to Improve employee wellbeing?
How to improve your employees' wellness? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to improve employee wellbeing will vary from company to company. However, here are some general tips that you can follow:
Create a culture of openness and communication where your employees feel comfortable discussing any problems or concerns they may have.
Employees who are heard are 4.6 times more likely to be encouraged and empowered to bring their best self to work.
- Employee rewards and recognition
It's important to recognise your team's efforts as a way to support and motivate them. Providing rewards and recognition can help boost morale and show appreciation for your staff. You can also use rewards and recognition to attract and retain employees.
Reward Gateway found that 90% of employers agree that an effective employee recognition and reward programme helps drive business results.
- Encourage personal growth
You want your employees to be healthy and be the best version of themselves, and a way to do that is by encouraging their personal development in their work and personal life.
- Provide mental health care and support.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle. (e.g., Healthy food options at work).
- Provide training opportunities for your team.
- Encourage them to take breaks throughout the day.
- Flexible working arrangements
Offering flexibility gives your team more control, and when they have this kind of freedom in their work lives, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed and are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs.
Flexible working arrangements can also help your employees manage work-life balance, which is crucial in promoting employee wellbeing.
A study showed that over two-thirds of employees find work-life balance more important than employee benefits and salary.