Develop & implement an effective Wellbeing Strategy
Whether you’re a managing director, chief executive or HR professional, you’ll know that recruiting quality staff plays a significant role in the overall success of a business. But how do you keep great employees on board, and stop them from jumping ship? One of the main solutions to this ever-occurring dilemma is by developing and implementing an effective employee benefit strategy. Energising and engaging staff is more important than ever before, and in the absence of a pay rise, businesses need to find alternative solutions to motivate their employees, retain their workforce, and ensure optimum wellbeing to enhance productivity. It therefore pays to know that bespoke benefits can actually bring loyalty and build teamwork more effectively than cash bonuses.
Mental and Emotional Health
What is emotional health?
Mental or emotional health refers to an individual’s overall psychological wellbeing, and encompasses the way they feel about themselves, the quality of their relationships, and their ability to manage their feelings and deal with difficulties. Good mental health isn’t just about the absence of mental health issues, such as being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. In actual fact, mental and emotional health is all about the presence of positive characteristics which allow an individual to live life to the full. In order to maintain these characteristics, it’s important to pay attention to an individual’s – or employee’s – needs and feelings.
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Physical Health and Fitness
What factors affect the physical health of your employees?
Engaging in regular physical activity may be one of the most important things an individual can do for their health, and there’s a growing bank of research to suggest that exercising for 30 minutes or more at least five days a week can lower the risk of heart disease, improve bone and muscle strength, and help control your weight. A healthy diet also contributes towards a healthy body, and that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables which relax blood sugar levels largely responsible for overeating. Most people should aim for at least four cups of fruits and vegetables each day, including foods like spinach and other dark leafy vegetables, or any produce that’s red such as raspberries and bell peppers, or yellow or orange like melons, bananas and carrots. Those of us who participate in regular physical activity and eat well, do so to improve the current and future level of our health. We strive toward an optimal state of wellbeing, and as our lifestyle improves, so does our health, and we experience less disease and sickness.
How can this affect mental wellbeing?
We all know physical health is important to keep our bodies fit and well, but a lesser known fact is that exercise, rest and quality nutrition is also connected to emotional and mental wellbeing. When an individual improves their physical health, they’ll automatically experience greater mental and emotional wellbeing.
Stress: Number One Cause of Absenteeism
Prevention, Early Intervention and Protection
Lead by Example
Employee Benefits vs. Costs of Absenteeism
Employee benefits and return on investment
There are very few companies that know what their return on investment is from their employee benefits package, and whilst some employee benefits can represent a significant cost for employers, there are a number of no-cost and low-cost options that businesses can offer their workforce:
A large number of employees find themselves working around the clock – whether they’re checking their emails early in the morning, or tying up a project late at night. A company can reward this work ethic by giving a little flexibility in working hours. This arrangement also works well for those that have family commitments.
Healthy employees are good for a business’s bottom line – not only are they more productive, but they are less likely to take sick days. While employers might not be in a position to install an on-site gym, they can offer discounts and incentives for local gyms or sports clubs.
Everyone needs to eat, which makes free food a universally loved benefit for staff. Having a constant supply of fresh fruit, nuts and fruit teas, for example, is a great way to ensure employees are getting some of the nutrients they needs to stay fit and healthy
Health Care Plan
A comprehensive health care plan offers preventative care that can keep employees healthy and working. If staff don’t get preventative care and yearly check-ups – at the optician or dentist, for example – employers could end up having more employees out of action for long periods of time, potentially with a serious illness.
The financial impact of absenteeism
With employee absence costing UK businesses an estimated £30 billion a year in wasted wages, lost working days, and decreased productivity, absenteeism is simply not an issue that can be ignored. It’s important to remember that absenteeism costs are not only incurred through the wages of the absent employee, but in replacement workers, reduced productivity, or even poor quality of goods/services as a result of overtime fatigue or understaffing.
Employee Involvement at Board Level
To gain an insight into how satisfied your employees are with their benefits package, ask them questions such as:
- How happy are you at <insert company name> ? (Very Happy, Happy, Indifferent, Unhappy, Very Unhappy)
- Thinking about your company benefits, please select your level of satisfaction for <health insurance> (Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Unsatisfied, Very Unsatisfied)
- Do you have any issues or comments about the employee benefits <insert company name>?
- Please rate your satisfaction level with <holidays, sick days, compassionate leave, etc> (Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Unsatisfied, Very Unsatisfied)
- Do you have any issues or comments about the holiday and leave benefits at <insert company name>?
Aligning the interests of companies and their employees can make companies focus more on the long term, securing more sustainable growth. What’s more, there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that employee ownership and engagement can increase workers’ wellbeing and productivity.
Communication and implementation
One of the main reasons for offering employee benefits is to improve staff engagement. However, a large proportion of employers invest in a wide range of employee benefits and fail to communicate them effectively to staff – meaning they aren’t getting a return on their investment. When it comes to benefit packages, employees need to know what their employer provides, otherwise there will be no take-up and, in the case of a health care plan, no wellbeing benefits. A good benefits strategy, communicated well, can help to manage – and reduce – bottom line costs, and help to build a loyal and more productive workforce. Some techniques for getting the word out include company-wide emails, company-wide presentations, individual sessions with staff, via a company handbook, via a company intranet, an internal newsletter, or even on notice boards in a well-used corridor or in a canteen.
Reviewing your Benefit Strategy
Establish clear objectives and outcomes
Adding, changing or removing an employee benefit
Got a question?
As employers you have a duty of care to your employees, and implementing a health and wellbeing strategy can not only ensure your most precious assets are looked after, but can bring a whole host of benefits to your entire organisation too. Introducing simple measures really can help decrease employee absence, increase productivity and offer that competitive edge. Remember, happy and healthy employees mean a productive and high performing workforce!