What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing refers to the overall health, happiness and satisfaction of a company’s workforce. Our article aims to answer this question and provide an insight for employees and business owners.

Stephen Hough
Managing Director
What is employee wellbeing?
Stephen Hough
Managing Director
Group Health
May 23, 2023
Read time: 

Employee wellbeing refers to the overall health, happiness and satisfaction of a company’s workforce. Our article aims to answer the question of what is employee wellbeing and help business owners and their employees understand the benefits and actions they can take to have a positive impact on their workforce.

What are the different types of employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is an umbrella term encompassing many different health and wellbeing types. Some wellbeing factors will be related to an employee’s personal life, while others are specific to their working environment. 

Understanding and taking action to improve all aspects of employee wellbeing may provide the most benefit as they are all closely related and affect one another. We’ve listed the various factors of employee wellbeing and what you may wish to consider below.

Physical wellbeing

Physical wellbeing refers to how physically healthy your employees are. By promoting healthy habits and fostering a work environment that encourages and supports physical wellness, you may improve the physical health of your staff. Some actions that may improve this include:

  • Encourage regular exercise - Make physical activity more accessible for your employees. This could be through gym discounts, exercise incentives, workplace fitness challenges, in-office gyms, exercise classes and more.
  • Offer ergonomic workspaces - Ensure that your employees have ergonomic workspaces such as adjustable chairs, correct lighting, adjustable equipment height and training on how to use equipment ergonomically.
  • Make nutrition readily available - Provide healthier food for your staff and ensure any onsite food options provide nutritious options. Educating your employees on healthier food choices may help them to make more informed choices on their eating habits.
  • Encourage breaks - Regular breaks for employees to stretch, walk and engage in healthy physical activities may help to reduce health risks.
  • Offer occupational health services - Identify, understand and create targeted action plans about the physical health risks in your business while helping employees understand safe working practices.
  • Provide health assessments - Help employees understand their personal health and provide tailored ongoing support based on their unique health profile.
  • Company health insurance - Private health insurance offers employees access to many healthcare services, treatments and resources that may help during periods of ill physical health.

Mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing focuses on the mental health of your staff and how you can create an environment that reduces stress and promotes positive psychological health. The following considerations may help to improve mental wellbeing among employees: 

  • Company culture - Educating your workforce on the importance of mental health, the risks of stress, and how to manage mental wellbeing may help to reduce stigma and create an environment that supports and accepts mental health issues.
  • Stress management - Offer workshops, classes, or provide resources that educate employees on techniques they can use to manage stress and improve their mindfulness.
  • Workload management - Ensure that workloads are realistic, manageable and organised in a way that helps your employees to succeed. Offer training on prioritising tasks and improving how effectively employees manage their time.
  • Counselling - Offering counselling services may help employees during difficult periods, such as disastrous life events or periods of high stress.
  • Flexible working arrangements - Offering home working arrangements may improve the work-life balance of your employees and provide them with the flexibility needed to reduce life stressors.
  • Mental health resources - Online learning tools, informational booklets, events and other resources can help educate employees and ensure they know their options if they experience poor mental health.
  • Health assessments - Provide health assessments that include examinations of the mental health of your employees. Create action plans based on the results, unique to each individual.
  • Company health insurance - Many private health insurance policies have the option to include mental health coverage, which may provide employees with access to support services, educational resources and treatments.

Social wellbeing

Social wellbeing considers your employees' relationships and social interactions and how this plays into their overall wellbeing. Some actions businesses can take include:

  • Team building activities - Organise events that allow your employees to interact with each other outside of the working environment, such as team-building events, retreats and social gatherings.
  • Team culture - Create a culture that focuses on collaboration and teamwork by creating processes and an environment where employees can communicate with one another.
  • Flexible working - Offering flexible working hours may help your employees to engage in social activities within their social lives that they would otherwise be unable to attend.
  • Inclusion and diversity - Offer equal opportunities, respect diversity and create an environment where every employee feels valued and included in the wider goings-on of your company.
  • Community and charity involvement - Organise and encourage employees to engage with community based services as individuals or as part of a team.

Financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing focuses on how financially stable employees are and how they manage their finances. Some examples of actions that may improve this area include:

  • Fair compensation - Regularly review employee salaries to stay competitive on financial compensation and ensure your staff are receiving fair pay for the role and responsibilities.
  • Financial education - Provide workshops, resources, seminars and other communication tools to effectively educate employees on managing their finances.
  • Retirement plans and investments - Offer pension schemes and opportunities to invest in your company to help employees save for their future.
  • Employee benefits - Offer a comprehensive benefits package that include benefits such as health insurance and childcare support. These benefits provide a direct cost savings to employees compared to if they pay for it themselves.
  • Critical illness cover - If your employees are diagnosed with a critical illness, this cover pays out a cash lump sum to help cover some of the associated costs.
  • Income protection - If your employees are unable to work due to sickness or injury, income protection will provide financial support until they’re able to return to work.

The benefits of improving employee wellbeing

Improving employee wellbeing may bring many benefits to a business and its employees. By implementing practices and assigning resources to improve staff welfare, they may help create a positive work environment that fosters productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty. Here are some examples of the benefits you may experience:

  • Increased employee engagement - When employees report greater levels of wellbeing, they may be more engaged and committed to their work. Engaged employees may be more likely to go the extra mile, contribute positively to the workforce and achieve results in their role.
  • Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism - Improving employees' health and wellbeing may help reduce staff absences and presenteeism (employees being present but unproductive due to health issues). Combatting these issues may directly impact productivity and save on related costs.
  • Improve employee retention - Happier employees may be more likely to remain in their same position, especially if their employer has implemented processes and support networks that directly contribute to their wellness.
  • Boost productivity and performance - By introducing measures that positively impact the wellness of employees, you may find that they're able to be more productive and perform better. Many of the negative effects of poor wellness can directly impact performance, so combatting these may help to have the opposite effect.
  • Enhance your company’s reputation - Prioritising your employees' wellness may help improve your reputation and become known for the efforts you put into improving the life of your workforce. This may help to attract top staff and offer you an advantage over your competitors.

What steps can you take to improve employee wellbeing?

To help improve employee wellbeing, businesses can implement many of the strategies we’ve covered, alongside other processes, insurances, perks and practices.

We understand how important employee wellbeing is, and have longstanding experience with helping companies introduce insurance policies that aim to improve employee wellbeing. These range from group health, business protection and group risk based coverage, and we’re on hand to offer tailored advice to each business.

For a commitment free consultation where we’ll get to know your needs and offer free, impartial advice, please complete the contact form below, and we’ll be happy to help you.

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Our advisors are available to answer any questions, compare or renew policies, and help advise you on insurance needs. To speak to someone, provide some contact information, and a member will be in touch.

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