The importance of employee well-being and productivity
by Karan Mandanna
November 7, 2022
What is employee well-being?
In the past, physical safety—averting accidents and minimising harm in the workplace—was associated with employee well-being. Recently the concept has changed. Employers are now paying more attention to the mental and emotional health of their workforce.
Today, employee well-being is defined as the overall mental, physical, emotional, and economic health of your employees. It’s influenced by various factors such as their relationships with co-workers, their decisions, and the tools and resources they have access to. Employee well-being is important in today’s world as the effects go far beyond how individuals feel; they also have an impact on how many sick days they take, how well they perform at work, whether they burn out, and how likely they are to leave your company.
Improved well-being can reduce the cause of burnout and other factors that affect mental health in the UK. Research from Deloitte has revealed the cost of poor mental health to UK employers has increased to a staggering £45 billion a year. A significant part of the business cost is due to reduced productivity caused by employees who are unwell but still come to work, known as presenteeism. Higher employee productivity and happiness are positively correlated with higher workplace wellness levels. Additionally, it often increases a business’s efficiency and profitability.
What is productivity?
Productivity can be defined as a measure of employee output. Simply put, productive employees are more efficient and more effective in their work whilst unproductive employees contribute less to a business’s success.
When one is not feeling well or is distracted by various difficulties, one loses concentration and attention. The person goes through the motions of their duties. They show up, but it’s more difficult to come up with creative answers to challenges and it’s easier to make mistakes. Employees who suffer from poor mental well-being eventually underperform and this causes a drop in productivity.
The link between wellness and productivity
An article by Forbes states that employee satisfaction leads to higher productivity and lower staff turnover. The higher the employee’s well-being, the higher the productivity at work.
While a study by Gallup states that “organisations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.”
When employees feel inspired, motivated and supported in their work, they do more of it but without the negative health impacts of those employees who don’t.
How to improve employee well-being and productivity?
There are many ways for HR to improve employee well-being and productivity, they are as follows:
- The simplest and most obvious way is to speak to your employees directly and ensure they are holding up well. Get them to identify any areas of tension or conflict within their role. This may be with a specific manager, or it could be through a policy.
- Flexible working does wonder in some organisations. It can attract new talent that may be otherwise unsuitable in a typical 9 to 5 format. Introduce hybrid working schedules.
- Exercise not only improves physical and mental health but boosts productivity, too. Too much time sitting at a desk can leave people feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Two things which also contribute to a lack of productivity. Some employers set up lunchtime walking clubs or invite yoga teachers in for a class
- Create a supportive work environment. (We have a free webinar on employee productivity on the 18th of November)
- Employee well-being programs and retreats.
- Arranging staff socials and days or nights out can encourage friendships to form.
Employee well-being isn’t simply a priority for large corporations with limitless vacation time and hot yoga studios. It frequently boils down to improved communication between managers and staff. It’s having people on the team who understand the connection between burnout and workload and can assist foster an honest and open work atmosphere.
It’s about identifying when someone is suffering or failing and helping them back on track to being not only a productive employee but also a better and happier human being. Employees are valuable assets. Companies that take the time and effort to maintain a happy and productive workforce frequently end up being more successful.
Make sure to register for Urban Yoga Labs workshop on 8 ways to keep your employees focused and productive.
Written by Karan Mandanna.
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