Wellbeing in the workplace – no longer a nice to have, a need to have.
Wellbeing is a term that continues to prevail in academic debate. This dynamic process draws on an individual’s subjective experience. It is something influenced by age, class, gender, culture and beliefs. “A State of Wellbeing is one when every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the everyday stresses of life and can work productively.” World Health Organisation
For many businesses wellbeing has moved to the top of their priorities and agenda. Many have made a noticeable shift as they recognise wellbeing as a core competitive advantage.
Why is wellbeing gaining so much attention? A more complex global economy offers many positives but with it comes challenges shared by businesses. Constant change, uncertainty, steep competition, tight margins, time pressure and stretched resources requires us humans to keep up. This often means blurred boundaries between home and work and greater expectations which can leave us feeling like we are running on empty.
Businesses opting to prioritise wellbeing is fuelled by the startling statistics supporting ill health and lost productivity.
- Poor health and wellbeing is costing the UK economy up to 57 billion a year in lost productivity (Rand Europe, CIPD Community)
- Poor Mental health costs the UK government £26 billion per annum (Thriving at Work: The Independent Review of Mental Health and Employers)
- Work related Ill health made up of stress, anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 12.5 million work days lost in 2016/2017 (HSE)
How does the cost of not including Wellbeing impact a business day-to-day and long term? This is seen in mounting cost of absenteeism and presenteeism – staff arriving at work feeling in sub-optimal condition and as a result not being fully engaged. Consider staff turnover and lack of talent retention. Replacing staff members costs time and money in interviewing, screening, onboarding and training. High staff turnover means continuously trying to get staff up to scratch, impacts your existing team which has an influence on customer service and ultimately your bottom line.
When we’re not feeling our best, this often presents as stress and subsequent behaviour associated with stress and illbeing. It shows emotionally through short temperedness; withdrawal, anxiety, low confidence, aggression and high anxiety. Physically we may experience energy fluctuation, headaches, immune system disorders to name a few. These behaviours create the environment that we work in.
Investing in Wellbeing shows the following return on investment:
- 25 – 40% reduction in absenteeism (British Heart Foundation)
- Staff being 8 x more engaged (British Heart Foundation)
- Highly engaged staff are up to 30 days more productive (Rand Europe Survey, CIPD Community)
- Every £1 spent offers a £3 – £4.70 return (British Heart Foundation)
Not to be overlooked: The Value on investment. These outcomes are less easily monetised and can be noticed in staff morale, employee engagement, participation and company profile. This is the energy and the culture of your business.
Implementing Wellbeing into your business starts with choosing to make it a priority. Thereafter even the smallest change yields a great return.
“The cost of doing nothing is far greater than the cost of doing something” Dr Edington, University of Michigan Health
Leigh McKay holds a BSc (Hons) degree specializing in Psychology and a diploma in personal development coaching through the Coaching Academy. Her keen interest in the psychology of behaviour and the impact of health on performance saw Leigh focusing solely on Wellbeing. Workwise Wellness was formed 4 years ago which is a successful Wellbeing Consultancy today.
Leigh promotes that a workplace and community that promotes wellbeing can have a positive impact on everyone’s mental, physical and emotional health. She strives to encourage a culture which prioritises healthy choices.
Whilst the overall approach is a holistic one, Leigh’s key area of focus and training is emotional resilience. She has been involved in this area sharing insights with executives; businesses both large and small; charities, schools and within the community.
For more information on Work Wise Wellness see www.workwisewellness.co.uk