Employee wellbeing should be important to every business owner, especially after the last few years. Physically, Covid-19 has impacted millions across the globe. 1 in 6 workers will experience a mental health problem like anxiety or depression, and work can often be the biggest cause of stress.
An effective wellbeing policy and active wellbeing focus can have many benefits for your workplace including reduced staff absence and helping your team feel better supported overall.
With this in mind, we’re covering the importance of having an effective wellbeing policy and 4 tips to help improve employee wellbeing in your workplace.
What is employee wellbeing and why’s it important?
Employee wellbeing refers to all aspects of your employees physical and mental health, both in and outside of work. Actively supporting employee wellbeing helps you create a team of resilient, happy, and engaged people.
People who’re comfortable and confident in their role, who aren’t going to up and leave at any given moment. As we highlighted in our article on the great resignation, employees feeling unhappy and unsupported is adding to the increase in people leaving jobs across sectors.
On the flip side, if your team are happy and comfortable within their role, there’s a much higher likelihood of a stronger and more productive workplace in general.
By having an active focus on wellbeing at all times, you can help prevent the effects of ill-health such as long-term absences. It goes without saying that absences can have a huge impact on your business, especially if several employees are off at once.
Have a clear wellbeing policy
Make sure your team know what your policies are for absence, leave, and most importantly wellbeing. Staff should know that your workplace is inclusive and supportive should they become ill.
They should be able to easily find out what pay they’re entitled to should they need to be off. As well as being informed about any occupational health or private healthcare partnerships your business offers and how to access them.
Take a proactive approach
Firstly, if you can allow staff to work from home if they’re feeling under the weather, but still up to working, you should absolutely do so. It might sound like common sense, but guidelines are now blurry regarding things like Covid-19 isolation, so many may be going into the workplace. Of course, allowing employees to work from home can help prevent the spread of infections amongst your team too.
Research from Mind shows that a culture of fear and silence around mental health can be very costly to employers, more than one in five (21%) agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work. 30% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’. Encourage open and honest communication, along with opportunity for your team to catch up with you
Provide a good work environment and culture
If your workplace has a great culture and a positive work environment, your team are more likely to feel comfortable and flourish. It could be beneficial to take part in wellbeing workshops, especially mental health workshops, to help increase awareness and understanding.
If you have a strong, positive culture, your team are more likely to share their positive experiences with their network. This in turn can help you attract and secure future employees.
Encourage an effective work life balance
This one is very important. Everyone needs to take time off, step away from work and unwind, it’s a vital factor in your overall wellbeing. Whilst you can’t force your team to do so, you should make it as easy as possible for them to take time off. You can also keep an eye out for anyone who’s overworking, as well as flagging when holiday allowances haven’t been utilised.
Make sure your team are aware of your holiday policies and how to book time off. Encourage staff to leave equipment at the office when they’re off so they’re fully away from work.
If you have a team working from home, do what you can to support a sufficient home office that’s away from living areas.
Need more advice on workplace policies or employee happiness?
We’ve helped many of our client’s rethink and shape their policies. We know what’s successful and place many candidates into long and enjoyable careers. Feel free to get in touch for a chat if you’d like to learn more.