Wellbeing in the Workplace

Suzanne Rouart

Written By Suzanne Rouart

1st July 2022

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Wellbeing in the Workplace

The impact a people-first workplace culture can have on employee wellbeing

According to the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey, 17.5 million working days are lost each year within the UK due to wellbeing related sickness-absence.

Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the importance of health and wellbeing within the corporate agenda, a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) provided evidence of a 14% increase between 2020 and 2021 in how wellbeing has become a greater priority within senior leadership.

However, a lack of a culture of wellbeing is still a significant issue within the corporate world. Although studies show policies and strategies are improving, absences relating to wellbeing are still rising, so  what more can organisations do to turn this tide? Having a positive culture that prioritises wellbeing within the workplace brings with it benefits for both the employer and employees.

Optimising productivity, motivation and performance

An organisation’s culture is central to the emotional connection employees have with the business. Confirmed in the ‘Occupational Wellbeing and its Effect on Performance’ study by Return to Work Knowledge, this is one of the most important factors of employee productivity. An employer who emphasises the wellness of their employees being at the heart of the business will see improved productivity, output and loyalty within the workforce, 31% more in fact.

Reduction in absenteeism and presenteeism

In The Absenteeism Report, we reported the results of a survey of HR professionals which revealed that 64% of people feel the workplace environment can ‘substantially’ contribute to sickness levels and only 2% of respondents thought it had no impact at all. A good employee wellbeing strategy is key to creating a healthy, happy and harmonious environment that reduces absence levels. Introducing a people-first strategy can in turn decrease presenteeism, the constant presence of an employee despite being unable to complete their role to the best of their ability due to illness.

Use our absenteeism calculator to check the effects of your employee’s absence.

An increase in employee engagement

Engaged employees have a dedication which goes beyond pay, after work drinks on Friday and chasing the next promotion. They have a passion to support the business and the success they fulfil within their role. A disengaged employee can cost a business 18% of their annual salary according to a study by Oak Engagement, whereas an engaged team can generate 23% more profit.

Fewer cost implications

Employers lose a shocking £45b each year to wellbeing related sickness-absence, according to a 2020 study by Deloitte. With this increasing by £6b each year, many organisations are adopting wellbeing strategies to reduce these numbers; for every £1 invested by employers into wellbeing strategies, they receive £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover.

Attracting and retaining the best talent

The modern generation of workers are looking for more than just a role within a business and the wage this provides, they want an employer who genuinely cares about their people. By ignoring employee wellbeing, businesses risk not being able to attract and retain the best candidates to their organisation.

Prioritising the wellbeing of employees is key to getting the most from your employees. Your responsibility to provide a positive wellbeing culture ensures the ultimate outcome of not just a happy and healthy workforce but also greater productivity and enhanced business performance, through increased attendance, reduced illness and improved morale and outlook.

Would you like help managing and promoting wellbeing in the workplace? Find out more about our Learning & Development solutions.

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