Employee wellbeing in the workplace remains high on the agenda for most businesses and organisations. Research has shown that happy and healthy employees are more productive, engaged, and motivated, which can lead to improved business outcomes, specifically retention rates. However, many businesses struggle to implement an effective employee wellbeing strategy.
Supporting employee wellbeing requires more than just offering gym memberships or healthy snacks in the office. To truly promote employee wellbeing, employers must take a holistic approach that addresses the five pillars of wellbeing at a more strategic level. This includes executive and senior leadership buy in, allocation of ownership and consistent monitoring and reporting. This is where many well intentioned efforts to boost employee wellbeing typically run in to problems.
Let’s take a brief look at the 5 Pillars and their impact on individuals and the business:
Physical wellbeing is essential for overall health and productivity. Employees who prioritize their physical health through regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep are more likely to have higher energy levels, better concentration, and improved mental health.
Mental or emotional wellbeing is critical for employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees who feel valued, supported, and recognized for their contributions are more likely to have higher job satisfaction, better mental health, and increased loyalty to their employer.
Social wellbeing is an essential component of employee wellbeing. Employees who have positive relationships with colleagues, feel connected to their team, and have a sense of belonging in the workplace are more likely to be engaged and productive. The relationship a business has with its local community and environment can also have a knock-on effect to an individual’s wellbeing.
Financial wellbeing is a critical aspect of overall wellbeing. Employees who are financially stable and secure are more likely to have better mental health, be more engaged at work, and have fewer distractions related to financial stress. It’s important to note that this does not relate directly to a person’s level of wealth.
Career wellbeing involves feeling fulfilled and satisfied in one’s job. Employees who feel challenged, supported, and valued in their work are more likely to have higher job satisfaction, better mental health, and increased motivation to perform at their best.
without structure or a framework to measure data and base reporting and communication around, the majority of wellbeing initiatives will fall flat or under perform
Taking a holistic view of employee wellbeing gives businesses a framework from where they can start to gather and measure data. This data can be used to feed wider people analytics efforts as well as employee experience initiatives. Employers can base their wellbeing communication around each of the five pillars. They can focus their efforts on each pillar in turn to educate their employees and help them take action to boost their wellbeing across the board. Supporting individuals incrementally in each area will have a compound effect over time.
Having a framework to structure reporting and communication around, is key to driving wellbeing initiatives forward and making them core to a business’s overall people strategy. Without structure and a strategic approach, employee wellbeing risks being looked at as woolly or not taken seriously. This is a risk for businesses, specifically when it comes to their retention rates.
The modern-day employee expects more than a pay packet, a pension and an insurance policy, and are much more sensitive to workplace culture, and the overall employee experience. The attitude an employer takes to the wellbeing of their employees forms a large part of this and shouldn’t be overlooked. If it is, the best people will walk and seek pastures new.
If employers want to take employee wellbeing seriously and reap the rewards that can be achieved, they should seriously consider adopting a holistic framework like the Five Pillars of Wellbeing. Many will find that they are already collecting relevant data in their existing practices. By subtly changing their perspective they can implement an effective employee wellbeing strategy that will benefit both their employees lives and the performance of the business.