What Will Employee Wellbeing Really Cost You?
Wellness is not just about a person’s physical and mental wellbeing but also the contributing factors therein. Professional wellness covers job satisfaction, motivation, engagement, alignment, advocacy and performance. Lee Lomax, Co-Founder & CEO of Beem, explains for CEO Today below.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK currently stands 20 percent below average for output per hour compared to other G7 countries. What is all too often missing in the most eminent global brands is entering into a digital dialogue with their people and effectively communicating term based objectives within the company. According to Gallup only 13 percent of the global workforce is currently engaged. Despite this research being incredibly damning, it’s little surprise. Many employees don’t fully understand their role within the company, are not aligned, have no transparency over their working day and are generally dissatisfied with their role. However, many enterprises have no clear idea that such problems plague their organisation.
In order to foster a future-proofed outlook toward the workplace environment and unlock the true potential of employee wellness, businesses must first look at improving workplace engagement across the board. All too often many frontline jobs are culturally accepted as degrading or menial and are inwardly admonished. The first step to re-positioning frontline professions is for enterprises to promote wellness and support the employee experience in its entirety. Revitalising the attitude towards frontline employees is the key to this cultural re-positioning of front-line professions.
When we’re engaged we have an emotional investment – meaning our own self-interests are closely aligned with the organisation’s own goals. Employees must be reminded that they’re an active and invaluable part of the company, that they’ll be listened to, and that they can be helped whenever needed. Rather than cogs in a machine, they’re humans that drive the most important actions in any global company.
Companies with a positive working culture and environment regularly outperform direct competitors by as much as three times. In fact, stats show that high levels of employee engagement increase operating income by as much as 19.2 percent, while low levels of engagement may result in losses of 32.7 percent: a performance gap of 52 percent. The financial impact of employee detachment is for the most part irrefutable, yet many enterprises continue to overlook modern digital practices over ad-hoc communication and insufficient strategy.
There are many that measure ROI against relevant investment in your people such as high attendance, satisfaction, retention and performance, but it’s important to consider three key deliverable pillars – Cultural, Access and Engagement.
A strong cross-company culture breeds collective brand support, stimulating an organic recruitment cycle. New technologies are helping enterprises to flatten hierarchy and improve transparency. This is proven to have a positive impact in attrition, sick leave, and general productivity and satisfaction.
Accessibility is a central challenge to any dispersed enterprise and arguably one of the most bureaucratic. Many global organisations are still saddled with outmoded architecture and platforms, and their frontlines are detached from the centre of the organisation. Without a line of communication to, and throughout the frontlines, enterprises are incapable of having either an empirical or emotional view of their people and their levels of engagement. Considering today’s requirements for always on information, this becomes an area of commercial damage and disenfranchisement for the end employee.
Engaged employees showcase their skills with greater speed, efficacy and collaboration because they simply enjoy what they do. It’s a no-brainer; when you’re interested in and connected to what you’re doing, you are more likely to revel in it and your professional life becomes truly entwined with your personal one. The blurred barriers between these two worlds are quickly becoming a unified and fluid norm.
It’s easy to look at the area of employee wellness as a technologically political concept or just so large that we struggle to take a step toward improvement without feeling overwhelmed. Employee engagement is the building block needed to unlock real workplace satisfaction and in turn, enterprise productivity. For us all, it can increase overall happiness and inspire a higher purpose to work, and for businesses, it will enhance your ability to compete globally. Enterprises are beginning to take notice of inward innovation and its effects on performance. This is a strong step toward evolution in the space and the benefits that workplace wellness brings.