With over 80% of employees suffering with increased stress levels (Mercer 2015), leading to a knock-on effect on performance, output and increased costs to companies, it is easy to see why so many are looking to improve wellbeing and engaging with the 4th national workplace wellbeing day on Friday, April 13.
Tellingly, companies on the Fortune ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list have outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by almost two to one over the last 20 years. Companies that consistently make these lists realise that prioritising staff wellbeing and listening to their employees is good for staff and profits. The research is showing very clearly that when companies give employees what they want; purpose, connection, balance and belonging, they perform better.
The most important asset of any organisation is the people. If you look after your staff they will look after your clients. Giving your employees the tools they need to effectively manage stress, focus, find balance, and helping them develop their strengths promotes happiness, health, engagement and success in the long-run for everyone.
As the Irish economy picks up, employers are realising their need to have a strong wellbeing programme to both attract and retain the right people
The Best Places to work competitions are getting bigger and stronger. Companies are focusing more on building their reputations through positive “employer branding” to get the right staff in the door. Companies that want engaged staff need to engage with their staff and what is important to them.
Three top tips for Wellbeing at Work .. so, your business can thrive
- Bring Wellbeing into heart of the Company Culture
If you want your company to grow, focus on building people that drive growth and creating an environment where employees want to be – a place that addresses the more human needs of purpose, connection, belonging and engagement as well as boosting physical wellbeing and building mental resilience. When leadership prioritises wellbeing, employees are more likely to be engaged, loyal and perform better. It’s not just about offering a mindfulness class at lunch time. It is about feeding people’s spirit and creating an environment where they can grow and make a difference.
- Broad-based and ongoing Wellbeing Programmes
Total wellbeing is about employees being at their best throughout the day – so a company has to be open to address anything that is preventing them from being their best, from diet to sleep, to showing them how to effectively manage stress, how to work effectively, how to manage time, how to solve problems, how to let go of the past and how to connect with others.
For employees to be their best, wellbeing needs to be built into every work day and holistic. Programmes do not have to be costly. Employers can offer an exercise-friendly workplace. Teams can do a group 5-minute mindfulness or light stretching session every morning. Employers can give more regular breaks to staff. People that take breaks every 90 minutes to 2 hours are shown to have a 30 percent higher focus than those with fewer or no breaks. Managers can maintain strong relationships with staff so problems get solved quickly so stress does not build. Employers can offer leadership support and development programmes that help leaders focus and handle their own stress effectively and meaningfully support their teams.
- Understanding Effective Performance
Staff can be educated on the factors that bring about optimal performance. When people are well they do well. When wellbeing is prioritised, people will be able to move in and out of comfort zones in the optimal way so they can rise to the challenge and sleep soundly at night. It is not just about reducing absenteeism. The Global Corporate Challenge report states the cost of presenteeism — where employees show up for work but underperform — is 10 times the cost of absenteeism.
Wellbeing at work is no longer a nice to have but a need to have for all employers that want to be premium brands with engaged staff and strong profits.
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