Wellbeing doesn’t just include physical health – it also includes mental health, emotional health, social wellbeing, and our relationship with finances and the environment. Looking after our overall wellbeing means measuring how we’re coping with each facet on the spectrum and addressing concerns to improve our lives.
Intuitively, it makes sense that if a person’s overall wellbeing is positive, they are going to be happier and more engaged at work, performing well and developing positive relationships with colleagues and clients. And vice versa – if a person is unhappy at work, it will negatively impact their overall wellbeing.
Employers play an influential role in the wellbeing of their employees
At IQ-EQ, we want everyone to feel cared for and happy. We have identified four areas of employee wellbeing that we can positively impact:
- Psychological and emotional (mental health)
- Social (connectedness/belonging)
- Financial (minimising financial strain)
- Physical (staying active)
As a company where EQ is central to our brand, our people’s overall wellbeing is a critical part of our employee value proposition, now and into the future.
Backed by research
Of course, there is a lot of research driving the support of wellbeing in the workplace; Gallup is a leader in this space. Their research shows employee wellbeing is critical to employee engagement, which in turn impacts business performance.
Gallup addresses wellbeing under five key areas: career, social, financial, physical and community. In their research, in response to the question, ‘Do you like what you do each day?,’ only 20% of respondents answered ‘yes’. Similarly, Deloitte estimates that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion per year.
Worryingly, ‘burnout’ has increased over recent years as changes in how we work can negatively impact our wellbeing. Research in this area shows how employees can feel let down by their place of work. They may feel:
- They are doing things that they are not good at or don’t enjoy
- They are unclear about the expectations of their role
- They aren’t supported
- Their workload is unfair compared to others
- Their work doesn’t matter
How to improve employee wellbeing?
Think about how much time we all spend at work and the negative impact not enjoying what you do each day can have on your wellbeing.
So how can we improve our wellbeing in the workplace? Some areas to think about:
- We need to be clear about what we are expected to do and have the opportunity to play to our strengths
- We should spend time with people who align with the company values, purpose and mission and positively encourage our personal growth and development
We should create an environment that encourages social time for people and teams.
A toxic work culture can have a negative impact on wellbeing, but an inclusive workplace can have a positive effect. By encouraging collaboration between managers and teams, we can create a culture of transparency and trust, where employees feel heard and therefore valued.
The key takeaway is that a company needs to invest (time, money and resources) in recognising the importance of, and improving, employee wellbeing.
At IQ-EQ, we have an internal hub available to all employees through our intranet, covering various topics affecting employee wellbeing, health and safety, including stress, the menopause and repetitive strain injury, among others. This is supported by additional training on our online learning and development platform, ‘MyCampus’, which offers a suite of health and wellbeing modules.
Across our offices, we run various initiatives to improve employee health and wellbeing such as pilates, lunchtime talks on topics such as mindfulness, and mental health first-aid training. We also have employee assistance programmes that support our workforce across jurisdictions.
As we continuously review how we can improve, we recognise our people are at the heart of everything we do.
Answering ‘why should wellbeing in the workplace matter?’ is quite simple: wellbeing represents a combination of elements that are fundamental to us thriving as humans and in our work life. The sooner businesses recognise this, the sooner everyone’s wellbeing will improve.