Why is employee wellbeing important?

A woman sits with her laptop on one side of the scales, with health on the other

Employee wellbeing focuses on all aspects of health within the workplace. Staff need to feel – and be – supported by their employer. This is essential from a professional and personal perspective, and can have a big influence on your company’s long-term performance. 

Keep reading to discover more about the benefits of improving employee wellbeing.

Why employee health and wellbeing matters in business 

There are plenty of reasons why employee wellbeing should be a top concern for your company. As adults, many of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. This has a huge impact on our mental and physical health, which will affect our performance. As an employer, your focus should be on creating a positive working environment and promoting a healthy work-life balance. This will not only benefit your employees’ professional and personal lives, but it will also reflect back on your company.

Employee retention

Employees are far more likely to stay with a company if they feel supported. It’s common sense. That’s why employee retention rates are often heavily impacted by the availability of wellbeing initiatives. This is highlighted by recent figures from career specialists Zippia that showed 80% of workers whose employers are engaged in their wellness say they enjoy their jobs, while 85% state they plan to stay in their roles. These initiatives could be mental health awareness programmes, easy access to medical care, or even managing schedules more efficiently to reduce stress. 

Prolonged stress can present in physical, mental and psychological exhaustion. This is commonly called burnout. This phenomenon has been on the rise post-Covid, as external factors like job security and lockdown have had a negative influence on the workforce. In fact, according to a Visier survey, 70% of people would consider leaving their current job due to burnout. Having wellbeing programmes in place can help to alleviate issues with burnout and encourage your staff to stay at the company. For example, workload is often one of the biggest stressors for employees, so choosing an experienced outsourced call centre to take the strain off of your in-house team can help ease the burden and prevent tasks from becoming overwhelming.

Future recruitment

In a 2021 Gallup workplace survey, 61% of respondents said that work-life balance and wellbeing was “very important”. This has risen from 53% in 2015. This suggests that, in recent years employees have become increasingly aware of how important proper mental and physical healthcare is, and they expect their workplace to recognise this and support them. Having wellbeing initiatives in place that you can point to during the recruitment process can make you more appealing to new talent. For example, you should promote a positive and inclusive workplace culture to potential new hires.

Employee wellbeing programmes should also include progression opportunities. This can be through internal promotion, or the implementation of professional development training. Prospective employees are more likely to choose to work for a company that invests its time in their future. This will also encourage company loyalty, and help you to retain your new, talented staff members.

Showing that you care for your employees will also help to improve your professional reputation. This can help to attract new talent, and pave the way for future business deals and better brand recognition.

Increased productivity

Improving employee wellbeing can have a positive impact on productivity. Employees that feel cared for are more confident, produce higher quality work, and can enhance customer experience in front of house roles. 

As we mentioned above, prolonged stress is a real issue in the modern workforce, with the Visier study finding that 89% of respondents reported burnout in their current jobs. This can negatively affect productivity. Employees struggle to work to a high standard when they’re burnt out, and they are more likely to take time off. So you’re actually losing money in time and potential mistakes. 

Investing in business process outsourcing is a great way to relieve pressure on your employees and reduce the risk of burnout, allowing them to concentrate on vital tasks and be more productive in the long run.

Many employee wellbeing initiatives are reactive. Companies offer flexitime to incorporate caring needs, or a personal allowance to fit in doctors appointments. However, it’s worth investigating proactive solutions too. For example, providing regular check-ups with a medical professional can help to treat potential issues before they become serious. This shows employees that you value their health, and can help them be more confident in taking time off when they’re ill. This reduces presenteeism and maximises their quality of work. It also allows employees to recover quicker, meaning they’ll need less time off overall.

Employee engagement

Improving workplace wellbeing can also help with employee engagement. This is where staff feel connected to their work, and are more likely to go the extra mile for their employers. Engaged employees are better brand ambassadors and will help to improve your professional reputation. They’re also more productive members of the team. 

Employee engagement should be a key part of your wellbeing programmes because these two concepts feed into each other. Uniting your teams under a shared purpose encourages cooperative working, and creates a more inclusive environment. This makes implementing additional wellbeing initiatives easier, because your employees are more receptive to new opportunities. Regular social and community events also help to prevent burnout and ensure your staff can be productive, and more importantly healthy, at work.