Happy, motivated employees work harder for your business and there are some simple ways you can increase wellbeing in the workplace. Read on for five of the best.
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We are always told that good nutrition and well-being is the key to a happier and healthier lifestyle, so why should this be restricted to our personal lives?
The average full-time worker will spend over a third of their waking week in work (based on a 39.2-hour working week and accounting for eight hours’ sleep each night) and therefore employers have a responsibility to look after their staff if a business is to become happier and healthier too.
Speaking from experience, we have found that implementing well-being measures at Love Energy Savings has had a really positive impact on the business, proving to us that a commitment to employee health really does reap rewards. Here are five reasons why it pays to look after your most important resource - your staff.
1) Recruitment & Retention
A key growth driver in any business is the ability to recruit and retain great staff. By offering employee perks and additional benefits you can really stand out among your competitors when it comes to attracting the top talent in your industry.
Investing in weekly fruit baskets is a quick and easy place to start. Making healthy snacks freely available will not only result in improved punctuality (tackling breakfast-related lateness!) but it also sends out positive signals to external job applicants who may be coming in for an interview.
Do you want to go one step further? On-site gyms are a huge perk. Proven to reduce stress and release happiness-inducing endorphins, there is nothing like a quick cardio session during the day to boost staff morale. Even if this is not a practical option for every business, negotiating reduced rates with a local fitness centre is a great alternative, and it could really make you unique.
Want to give employees some hapiness-enducing endorphins? Build'em a gym
2) Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important metric by which a company is measured, with the likes of Best Companies turning it from a concept into a science. It is the degree to which an employee is emotionally attached to their job, and the impact this then has on workforce happiness, morale and productivity.
Simple things, like encouraging the use of a suggestion box, can instantly show a workforce that their employer cares. Putting time aside every month and bringing the business together to open the box, talk through the suggestions, and work on a solution will reassure staff that their opinion is valued.
Ensuring your office has a communal space can also result in office positivity. Encouraging employees to eat their lunch socially, away from their desks, can have a greater impact than you may think. Taking that hour just to rest, laugh and chat with colleagues can rejuvenate staff for the second half of the day.
If your business is one that cannot justify a 60-minute block of inactivity, stagger lunch breaks for the different teams, similar to the way you probably used to do at school. This allows everyone to have a good break and take the time to have a nutritious lunch, rather than eat convenience foods quickly while hunched over a computer.
3) Increased Productivity
There are so many articles out there on the best brain-boosting foods, and while it may not always be pragmatic to have a fridge stocked with omega-3 loaded salmon and baby spinach, encouraging staff to drink more water is a tried and tested way to improve productivity.
Several scientific studies, such as this one from the University of East London, have shown that when a person becomes dehydrated, it affects their cognitive function. Dehydration can impair short-term memory, focus and decision making, which are all characteristics one would ideally like to see in a productive employee.
If there is an office fridge, try and make sure it is stocked up with bottled water or invest in a water-cooler. Making this brain-boosting beverage easily accessible will encourage employees to drink more of it plus, water-cooler talk can sometimes inspire the best ideas.
A hydrated workforce is a happy workforce
4) A Positive ROI
A happy business is a successful business, but how can you measure how happy your workforce is?
Sending a survey around the office, a few months after starting a nutrition or well-being programme, will allow you to gain insight into how your employees are feeling. This can be as black & white or open ended as you like, ranging from 1-10 style questions to more general requests for honest comment.
It is a given that not everybody is going to support the changes being made and questions may be asked by those who want to see a commercial benefit. Here it would be expedient to show how increased workforce happiness can lead to increased productivity which, in turn, will benefit the business’s bottom line. The survey and employee feedback will be crucial here in demonstrating the scheme’s ROI.
5) Improvement to the Company’s Reputation
Finally, showing you care about your staff will portray to customers and potential business partners that you are an ethical business that does things properly.
It is also easy to merge office nutrition into your existing CSR policy. Supporting local producers by buying seasonal fruit and vegetables for the office will not only aid the local community but it can also benefit your bottom-line. CSR policies are playing an ever more important role in customer decision-making, which will directly impact your company's success. Local produce also tends to be cheaper so it’s of dual benefit.
Ultimately, what is good for the employee, is good for organisation, which is in turn good for the customer.