Happy, healthy and productive - The benefits of workplace wellbeing

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Workplace wellbeing, both physical and mental is inextricably linked to your employees’ performance.  EEF's Mike Denison looks at the important benefits of workplace happiness.

It can not have escaped the attention of many of us that the English and European football seasons have returned.  Leaving aside the comments and questions about how quickly this moment comes around every year, I noted something that often goes unnoticed outside the game itself.  The impact that off-the-field factors have on player and team performances.  Even Lionel Messi, the world’s greatest footballer who has been imperious for years was saying that off the field factors hampered his performances last season.

Even when it comes to footballers, the environment in which they work has an impact on their performances, productivity and effectiveness.  Even the world’s most highly paid and revered sportsmen need to feel happy at work.

The benefits of workplace wellbeing

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Workplace wellbeing has often been as a fringe benefit of health and safety activity.  To many businesses, wellbeing was a perk that manifested itself in office massages, aromatherapy treatments and duvet days.  Today these perks aren’t quite enough.  They’re things that are nice to have but they don’t reflect the needs of today’s employees.  Employers are now looking for ways of helping their employees stay fit and contribute to improvements in productivity.

EEF stated in their 2015 EEF Manifesto, supported by EEF’s Sickness Absence Survey, that the UK’s growth prospects depend on people being fit, working and productive. Healthy workers can be almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues. People who are unwell either don’t perform at their best, or they do not turn up for work at all. 

A well implemented health and well-being programme will help reduce absenteeism and staff turnover, leading to increased skill retention, and a reduction in training and recruitment costs. Employee physical and mental well-being is protected and improved, increasing staff morale and leading to increased productivity. The cost savings for the organisation can be significant.

A healthy office

Understanding and focusing on your employees’ wellbeing can have a direct impact on staff absence.  A fit, healthy workforce will naturally have a lower sickness rate.  Fewer days lost to sickness increases your productivity and output, which goes directly on to your bottom line.

A safe office

There’s a clear link between workplace wellbeing and your health and safety initiatives.  Employees that are strong, fit and alert are less likely to have accidents. The Health and Safety Executive calculated that workplace accidents caused by fatigue cost the UK economy between £115 and £240 million each year.

A changing office

Modern businesses change and evolve quickly.  We operate in a fast-paced, international marketplace and we need our colleagues to be strong and resilient if they are going to keep pace and maintain our market position.  If we’re to out-pace and beat our competitors, then we need a fit and healthy workforce.  A strong, healthy and fit team is one that is less likely to succumb to the pressures of stress.

An engaged office

An engaged team is a team that is easier to retain.  Employees who are happy at work and who are fit and healthy are more likely to stay with their employer, invest their time positively and actively in your business, customers and products.  By investing in workplace wellbeing, you reduce your recruitment costs. Tweet this

Happy customers

Employees who are happy, engaged, healthy and productive are going to invest their time in making your customers happy.  Having happy, satisfied customers will improve your market reputation, increase your repeat orders and drive your business forward.

Understanding wellbeing

EEF offer a workplace wellbeing training course aimed towards managers who want to improve their staff performance.  The NEBOSH National Certificate In The Management Of Health And Wellbeing At Work course focuses on workplace health and finding ways to improve staff performance and engagement. 

Managers who attend this five day course will be better placed to minimise sickness absence, encourage people back to work and deal effectively with the health and well-being issues of their employees.

 

 

Author

HSCE Area Lead North

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