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Sage: Increased productivity starts with employee wellbeing

Benefits | Wellness | Sage Employee Benefits | 5-minute read

Posted on: Thursday January 19, 2023

Look after your most important asset

Over the past few months we have spoken about the power of benefits, financial wellbeing, reward and recognition and boosting employee engagement,  the objective is to develop an environment where employees feel appreciated and happy in their jobs.

Collectively, these kinds of initiatives fall under the umbrella of employee wellbeing. Get them right, and you’ll boost your productivity in no time at all.

Understanding employee wellbeing

Once upon a time, employee wellbeing meant building an environment where workers were simply kept safe from accidents and illnesses. But, the world of work has moved on (thankfully!)

On top of physical wellbeing, employers are now concerned with the mental (and emotional) health of their workforce. This may not always be an altruistic pursuit: it’s been shown that higher employee wellbeing leads to increased productivity.

Employee wellbeing, absence and the bottom line

Still not convinced? Consider the aspect of presenteeism (where employees come to work, but their productivity is greatly reduced due to factors like injury, illness, or stress).

The Centre for Mental Health found that the cost to the UK economy was a staggering £15.1 billion per annum. The same report attributed a further £8.4 billion in losses to absenteeism.

The fix should come as no surprise: better company culture (the fair treatment of employees and the provision of support when it’s needed) and a more open environment with regards to mental health. In other words, employees should have a "safe-space" to voice their concerns to managers who are trained to respond appropriately.

This approach can be rounded out with a more holistic approach to absence management — for instance, the CIPD recommends conducting return-to-work interviews to get to the bottom of the causes for the absence. They also recommend maintaining frequent contact in case of longer-term absences — with the sensitivity required to deal with potentially difficult personal situations.

The employee wellbeing cheat-sheet

Below is the seven-domain model proposed by the CIPD — which looks at factors that contribute to employee wellbeing. Ensure that you strive towards better employee wellbeing by asking yourself the questions for each category.

Key domain

Questions to ask

Health

Do you adequately promote better physical health (e.g., with health benefits or employee assistance programs)?

Are your workspaces and equipment safe? In addition, are employees trained in personal safety?

Have you implemented mental health initiatives (e.g., stress management or occupational health support)?

Good work

Do you foster an open and inclusive culture?

Are your line managers effectively trained to sensitively handle people?

Do your employees enjoy good work-life balance, clearly defined roles and job satisfaction?

Values & principles

Is your leadership grounded in strong values, trust and clear missions and objectives?

Do your CSR initiatives enrich the community you operate in?

Do you champion diversity through people and processes?

Collective & social

Are your employees’ voices heard in decision-making processes?

Do you foster an environment that rewards teamwork and encourages healthy relationships?

Personal growth

Do you provide a clear path to career development (e.g., via mentoring schemes or coaching)?

Do you encourage continuous learning?

Good lifestyle choices

Do you promote employee initiatives for better physical health and healthy eating?

Financial wellbeing

Do you compensate your employees fairly?

Do you offer adequate support for retirement planning?

For many small and medium sized businesses this can all seem a little daunting!  But, don't worry - help is at hand!  Sage Employee Benefits offers a wealth of information and support tools to boost the wellbeing of your workforce and make you a more attractive employer. 

The OnDemand GP helps employees get medical help fast, while the Support Line delivers immediate assistance for all aspects of mental wellbeing from financial worries through to legal matters.  There are also lots of great programmes and self-help sheets for your staff and your managers to fully support your workforce. Employees can also access up to six counselling sessions, either face-to-face or remotely, to help them get back on their feet.

Want more tips for championing employee wellbeing? Get in touch with a Sage Employee Benefits expert to find out what is on offer.

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