Sickness absence due to mental ill health costs the UK economy more than £8bn per year, according to the Centre for Mental Health charity, while the cost of reduced productivity from those suffering from mental ill health who turn up to work is a further £15bn every year. Further research conducted by the CBI, said it cost an average of £720 for UK businesses every day last year because someone was absent from work due to ill health.
The definition of wellbeing is “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.” Having a happy, healthy and comfortable team is imperative if you’re looking for a productive workforce, low staff turnover, and longevity for your business.
So, it seems like a no-brainer that instilling authentic and effective wellbeing programmes into your business is a good idea. But how do you actually go about incorporating a wellbeing programme? Don’t fear – I’ve put together some different initiatives businesses can take – read on to see what one(s) could work for you.
On-site fitness programmes
With longer hours now becoming a thing and employees expected to stay in the office for a large part of their working lives, the least a business can do is give them perks that make them feel better and perform better. From standing desks to guided yoga classes, to stress management courses or full-on gyms – anything that incorporates life balance, joy, health, and work productivity is on the right path.
Mindfulness training is a great tool to help your employees relieve stress and feel balanced but can also increase productivity and focus on day-to-day work. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, breathing, and yoga help employees become more present as well as enhance their efficiency. Implementing a mindfulness programme is a win-win for both the employee and the company.
Flexible working arrangements
Working from home isn’t for everyone. But for those who can, it can lead to a huge boost in productivity and provide a mental and emotional break from a long commute and from being in the office for long hours.
So, if it’s appropriate for your work environment, give employees the option to work from home a day a week – it can make a world of difference. Trust also plays a huge factor here if this method is going to work – believe that your employees are indeed working from home and not, in fact, catching up on the latest Jeremy Kyle episode.
Access to healthy food
Who doesn’t like free fruit in the office? But how about going one step further and providing access to organic, processed-free foods at a moderate cost – or even for free? Sure, there’s the initial cost involved, but think back to the cost of sick days and then start thinking long term. And as food is often thy medicine, combining healthy foods with some of the other items identified on this list, means you’re on your way to developing a balanced programme, that’ll help your employees both physically and mentally.
Emotional intelligence development
Putting the theory into practice is key when it comes to developing emotional intelligence. There are several courses that teach practical exercises, designed to enhance this muscle within – all with the aim of creating an elevated emotional quotient that heightens employee performance and increases productivity, whilst reducing stress.
Make your team feel appreciated for the work they do – but know that people have different ways of feeling appreciated. Regularly scheduled incentive-based trips can boost the morale and wellbeing of the majority of employees because these trips imply that you’re invested in them, you want to spend quality time with them, and want to bond as a team.
Whichever method(s) you choose to become part of your wellbeing programme, it’s imperative that the reason behind implementing them is authentic and meaningful.