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A wellbeing approach to retain, attract employees

Employee wellbeing is about more than just physiological or psychological health — employee wellbeing extends into both happiness and job satisfaction as well. This can include employee relationships with colleagues, the use of tools and resources, larger business decisions that impact them and their work, and many other factors.

In business terms, securing employee wellbeing can translate to the following:

1. More productivity: Employee wellbeing boosts productivity and performance. When feeling well, employees display healthier behaviours and better decision-making.

2. Higher employee morale: Employees feel more competent and valued when their needs are met at all levels, including physical, mental, emotional and financial.

3. Better talent: When your company has a good reputation in the market as an employer that respects and supports work-life balance, you're more likely to attract skilled candidates and retain your existing employees for longer periods of time.

4. Improved Client or Customer Relationship Management: Happy employees are your best brand ambassadors. If you treat them well, then that positive energy will pass on to your customers and others within your community. Those employees will also be extremely motivated in understanding how your products and services will best serve customer needs.

A recent Gallup report showed that 76 percent of employees have admitted experiencing symptoms of job burnout. As an employer, what are you doing to help prevent an issue like burnout from occurring in your business?

The following are some simple steps that businesses can put in place to safeguard employee wellbeing:

• Bridging the Gap

There seems to be one outstanding factor in a successful employee wellbeing programme: having a work culture that prioritises wellbeing. In short, this means that if you provide your people a workplace where wellbeing is valued as much as performance, their stress levels will probably decrease.

• Preventing vs Reacting

With everything going on with our world today, in some cases your people are likely to have not taken the usual breaks away from work that they would have normally done in the past. However, it is still important to prioritise rest. Have a discussion with your employees and come up with a plan together on how taking regular breaks away from work can be a mutually beneficial option for both parties.

• Encouraging People to Care for Each Other

This can include anything that brings people together in a pleasant and meaningful context — ranging from holidays or volunteering in the local community through to events that celebrate employee tenure or shared successes such as product launches — all in all this helps to build both a sense of common identity and strengthens social bonds with one another.

Giving people more control over their work life and providing them with social support fosters higher levels of physical and mental health. A culture of social support also reinforces for employees that they are valued, and thus helps in a company's efforts to attract and retain people.

■ Gemma is an HR consultant and employment specialist in BDO Gisborne's People & Performance team.

Gemma Hogg

  1. Stuart Moriarty-Patten says:

    These “how to make your employees feel good at work” never ever mention pay. It makes me suspect that they are just about getting more out of your employee without sharing the rewards. A well-paid employee is less likely to leave. An employee who is able to afford somewhere decent to live, or doesn’t have to worry about paying bills, is certainly going to be a happier person at work. My guess is that in reality the thinking behind this kind of advice is all about keeping profits healthy more than the employees.