The workplace wellbeing revolution is happening. Is your business ready?

Workplace wellbeing relates to all aspects of working life. From the quality and safety of the workplace, to how employees feel about their work. Good workplace wellbeing makes sure employees are happy, healthy and engaged at work – and you might be surprised to know it doesn’t always come at a huge cost to your business.

When people think of workplace wellbeing they often think of on-site gyms, in-house life coaches, and away days to expensive yoga retreats. Whilst these are nice ideas, they’re often unrealistic for many businesses. And in fact, supporting your workers’ wellbeing doesn’t mean forking out for expensive luxuries. Some of the most effective changes you can make are cultural and effectively free to implement and maintain. You just need to shift your thinking a little.

We know the idea of implementing a wellbeing strategy can sometimes feel like one more addition to the countless other demands on your time. That’s why we’re here to support business leaders like you.

Here, we’ll get you thinking about the business case for wellbeing and some top tips to get you started implementing a strategy in your business – whether you’re just starting your journey or looking for ways to maintain your existing strategy.

The business case for wellbeing: did you know?

First, let’s consider the business case. A 2019 report by CIPD found the average level of employee absence is 5.9 days per year. For smaller businesses, even a single day of absence can cause a drop in service levels and potentially a loss of business if customers become dissatisfied.

The top cause of short-term absence is mental ill health, followed by minor illnesses such as colds, flu, stomach upsets, headaches and migraines. Mental ill health is also now the biggest cause for long-term absence (four weeks or more), along with musculoskeletal injuries such as back and neck pain, stress and acute medical conditions.

Worryingly, workplaces are also seeing a rising culture of ‘presenteeism’, meaning more people are coming into work when they’re unwell – not a sign of a healthy workplace. Employees coming to work while sick can have a negative impact on productivity as well as their health.

In your business, you’ll probably have some form of procedure for managing sickness absence. But let’s flip that idea on its head for a moment. Instead of reacting to incidents of ill health, what if you could help prevent your employees developing health problems in the first place?

Organisations that take a proactive approach to their employee’s health and wellbeing are more likely to have valued and supported staff who are far more likely to deliver the best outcomes.

Businesses that take their employees’ health and wellbeing seriously are not only fulfilling their legal obligations but will also benefit from:

Sources: CIPD Health and Well-being at Work 2019

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