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Prioritising employee wellbeing to boost productivity


By: Nicky Hoyland, CEO, Huler

The recent discussion around the mental health of Olympic athletes has raised a fundamental question around the impact of stress on people’s wellbeing. And while athletes have access to extensive physical and mental health support, the same can’t be said for millions of hybrid workers, who are at risk of developing uncurable diseases due to workplace induced stress.

These stories have also highlighted the importance of taking days off during times of high pressure if it is impacting your mental health and the numbers really do tell the story. A recent study by the World Health Organization found that mental-health issues result in a $1 trillion annual hit to the global economy because of lost productivity. This issue has only gotten worse during the pandemic, as employees deal with the challenges and social isolation of working from home.

Despite this, many organisations are failing to put the wellbeing of their employees first. The recent annual Human Capital Trends survey from Deloitte found that 96% of respondents believe their organisations is responsible for the well-being of employees, but only 79% said well-being isn’t currently designed or integrated into the workplace. With employee isolation, anxiety and burn out taking centre stage as we move into a new hybrid working model, the onus is on businesses to balance the new flexibility afforded by remote and virtual workplaces with the need to put positive human experiences at the top of the agenda. Organisations that fail to prioritise the wellbeing of their employees will risk employee burnout and ultimately lost productivity.

So how can organisations prioritise the wellbeing of their staff?

Data and personalisation

Personalisation is becoming increasingly important in the workplace and is vital to ensuring employee wellbeing. It is common knowledge that employees are far more likely to interact with and adopt wellbeing initiatives tailored to them, so organisations must ensure they are trying to do this.

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The best way to do this is use data. Through data, employers can understand which of their employers use certain wellbeing schemes and push these schemes to them. This would provide employees with something genuinely relevant to their everyday life, boosting their workplace satisfaction and wellbeing.

Taking a wider view of the issues, data analytics could allow employers to spot usage trends linked to demographics. For instance, that young people typically get little value from private medical insurance (PMI).

Personalisation is absolutely key for the modern employee across all aspects of work, and this includes their wellbeing.

Visibility

Organisations can offer the greatest and most tailored employee wellbeing package in the world, but there is absolutely no point if people are unable to access it. To overcome this, it is important to make wellbeing programmes as easy to navigate and access as possible. With many businesses adopting hybrid working, it has become even more difficult to keep employees abreast of what is going on within the business.

Collaboration platforms make this easy and enable businesses to push their employees towards initiatives and ensure all materials are saved and easy to access. This is particularly useful for new starters that are getting to grips with the wellbeing programme that their new employer offers.

It is time for organisations to prioritise employee wellbeing to boost both happiness and morale.

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