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5 Strategies To Improve Workplace Wellbeing

Posted by Kate Smedley on 19 Jan 2017

PwC’s 20th Annual CEO Survey reports that 83% of UK CEOs are concerned about their ability to attract people with key skills in the coming 12 months. Workplace wellbeing is central to your ability to hire and retain talent in 2017 but the UK is facing a problem. 

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) figures[1] show that 11.7 million working days were lost to work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16. Stress was the reason behind 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

These figures support the CIPD’s 2016 Absence Management Survey which highlighted stress as the leading cause of long-term absence in the workplace. The area most affected according to the HSE is the public sector, including education and health and social care, but no industry is immune.  Workload pressure, too much responsibility and a lack of support from line manager bosses are all causing stress at work.  

Engaged employees mean higher productivity levels, better staff retention and a more successful talent management strategy. Here are our suggestions to improve wellbeing in your workplace:-

Offer flexible working : Flexible or remote working is a straightforward way to improve wellbeing. Over a third of working fathers would consider a pay cut to spend more time with their families but 11% aren’t offered that option by their employers, according to the 2017 Modern Families Index report. A rigid workplace environment is more likely to lead to the loss of your most talented employees. Your recruitment software will provide insight into attrition rates and the number of your job posts that offer flexible working.

Be alert to presenteeism : Presenteeism is a growing problem in the working environment. For example, the FT reports that NHS staff are off sick for an average of 11 days each year but 65% also reported coming to work when they were ill during the previous month. Levels of presenteeism are higher than absenteeism in every sector, a factor which the CIPD believes is behind persistent low productivity in the UK.

Create a wellness programme : The CIPD recently reported that two thirds of companies do not have procedures for supporting staff with illness and only 45% have policies for dealing with bereavement. Including a wellness programme as part of your job offer can boost productivity by as much as 13%. Chronic diseases are also on the rise. The Lancet last year predicted that one third of UK adults will be obese by 2025. Focus on physical as well as mental health and be open to acknowledging health problems. Employees must feel confident in approaching HR to discuss the issues affecting their performance at work. 

Review your zero hours’ policy : The prevalence of zero hours contracts in the UK is adding to workplace stress. One fifth of employers give their workers on zero hours contracts just 48 hours’ notice of shifts starting, changing or being cancelled. One fifth don’t allow staff to refuse these shifts. Furthermore, one in four people report that money worries are affecting their performance at work. Job security is the number one priority for job seekers today. Your business will struggle to attract and retain staff if it does not examine this key issue. A review of your HR analytics will provide insight into potential issues with employer brand which are often indicated by high staff turnover. A poor reputation increases your hiring costs by 10%.

Introduce wearables : The Times this week highlighted the growing use of ‘sociometric badges’ to monitor a number of employee behaviours, including sleep patterns, tone of voice and interaction with colleagues. A major bank and parts of the NHS are reportedly using them in the workplace. Sleep deprivation costs the UK economy alone up to £40 billion per year. Wearables can help to monitor health and wellbeing among your employees and identify potential problems. While offering benefits for HR and employees, their use requires careful monitoring. Wearables can also be used in the hiring process to improve candidate selection. Our previous article Wearables at Work : Big Data Or Big Brother explores this issue in more detail.

Investing in technology frees up vital time for HR to focus on the issues that matter in your business and pay attention to employee wellbeing. Our recruitment software enables your business to do just that. Don't struggle to attract the talent you need in 2017. Start your 30 day trial today.

You might also like to read:-

Is Technology HR’s Key To A Happier Workforce?

Gig Economy Or Zero Hours Contracts : How HR Can Get It Right

We cover the issues facing the public sector and healthcare in our indepth reports, which are available to download here.

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Topics: talent engagement

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