Cultivating a positive work environment and culture has always been a priority of successful businesses. While duty of care obligations enforce a basic standard of practice it is those that go beyond these guidelines who most benefit from such effort and investment, a return is clearly seen as businesses navigate a new landscape of employee mental health and remote working operations.
Many efforts made toward workplace wellbeing are now, for a number of reasons, outdated and must be reevaluated or changed if a company is to restore or achieve harmony and happiness among its employees. This is because the expectations and needs of individuals have changed, as well as, in many cases, their professional environment too.
Why It Is Important
Workplace wellbeing is important because, fundamentally, it ensures that employees are physically and mentally able to work. Beyond this most base expectation, it ensures that employees are happy and willing to complete tasks, are better engaged with each other, productive and creative, and altogether more loyal to their professional position. Additionally, it reduces the number of personal issues and health complaints that employees might experience in the workplace.
As we transition into a post-pandemic society, employees are faced with a greater number of personal stressors, issues that present themselves in their personal lives but that can ultimately impact their workplace performance. While the responsibility of support does not directly fall upon the shoulders of a business, it is in a company’s interest to offer support, even in the form of workplace counselling, to employees, even solely to minimise the impact external issues may have upon professional output.
Additionally, at a time when employees are more frequently working in an environment that is removed from a central business location, it is invaluable to ensure that they remain positively connected to their colleagues and business, or else face a greater risk of alienation.
While the human benefits of workplace wellbeing are clear, it is the company benefits that are less often understood. More content employees means fewer unscheduled absences and a lower rate of staff turnover, which drastically reduces employment costs within a business. Leaders might be inclined to perceive mental health issues, to the extent that absences occur, as infrequent but they have historically been disguised with physical ailments.
Striving for a better workplace, including offering benefits such as corporate training courses, also increases brand image, which attracts a more qualified workforce, outshining competitors with a more desirable working environment that, in turn, raises the quality of a team’s output. Employees will also be inclined to share a positive image of the company, leading to a greater public perception too.
Another significant benefit is productivity. Simply put, happier employees are more active and effective, being able to complete their tasks with fewer distractions and more enthusiasm. Such enthusiasm is also contagious and helps to affect other employees and departments, meaning that a small investment in the quality of operation can have an extensive impact, inspiring employees throughout the business too.