Employee wellbeing is a topic on the rise, as more and more businesses are introducing initiatives aimed at improving employee wellbeing: flexible working hours, four-day work weeks, remote and hybrid working, and mental and physical wellbeing support.
But despite this, Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace report showed that workers are now more stressed at work than they have ever been. So how can your business improve employee wellbeing, and what are the advantages for you as a business?
Employee wellbeing is a term relating to all aspects of working life that can impact an employee’s physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace. This includes the environment employees work in, the culture of the business, and generally how an employee feels about their job and the company they work for.
Positive employee wellbeing can have huge impacts on your business. The CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work Report found that half of organisations (51%) take a strategic approach to employee wellbeing. These organisations are then far more likely to report positive achievements from this activity, for both individuals and for the organisation.
The Gallup 2022 State of the Global Workplace report found that reports of stress in the workplace have increased steadily by 29% since 2011. And with that increase in stress relating to the workplace, leads to more employees considering leaving their workplace.
And the CIPD’s Good Work Index found that “wanting a better work-life balance” was the third most popular reason for people looking to move jobs in the next 12 months. This burnout and not having a positive employee wellbeing can have drastic effects on your business and team.
Source: State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report
Research from Gallup meanwhile found that working increased hours can lead to a decline in positive daily experience and life evaluations for people with little job satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, when employees aren’t happy at work, spending more time at work isn’t the solution.
Conversely, strong employee wellbeing and job satisfaction means that working longer work days doesn’t lead to a negative impact on positive daily experience and life evaluation. Showing that employees who have a strong wellbeing are happy to spend more time at work.
The study from Gallup highlighted that the quality of time that an employee spends in their job is more important than the amount of time. Which shows that while reducing hours can positively impact employee wellbeing, it’s not the root cause of it. And while reducing hours that your team works, it isn’t a long-term strategy for success in your business.
So here’s the tips that we give to the companies we work with, to improve their employee’s well being.
Supporting your employees to have a positive work-life balance isn’t just about stopping your team working too much: It’s about having a healthy separation between the two that helps your team recharge and have a life outside of work.
A study from Berkley College, the State of Burnout Study found that 73% of 7000 professionals they surveyed were feeling burnt-out. And the top reason cited? No separation between work and home.
As an employer or manager it falls to you to manage your team effectively, meaning they have manageable workloads and work schedules. Of course sometimes employees don’t come to you when this becomes an issue. You may need to have regular conversations with employees, to ensure their work-life isn’t bleeding over into their personal lives.
Employees are generally more invested in their jobs, when they enjoy their time at work. Part of this can be down to the culture of the company, and the connections employees make at work. In fact, having a strong company culture can reduce employee turnover by up to 35%: As just one of the benefits.
Having a fun and social atmosphere in the workplace, where people feel valued and enjoy their time in the office. Informal team meetings, company lunches, evening events after work are all great ways to help create relationships and instil a social company culture.
Or outside of the office, this can look like monthly social events, team building days out, and seasonal parties.
If you’re looking for more information on company culture, we’ve written a small guide here, on why company culture is important for your business.
Employee recognition is a great way to promote employee wellbeing. Genuine recognition of the hard work your team puts in and the results they achieve, makes them feel like a valued member of the team.
This can take many forms, depending on your business. For example, as a digital recruitment agency, we reward our team with financial and holiday incentives. Some businesses offer bonuses, or even reduced working hours for those who are successful.
But sometimes it is as simple as telling someone you recognise their hard work, and thanking them. Though of course, a pay rise never hurt either.
Many employers wait until the signs appear that an employee’s wellbeing is suffering before they start to put employee wellbeing initiatives to work. But employee wellbeing starts before your employee’s start!
Create a structured onboarding process for your new hires that does more than show them their responsibilities and what to do. It should help them to start forming relationships with colleagues and feel like a part of the team.
And it can have drastic effects for your employees. In fact, businesses who have a strong onboarding process can be up to 18x more committed to the workplace.
Remote, hybrid, home-based, flexible working… Whatever you call it, it’s never been more in demand by digital marketers. In fact, in 2021 Owl Labs found that 84% of employees would prefer to work remotely, and that a third of workers (32%) said they would even quit their jobs if they were forced to return to the office.
And this sentiment has largely remained, as shown when we asked our digital marketing audience what mattered most to them when looking for their next job:
But despite this demand, offering remote and hybrid working comes with its own problems to navigate, which we’ll discuss below.
With the rising cost-of-everything, salary is becoming increasingly important. Because it’s a huge stressor in the day-to-day lives of your employees, with 34% of people in the UK feeling anxiety around money in the last month.
And while you would love to be able to just pay your employees more, that’s not always a realistic possibility.
But what you can do as a business and employer, is have regular conversations with your employees regarding salaries and raises. To give your employees the opportunity to be honest and open with you.
The best businesses and agencies we work with here at Herd, have bi-annual or annual salary reviews, to make sure their employees feel they are being fairly compensated. Even when raises aren’t always possible, communicating this to employees helps them feel like they aren’t being forgotten about.
And lastly, having a structured and transparent career progression plan helps your employees to feel like the work they do matters. That they have goals they can strive towards and achieve, and know that they are progressing in their career.
Which means sitting down with your employees and laying out what targets they need to hit or what responsibilities they need to take on to earn a promotion or pay rise. Because people need to feel like their work matters. And this is just a part giving your employee recognition for their work.
The demand for hybrid and remote working is clear. However, remote working can have a serious impact on your employee’s wellbeing. Studies from Nuffield Health found that 80% of Brits felt that remote work actually had a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.
A study from Future Forum’s found similar results for Executive level employees. Executives reported declines across the board with mental wellbeing in regards to remote working: 40% more experienced work-related stress and anxiety, 20% had a worse work-life balance, and 15% reported less job satisfaction than the previous year.
There are a few different ways that remote working can negatively impact your employees wellbeing:
These can lead to: higher levels of stress, longer working hours, a lack of clear separation between work and home, and a sense of isolation. Especially for those who aren’t used to working from home.
But there are some steps you can take to specifically support employee wellbeing for remote and hybrid workers includes:
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