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Apr 17, 2019

Employee Wellbeing


In recent years, the importance of employee wellbeing has been given a more prominent focus within the workplace. Organisations are recognising the link between an employee’s emotional and physical health and how this is connected to their productivity levels. Employees who are happy and healthy are shown to be more engaged and innovative, which helps a business thrive...

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) wellbeing report revealed that employees who feel more appreciated at work have positive associations about other aspects of their lives such as health and relationships. This provides a link between a supportive workplace and a happy employee.

Similarly, a recent study conducted by Gov.uk reviewed the impact on employee wellbeing and its potential effect on workplace performance suggesting a stronger focus on well-being will result in improved workplace performance, linking to profitability, productivity and quality of output.

Organisations appreciate the priority of health and wellbeing and the importance of demonstrating that each employee’s health and wellbeing is valued. However, every organisation is at a different stage of development with regards to the strategy they employ and how they can make it tangible for the employees.

What does Health and Wellbeing mean to your Organisation and how can it be Measured?

There are many definitions of employee wellbeing available which can be confusing when conducting research. The CIPD has defined this as “Creating an environment to promote a state of contentment which allows an employee to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves and their organisation.”

The CIPD believe that employee wellbeing initiatives need to balance the needs of the employee with those of the organisation. This highlights the importance of providing tools, techniques, and support to employees to ensure they are valued and feel connected to the organisation they work for.

There are many approaches to measuring health and wellbeing and the good news is that some of the data can be attained easily and from within your organisation. By using sickness absence records, staff turnover and/or health insurance claims data you may possess on an existing scheme you can establish potential cost, days lost per year and other issues affecting your organisation.

There are organisations, such as CS Healthcare, that are willing to conduct free health checks across your organisation, checking key stats such as BMI, hydration levels and blood pressure and provide your organisation with an anonymised report for a clearer picture of the health of your workforce.

Setting your Objectives and the Strategies to Achieve them

Viewing this data in an integrated way, you can begin to identify the hotspots and trends that will present the key areas that you would like to work on and which will have the biggest impact. An area which can be seen as important across many organisations is mental health. There are many others that can be relevant to each organisation and a wellbeing programme can be built on a bespoke approach.

Raising Awareness of Mental Health

To support employee wellbeing at work, many organisations are focusing on mental health awareness. According to the ICSA: The Government Institute, 61% of employees within the UK have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor. Encouraging good mental health is vital to ensure employees feel motivated and supported in their job. Research also reveals that an employees’ psychological wellbeing not only has an impact on them but can also affect the productivity of a team/organisation as a whole. Therefore, it is imperative to put steps in place to provide support as well as raise awareness.

What could be some of the Benefits of a Wellbeing Programme?

Health and wellbeing programmes can provide company-wide benefits, that include;

  • Increased motivation and productivity. Ongoing support helps staff work through personal or work-related difficulties and helps maintain productivity. This enables employees to feel more motivated and therefore commit more energy to their work
  • Higher staff retention. Employees who feel supported will have the passion, drive, and determination to commit to the organisation and can ensure the organisation retains its best employees and keeps training and recruitment costs low
  • Reduced sickness absence. Staff will face fewer physical or mental ailments that require time off or be aware of them earlier to access the treatment quickly before any condition has time to deteriorate further
  • Reduced presenteeism. Presenteeism is when a member of staff comes to work despite not being in the best physical or mental health, which causes them to perform below standard. According to research, presenteeism costs one and a half times more than absenteeism because it causes accidents, underperformance, and mistakes. Jobs often need completing twice, or staff have to take more time off than they initially would have
  • Higher job satisfaction. Employees who feel appreciated at work gain more satisfaction from working. According to a workplace survey, 80% of people said that better wellbeing benefits would make them feel more positive towards their employer. 1 in 10 said that something as simple as complimentary fresh fruit would improve job satisfaction
  • Improved reputation. Companies that do not treat their staff right are well known, and this can put off applicants and potential customers. It is therefore critical to building the reputation as a company that respects and supports people giving a competitive edge and attracting a higher calibre of candidates

What are some examples of the Wellbeing Initiatives being put into Practice?

Organisations that have a strong connection to their employees can quickly put steps in or consider what options they have to reduce workplace stress as well as support an employee’s mental health and overall wellbeing. There is no a ‘one size that fits all’ approach however, a range of options for employees to choose from can provide the support that they need and many organisations are now investing in health and wellbeing programmes to support an employee’s physical and mental health. These steps go a long way in providing support and will contribute to a feeling of safety, security, and health.

Like any other initiative or change that you would like to implement, communication will be a key factor of its success. Understanding how your employees like to communicate and getting as close to making it as personal as possible has proven to be a way to disseminate health and wellbeing messages in an integrated and successful manner. Creating advocates and champions across the business can transcend the management hierarchy and giving a member of the senior team the responsibility of the initiative will keep the focus and drive the organisation will need.

Improving the Wellbeing of Employees

  • Provide flexible working arrangements for employees. Not everyone will be able to work from home, but those that can and who prefer it will often see a huge boost in productivity as this provides a mental and emotional break from being in the office
  • Encourage balance at work. Employees who have a good work life balance are more efficient and productive. A culture of leaving the office on time and not checking emails can lead to a more refreshed workforce
  • Organisations can encourage healthy living by offering healthy snacks such as fruit and many points and ways to keep hydrated throughout the day
  • Employees should be encouraged to leave their desks for exercise
  • All desk space should be ergonomically assessed so employees are not getting lower back, neck or shoulder pain
  • Organisations can also offer other incentives such as workplace Yoga, gym memberships, cycle to work schemes
  • Health screening or health checks provided by the employer can give the employee an opportunity to pulse check their health in their busy lives

Mental Health Initiatives

  • Managers should communicate that mental health issues will be treated with compassion and that no one should ever feel reluctant to admit to problems out of a misguided fear of being judged or shamed
  • Organisations can host education programmes for all staff to remove stigmas around conditions such as mental health
  • Managers should be provided with mental health awareness training to have the skills necessary to identify and manage employees with mental health conditions
  • Organisations can have mental health champions to encourage and support employees who need to reach out

Utilising Wellbeing Training

Organisations are equipping their employees with the latest tools to help employees to manage their stress levels and a good example of this is mindfulness training.

Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training focuses on manifesting positive emotions and helps employees identify when they are stressed so they are able to act fast.
Mindfulness Tips

Throughout the day, notice your posture, Are your shoulders raised? Is your jaw clenched? Are you holding any tightness or tension? Research shows that making even slight physical adjustments, like sitting upright changes your physiology, which changes your mental state.

Some Simple Techniques to add Mindfulness to your Day

Resilience Training in the Workplace

Resilience training is often viewed as a useful tool that employees can use when combating stress and is becoming an essential factor in the workplace. Resilience can help employees respond to challenges with more flexibility and allows employees to become more adaptable, and as a result, perform more effectively in their roles. This training equips employees with techniques to adapt and respond to stress and challenging situations in a resilient way. Research by Doctor Angela Smith has focused on the development of specific skills that support a resilient workforce.

This research focuses on implementing the 5Cs of Resilience:

  • Compassion
  • Control
  • Choice
  • Curiosity
  • Consistency 

Through the training employees are able to identify when they are in survival mode which can lead to stress, anxiety, fear and blame and through the training move through the stages of the resilience model to a state of growth which focuses on being more self-aware, having a purpose and meaning and able to deal with stress and adversity effectively.

“The world of work has evolved past just looking after the ‘traditional’ health and safety of employees to one where total wellbeing is fundamental.”

What Support does the Organisation need to deliver the Health and Wellbeing Vision beyond its own Resources?

A question to answer will be how much of this can be achieve by the resources that an organisation has in-house and when does it look beyond to work with partners that can add value and insight. CS Healthcare has 90 years of experience of serving members for their health and wellbeing needs and can help support your organisation’s wellbeing strategy.

We work with community serving organisations that want to make a difference to society, whether that is large government departments through to small education establishments, offering free health checks to support organisations with their health and wellbeing baseline, a health content library to support the communication strategy and health plans that can be affordable, flexible or comprehensive, providing an employee benefit that delivers speed of diagnosis and treatment along with award winning care.

With our award-winning customer service team and network of carefully selected hospitals, our members know they are part of a society they can trust. Our members are in the safe hands of our UK-based experts, who have repeatedly won awards for their exceptional customer care, achieving the ‘Most Trusted Health Insurer’ at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards for 3 years in a row (2016, 2017 and 2018). We ensure our members get access to a quick diagnosis and fast treatment in a private environment, designed to speed up recovery.

For more information on how CS Healthcare can support your health and wellbeing strategy:

Phone: 020 8247 4060*
Email: sales@cshealthcare.co.uk
Website: www.cshealthcare.co.uk

Civil Service Healthcare Society Limited is incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Register number 463F. Registered Office: Princess House, Horace Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2SL. Civil Service Healthcare Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority - Financial Services Register number 205346. Our products are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

*In the interests of continuously improving our services to members, your call will be recorded and may be monitored for training, quality assurance purposes and/or prevention and detection of crime.

 

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