Employee Wellbeing: The Delicate Factor That Affects Performance
In this competitive modern world it can be easy to view employees as dispensable, because, let’s face it, there’s a hundred more out there that would be more than happy to fill their place. But when it comes down to it, would they be happy to? Or would you end up going through an endless line of applicants? And wouldn’t you better off training up and getting the best out of that first guy? One way of ensuring you don’t have to spend half your life holding interviews is to look after your employees’s wellbeing.
The term ‘employee wellbeing’ refers to the overall happiness and general state of your employees, something that you, as an employer, have a remarkably large influence on. Read on for more details.
What affects employee wellbeing?
A government survey was conducted called the Workplace and Performance Relations Survey and this survey highlights the main factors that affect employee wellbeing. These components come from two different sources: social circumstances and the workplace environment. The former includes family, an inevitable influence, and the personable characteristics of the employee, whilst the latter includes anything that contributes to the workplace environment, from HR practices to the demands, security and clarity of the job.
How does employee wellbeing affect performance?
Firstly, there’s the financial cost to you if your employees are taking time off due to not feeling well. The average cost of sickness absence each year is £1,500 per employee. Improving the workplace environment will not only mean that your employee feels better but will attract them to the job and mean that they will want to come into work more.
That’s a simple way of looking at it, but a deeper one addresses the individual desires and enthusiasm of your employees, which, alongside their skills and qualifications, is absolutely vital to company growth and prosperity. Job dissatisfaction is linked to deterioration of business performance, affecting the financial output, the labour productivity and the quality of service in the company as a whole.
How to improve employee wellbeing
As an employer, you have a certain amount of power over your employees and there is a responsibility that comes with that. Whilst their private life is rightly not your business, you can ensure that, when at work, your employees feel safe and supported.
In the WPRS survey the factors that were cited as significant to job satisfaction were health (both mental and physical), pay satisfaction, job security, job demands, how much control the employee has and the clarity of their role. These are all things that rely on your ability as a manager of your trade.
But maintaining employee wellbeing requires more than just good business skills, it’s also about good people skills. As a manager it’s important to recognise the personal issues that effect each employee’s performance, be they disabilities such as dyslexia or paralysis, or more subtle challenges, such as smoking.
Smoking is responsible for on average 4,500 hospital admissions per day, and causes employees to take an extra 70% of a day’s sick leave every year. Bad health and the nagging interruption of a cigarette break, which costs employers £1,815 a year, impedes employees’s abilities to work at all, let alone work hard. The use of e-cigarrettes in the workplace is a grey area, however, with employees fighting their addictions, introducing e-cigarettes can provide an array of health benefits compared to smoking.
When you have someone in your employ – when your business’s success depends upon them – their health and wellbeing is really your priority. It’s important to be able to speak to each other and to have a bond of trust, otherwise you will never know when you need to do something to improve their wellbeing.
Clarity and honesty are key: find out what their personal challenges are and provide the support they need to be able to overcome it and you will see the reward in their improved enthusiasm, energy and loyalty.
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onSMB Newsroom covers the latest news in the business world.
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