5 Ways to Quickly Improve Employee Wellbeing

BlogBusiness EvolutionHR Advice Posted: Monday 22nd August 2016 by

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development defines employee wellbeing as “a state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their organisation.” We’ve added the italics, as they’re there to stress that the benefit of enhanced well-being is not for the employee alone – the whole organisation profits.

According to the NHS Confederation, the proportion of the English population suffering from at least one common mental disorder increased from 15.5 per cent in 1993 to 17.6 per cent in 2007. The NHS has not published more up-to-date figures, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in 2013 that 19% of people aged 16 and over showed signs of anxiety or depression, so it would seem the trend continues to be on the up. It’s a given fact that employees that could be suffering from a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, do not function as well as those who are not challenged by such infirmities, either in their professional lives or at home.

Those same concerns apply to people who are physically unfit, including those defined as morbidly obese.

So how can you, as an employer, increase the employee’s state of well-being, and strive towards a happier and healthier workforce? Here are some suggestions.

5 Top Tips for Increasing Employee Wellbeing

  1. Although it isn’t your job to dictate what your employees eat and drink, and they would probably rebel if you tried to do so, but offering healthy options in the staff canteen or vending machines is a great place to start to introduce wellbeing into the workplace.
  2. Do you provide any exercise opportunities at work? If you have enough staff, enough space and a big enough budget to provide a gym – great. If not, you could come to an arrangement with a local gym for staff discounts. How about encouraging people to cycle to work – for example, by providing bike purchase loans, bike sheds protected from the weather and by CCTV, and changing rooms so staff can change out of their cycling clothes and into their work gear.
  3. If you employ smokers, the NHS Help to Quit teams can offer sessions at your workplace. This could be all the incentive an employee needs to help them to quit the ciggies. Just get in touch with your local centre for more information.
  4. Flexible working often makes life easier and far less stressful for working parents. If mums and dads don’t have to pay childminders, or worry about their children getting to and from school safely and on time, responsible parents will work better. Employees have the right to request flexible working, and reasonable requests should be considered.
  5. The occasional recreational evening never goes amiss! Badminton, bowling, swimming or any form of activity or team bonding session really brings people together. Recreational time spent with work colleagues can have a very beneficial effect on team morale and help people feel positively about themselves, about their colleagues and about the company they work for.

There are lots of other ways to improve employee wellbeing. These five are a small start.

Human Results offer expert HR services on retainer, or on a one-off basis to help guide you through the daily challenges of managing your business from a people perspective, including employee engagement, dispute resolution and resolving workplace conflict. We also provide expert leadership development coaching programmes to secure long-term capability within your organisation, and a critical support structure for your leaders.

For more information, call Human Results on 01952 288361 for a no obligation, confidential discussion.

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