A lucrative business understands its most valuable assets are its employees. Without staff, work simply doesn't get done. That means that if you want your organisation to thrive, you'll need to find ways of keeping your workers happy, engaged, and productive. Cultivating healthy internal practices, cultures, and relationships within the professional environment is essential not only to making employees feel valued and supported, but it can also help to promote physical wellbeing too.
As workplace wellness programmes become more popular in offices throughout the country, we're beginning to see that the bottom line of such strategies is this: healthy employees are happier, more productive employees. Rebekah Carter, from workplace experts Office Genie, looks at what they’re all about.
Why does workplace wellness matter to businesses?
Workplace wellness programmes are incredibly diverse. For some businesses, they may involve offering information to workers, whereas other companies might incorporate subsidised healthy lunches or a company gym. Whatever you choose to do, the benefits of wellness initiatives for businesses are clear.
Carefully designed strategies for wellbeing can play a beneficial role in promoting worker health, thereby reducing avoidable absenteeism, encouraging greater occupational investment, and ensuring a sense of unity throughout the work space. For instance, encouraging exercise alone can make a big difference. One study found that regular exercise prompted workers to miss 18% fewer workdays.
According to research, staff turnover causes British businesses around £4.13bn each year, as new employees can take up to eight months to reach their maximum productivity levels. On the other hand, a study by PriceWaterhouseCooper found that reduced staff turnover was one of the most significant benefits of workplace wellness programmes.
Workplace wellness for the worker
For the employee, wellness measures are all about enhancing individual wellbeing, employee engagement, and creating a healthy working culture over time. According to a study conducted in 2014, workers involved in a culture that has workplace well-being in mind generally feel more in control of their health, and less stressed. This means that they're more likely to actively look after their own health and fitness, healthy employees are happier, less likely to miss work, and more productive.
A study conducted by One4All Rewards in 2015, across 2,000 part-time, and full-time workers in the UK, revealed that one in five workplaces are considered to be bad for their worker's health - with 23% of staff underperforming because of it. The study also found that around 17% of employees lost sleep regularly because of work pressures.
Alternatively, a workplace that focuses on wellness for the entire professional team helps to prevent individuals from feeling over-stretched and unhappy by supporting a better work/life balance. When employees are physically, and mentally healthier, they're more able to focus on the work in front of them, and enjoy the way that they experience their career.
Implementing wellness practices
Most businesses will find that their specific goals, employees, and requirements lead to discrepancies in the decisions they make for implementing wellness programmes. However, the universal elements of wellbeing that could be considered include:
Career wellbeing - ensuring that workers are happy and fulfilled by their tasks
Social wellbeing - creating strong relationships between employees
Financial wellbeing - allowing workers to manage their economic life successfully
Physical wellbeing - having good enough health to get things done daily
Community wellbeing - a sense of being part of a team
While strategies for workplace wellness may not work in all circumstances, they can represent a positive way to encourage health and wellbeing in a company. Most of the time, the right wellness programme won't focus on trying to push a "one-size-fits-all" approach on workers. Instead, it will look for ways to give employees the support they need to become happier, healthier, and more devoted to the business as part of a loyal team.
To explore wellbeing further take a look at our popular eBook: 'The Essential Guide to Emotional Engagement: The Secret to Customer Experience Success' which explores the role of emotion, culture and and how to emotionally engage your employees.
About the author
Rebekah Carter writes for OfficeGenie.co.uk – Office Genie is a UK office search engine uniquely designed for small businesses and freelancers. What makes it special is that you can compare office prices "by the desk", which makes it possible for the first time for small businesses to directly compare the cost of shared offices, serviced offices and conventional leased office space.