Why Is The Health And Wellbeing Of Your Staff So Important?
For every business, your employees are your biggest asset. They’re the foundation of everything that your business will ever achieve and the reason for every success. So it makes sense that every business should invest heavily in the health and wellbeing of their staff. But not every business takes this view, so why should you?
Investing in the health and wellbeing of your staff isn’t just necessarily a financial obligation, it could just as easily be an investment of your time or expertise. But what are the potential benefits that your investments can produce, for your business and your staff?
Recruitment And Retention
As we’ve already mentioned, your staff are integral to your success. So your ability to not only recruit the best available candidates, but also to retain your existing top talent must be something you invest in. This could be by offering something as simple as a comprehensive employee perks package, free parking, on site gym or anything that sets your business apart from your competitors locally and nationally.
Many businesses are now promoting a healthy lifestyle internally and a simple way to do this is to invest in weekly fruit baskets for your staff. By providing something as simple as free, healthy snacks you could see improvements in many areas of your workforce. First and foremost, if your staff are ditching the traditional snacks such as crisps, chocolate, sweets etc in favour of fruit, over time they will experience overall positive health benefits. Additionally, it could also help combat compulsive lateness as employees are able to get a healthy breakfast in work which gives them extra time in the morning.
Increasing Employee Engagement
What is employee engagement? In basic terms, it is the degree to which an employee is emotionally invested in the job and the company they work for. This emotional investment impacts upon the overall happiness, morale and productivity of your employees and increasingly is becoming a metric that businesses are judged by.
But how can you improve employee engagement within your business? Something as simple as providing a suggestion box for your staff can show that you are interested in their opinions, appreciate their feedback and want to provide a positive work environment. As an employer, you could then set aside time each month/quarter to review the suggestions and find a mutually beneficial resolution to any issues that are raised. This not only shows your staff that you care, it also shows that you are listening to them and that you are proactive in resolving any issues they may have in their working environment.
You could also provide your staff with a communal rest area where they can get away from their desks during breaks and relax or chat with colleagues. By simply providing a communal area, your staff will not feel like they are expected to take ‘working lunches’ and will be more likely to return from any short break period refreshed and re-energised.
Obviously, if your staff are more productive then your business will be more productive. But how can you increase productivity whilst also benefiting the overall wellbeing of your staff? As we’ve already mentioned, providing free fruit for your staff could be one way to look after their health but could this be taken a step further?
Whilst it’s probably not cost effective to provide a fridge stocked with brain boosting foods, encouraging staff to drink more water has been proven to help increase workplace productivity. This is because dehydration has been proven to impair your cognitive ability, so keeping your staff properly hydrated should lead to happy and productive employees.
I’m sure your office, like most provides a water cooler but I’ll bet you’re less happy about the amount of time wasted due to ‘water cooler talk’. However, this time spent chatting with colleagues can often inspire fantastic ideas so next time you see your staff talking about last nights tv whilst grabbing a glass of water, maybe fight that urge to tell them to get back to work. you never know what ideas even the most mundane conversations could inspire!
Improving Your Company’s Reputation
When you show your staff you care about their health and wellbeing, this in turn will be reflected in how they treat your customers. In turn, your customers will feel better about every interaction with your business and this will improve your reputation as they will be more likely to recommend you, as a business, if they feel that your staff do things properly.
Anything Else You Can Do?
The above can all be seen as relatively cost effective methods of showing your staff that you care about, and are invested in, their health and wellbeing. But there are also more practical means of displaying this investment to your staff. The most obvious way is by having a robust and comprehensive occupational health or health surveillance programme specifically designed to protect the health and wellbeing of your staff.