Wellbeing: must or hype?

Well-being is one of those words that’s everywhere right now, particularly in the world of work. You can see it splashed across job adverts and company websites, and it takes up lots of newspaper column inches and airspace on radio talk-shows.

But is it simply the latest buzzword or something all businesses should consider doing?

So, what is well-being?

Let’s start with looking at what well-being actually is. Put simply, it’s an all-encompassing term for the quality of a workplace and how workers feel about being employed somewhere. It covers everything from the physical environment to how well people are looked after and their engagement levels within the business. And it’s fair to say lots of businesses now see well-being as their most important key performance indicator.

It’s about the people, people

Ask most business owners what their most valuable asset is, and they’d probably say it’s their workforce. And if you’ve got a precious resource, it makes sense to look after it. When you apply this to people, it means keeping them healthy – physically and mentally – so they’ll be always be able to do their best when they’re at work.

And encouraging the right behaviours

A workforce that does things like eating the right foods and exercising regularly is less likely to take time off through illness and stress, as they’ll be more resilient and able to deal with challenges more effectively.

Retention will go up

Happy, engaged employees are much more likely to stay loyal to a business than those that aren’t. People who feel valued will work harder and want to progress. Showing that you care about employees’ well-being will help make them a life-long cheerleader for your business. Recruitment will be easier, too, for the same reasons.

Productivity will too

With improved well-being comes improved productivity. As we said above, people who feel valued at work will naturally try harder. You’ll also see a reduction in presenteeism (being physically at work but not actually working) and absenteeism with a healthy, satisfied workforce.

What about the negatives?

While there isn’t really a downside to well-being, it can be a challenge to get every employee to take advantage of well-being initiatives in an organisation. It could mean a culture change is needed. Well-being doesn’t work if it’s pushed onto people either – they need to feel it’s something their employer genuinely cares about rather than just ticking a box.

Well-being is about making sure people are happy and healthy, so they can always work to the best of their ability. Both mental health and physical sickness cost employers dearly and having a strong well-being programme in place can help keep a workforce strong in mind and body. Providing a flexible benefits package that suits their individual lifestyle and circumstances is one way of doing this.

So, well-being – is it a must or not worth bothering with? That’s up to you – let us know what you decide.

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