Did you know*:

  • Healthy workers are up to 3 times more productive than unhealthy workers
  • For example, an unhealthy worker will deliver 49 hours effective work per month vs an healthy worker who will deliver 143 hours effective work per month
  • Healthy workers are less absent from work, and more engaged and productive when present at work
  • For example, an Unhealthy worker will take on average 18 sick days per year vs a healthy worker who will take an average of 2 sick days per year
  • Healthy workers are fit, energetic, alert, more creative and innovative vs unhealthy workers who have more often have low concentration and energy levels
  • Being known as an employer who values employee wellbeing makes organisations’ attractive to good talent.
  • This means a healthy organisation will attract and retain good talent – in turn saving on recruitment and training costs.
    • In this social media age, how you treat your employees and a damaged reputation or bad news can spread quickly.  No-one wants to work for an organisation known for poor treatment of its workforce.

These are just some of the reasons why organisations, whatever their size and irrespective of their industry, should prioritise employee wellbeing.

Because investing a little time and money to create as wellbeing program can deliver a substantial direct and indirect ROI.

PWC reported in 2014 that workplaces who take effective action to create mentally healthy workplaces can expect a ROI of $2.30 for every $1 spent.

I think we can all agree that is a decent ROI!

Now, I could have written this introductory section at any time pre-COVID19.

Yet as we all navigate our way through this global pandemic, a workplace wellbeing program is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ or something to help place your business on the Great Place to Work list.

Employees are doing it tough in this Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) COVID world, and demonstrating you care about your employee’s wellbeing is vital to the survival of your business.

A joint Wellbeing Lab/AHRI report released in August 2020 found:

Since COVID19 hit our shores, only 7.4% of Aussie workers are consistently thriving vs 14.7% in 2019 and 18.7% in 2018

81% of surveyed participants said their levels of struggle have increased in 2020

8 out of 10 workers reported feeling unsafe to share their struggles at work.

All of the above (admittedly lovely but possibly too many) words add up to this simple fact: You, yes YOU (even if you are the type of CEO only interested in the bottom line) needs to take employee wellbeing seriously.

I’ve had many years’ experience both as a culture change expert, lawyer and HR professional, working with organisations that are unhealthy. Where there is no wellness strategy, where comments like “they are paid for their work, why do I need to do anything more” indicate the total lack of importance placed on employee wellbeing.

I know how feeling unsupported, or worse, unseen impacts on the way employees show up to work – and in turn, what they deliver.

Again, this is true during normal times. Yet it is even more relevant now. Employees will remember how you treat them during the tough times – and have access to social media where they can complain about poor treatment.

Or relatives they can share stories with. Glassdoor reviews to leave.

Side note: This includes the way you treat anyone you make redundant during the tough times.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to improve the wellness of your business quickly and with little cost.

One example I spotted on Linked In recently made my heart sing.

A healthcare organisation sent packages to their employees who have been temporarily stood down. It consisted of:

 (Photo and words courtesy of Jason Bowers Linked In page).

  • A Marble – for when you lose yours
  • Tea, coffee and a snack – to help relax and remember the good times and think of those yet to come
  • Gum – to remind you that a team sticks together
  • Mints – because you are worth a mint to us!
  • A rubber band – be flexible; stretch but don’t break
  • A shiny coin – to bring you luck
  • A lolly pop – to help remind you to find the childlike joy in small moments
  • A puzzle piece – to let you know that our …. family is incomplete without you. Bring it with you in the first week so we can be whole again.

Xero NZ have produced a great, easy tool businesses can adopt called The Check In.

The steps suggested are:

  1. Get to know your team (yes, yes and again YES. This *may be something I have said once or twice before)
  2. Foster connection with your team
  3. Support others to look after themselves
  4. Make it okay to ask for help
  5. Optional extra step of making a longer-term commitment to wellbeing.

If you would like help with step 5, then today is your lucky day my friend.

Workology Co has developed a Workplace Wellness Program for just this purpose.

Contact alison@workolgyco.com.au if you would like to know details of the program objectives and deliverables.

And when you finish reading this blog, stand up and walk away from your device. Have a cuppa or quick stretch, stand in the sun for 5 mins, hug your baby (fur or otherwise).

Take a wellness break for your own well-being.

You’re welcome.

* Sourced from Wellplace.NZ