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Work is always more enjoyable and productive when staff engagement is high, but for this, employee wellbeing is important. Sadly, in 2022, a burnout study found that employee burnout has risen by 5% in the last twelve months, indicating a drop in employee wellbeing. What’s more, over 17 million working days were lost in the UK from 2021 to 2022 due to work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

With this in mind, it becomes essential for employers to do all they can to improve wellbeing at work to improve employee health and wellness and increase workplace resilience.

What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing supports employees’ health and safety, promoting physical, mental and emotional health and wellness while creating a safe, supportive work environment. Due to the individual experience of wellbeing, it can look different in every organisation but always requires a holistic approach.

When employee wellbeing is prioritised, organisations report higher employee retention rates, increased morale and motivation, improved health scores and increased productivity.

Why employee wellbeing should be a top priority

Increased performance

A supported employee who feels safe in their workplace is more likely to perform better. When employers prioritise employee wellbeing, they’re helping to ensure employees are better able to manage their health and wellness. This means they’re less likely to suffer work-related stress, fatigue or burnout. When employees are healthy, energised and feel well, they are better able to bring their A-game to work, increasing work performance.

Enhanced engagement

All employees want to feel like they matter to their organisation. Prioritising individuals in an organisation through wellbeing initiatives can help organisations show that they care about the individual. When employees feel like they matter, they’re more likely to be invested in the organisation’s mission. This increases employee loyalty, which can turn into brand ambassadors and promoters. It also increases engagement and retention, which can cause a positive ripple effect across an organisation.

Reduced absence costs

Staff absence can be costly for businesses, including covering their pay, additional resources required, lost productivity, and potential administrative costs. However, by adopting health surveillance and wellbeing support programs, it is possible to reduce the healthcare and absence cost employers face.

While wellbeing is an investment, there is usually a positive return on investment with reduced absence and healthier, happier employees. Wellbeing initiatives such as health surveillance are likely to deliver more benefits than costs.

Fostering a great workplace culture

For leaders looking to create a productive and healthy workplace environment, prioritising workplace wellbeing is essential. From offering health surveillance to detect ill health earlier to offering strategies such as mental health support, feedback mechanisms and flexible working arrangements can all enhance workplace wellbeing and deliver greater engagement, productivity and employee retention for a bright business future.