Why Is Commitment To Staff Well-Being So Important:
We’ve probably all heard about (and marvelled at) the Google office spaces. The desks accessed via a slide must brighten even the greyest of days. Yet the pandemic has shown that what workers value as contributing towards staff well-being is a far stretch from this. With much of the population now working remotely, it is perhaps unsurprising that office novelties are wearing thin.
Changes to working patterns have proven particularly revealing. Moreover, they have shown that companies who prioritise their staff’s actual well-being fare better than those who invest in office ‘luxuries.’ These changes are especially significant for smaller firms who might otherwise struggle to hold on to their staff.
Flexibility and Understanding
A recent survey by YouGov and YuLife showed that 87% of workers would be more likely to stay with an employer who demonstrates consideration for their well-being. And, interestingly, further two-thirds said that they would welcome company benefits designed to promote healthy lifestyles.
On the back of this, many businesses are now asking how they can improve their commitment to staff well-being? While there are many specifics we can look at, they are all rooted in ‘flexibility and understanding.’ The pandemic has shown how easily life can be upended on a global scale. As people adapt to a new ‘normal’ for ways of working, companies must remain supportive and understanding of the struggles their staff may be facing.
As mentioned above, there have been many outstanding efforts from companies striving to put their staff well-being first at this time. One such example is tech business DevOpsGroup, which has taken steps to train several Mental Health First Aiders. This has resulted in more 1-2-1s, increased coaching and comprehensive support for staff.
In recent years, mental health awareness has achieved increased attention. And with many good reasons! Yet encouraging good mental health is especially important from a business perspective. Toxic cultural norms (think stress or presenteeism) can have a crippling effect on staff mental health. That, in turn, can impede staff from performing to their best.
Other examples of steps businesses have taken to improve employee well-being include introducing a four-day week. Design studio Normally has already implemented this measure. Undoubtedly, many companies will be eager to see how this measure works out. To date, the indications are good, with Co-founder Chris Downs stating that ‘By focussing on workplace efficiency, we do in four days what most people do in five.’
What we can learn from current well-being measures
A healthy work/life balance, flexible working policies, and understanding are crucial to employee health and productivity. It’s true that cost will likely limit what you can and cannot afford to do for your staff well-being, but an optimistic, and positive working ethic is free of charge to us all. And, as we have seen, it is not necessarily the companies that can roll out all of the bells and whistles that have the most loyal staff base.
What is certain is that companies are beginning to reap the rewards through policies that help their employees. So, do take some time to think about how your firm demonstrates a commitment to well-being. It is fast becoming a determining factor in where staff want to be, and which will stand all firms in good stead for the future.
As always, if you would like to speak to an adviser, please do call us on 01243 767 469. Alternatively, you can email us from our contact page, and an adviser will be in touch!
Written by Steve Burns
Steve is a chartered financial planner who has been with Lewis Brownlee for over 20 years, who now heads up Lewis Brownlee Financial Services. Under his directorship, the firm has established itself as a specialist provider of professional, informed and impartial advice.