Wellbeing has stopped being a buzzword now however I am always amazed at the amount of companies that do not have in place an offering around wellbeing for their employees.
I’m going to apologise now for the fact that this is a long and rambling article – but please stick with it!
What is wellbeing?
- a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterised by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare:
To influence the wellbeing of the nation and its people.
Let’s think about what level of influence employers have over these things…didn’t take long did it (I hope)
So let’s all work on the basis that Happiness is a by-product of how the world is for you right now
Happiness makes people 12% more productive
And also that you cannot really measure happiness or demand happiness at an individual level because…well we are all different!
I had this conversation with one of our clients recently a HRD looking after 30,000+ people in a fast paced retail and manufacturing business who said:
“I don’t think it’s my role to make people happy at work based on a fixed definition of the term happy, happiness is an intrinsic thing and everyone has their own scale of happiness. my role is to make sure people can be themselves at work, free and safe to make decisions and make mistakes, supported in their goals at work and if appropriate outside of work, to be supported as leaders and by great leadership to enable the company goals to be met or exceeded. and hopefully this will make them happy, but their version of happy”
We discussed the impact employers can have on worklife balance here
Now let’s think about Health and Prosperity.
We all agree that a healthy worker is better for business, reduced absence levels, reduced stress, reduced cost of private medical insurance, reduced burden on time and other employees and a physically/mentally fit employee is a great advocate for your business.
There are a huge range of ways an employer can influence an employee’s health through corporate culture to employee benefits.
However the risk is that maybe this doesn’t motivate everyone and just gives those that would be healthy anyway the opportunity to save money and carry on as is.
Go and check out Healthia for a great example of how a health benefit can be engaging for everyone at every level of fitness.
I spoke recently with Zoe Temperton from Westfield Health and they are doing amazing things in the employee health and resilience space, personalisation of health benefits and products not just for the individual employee but looking at how they can support external influences on employee health and wellbeing in the work place.
And the data that can come from wellbeing schemes can really help employers understand where they should focus their budget, time, communication and effort.
So just with a few employee benefits we can engage in health and provide support to all employees.
Add onto this, healthy canteens, fruit drops, local activity clubs, employee assistance programs, mental health awareness, flexible working and you are well on your way to having a great health offering.
But why bother with all this Health?
Well this brings us nicely onto Prosperity
What’s the landscape looking like?
The Capita Employee Insight report (Get a copy here) tells us:
- House prices to income are at the highest levels since the 2008 recession
- Labour productivity is flat and we consume more than we produce
- 24.1% of employees feel worse off
- 30% of 45+ year olds feel worse off
- Nearly 38.3% of employees say that they could not cope with an unexpected bill of £1000
- DB Pensions declined from 36% to 13% of companies in the private sector (Capita report 2015)
As the demographic of what pension’s people are paying into changes, changes to legislation and the move away from DB pensions companies are going to have to think about the impacts of their employees who will not be retiring at 65.
- People will not be leaving key roles, impacting on the talent pipeline
- Productivy could reduce
- Health costs will increase (Insurance costs, healthcare benefits)
- Absence could increase
Bridging the gap with your wellbeing offering
So two key things that we at Cloud9 People think an employer can do are:
- For employees who will be working past the usual retirement age – help them be healthy
- For employees who still want to leave at retirement – help them with their financial education and potentially provide financial benefits
We’ve already listed loads of health options but what is there for helping your employees with their finances?
Firstly – WHY?
Is this not going too far, our employees financial situation is surely their business? Isn’t it?
Yep –but let’s take that argument to its final conclusion, their health is their responsibility (so remove health benefits), their future is their responsibility (so let’s offer the minimum pension), their mental wellbeing is their responsibility (so let’s remove EAP’s and ignore stress in the work place)
Adding any wellbeing offering should add value to the employer and financial benefits/education are no different.
There are lots of financial solutions out there:
- Share saving schemes
- Discounted shopping
- Pensions and AVC’s
- Corporate ISA’s
But more important is Financial Education, this is being taught in primary schools now – but a lot of your workforce have never had this.
60.3% of employees felt their employer should provide them with access to financial education (From the Capita employee insight report 2016/17)
The tough part is working out what education to give and to who – we all know that the rich tapestry that makes up all the employees in your business is as varied as it could be!
Companies like Nudge are offering financial education that responds to individuals own situations, it allows individuals to see where they are against a benchmark and also to set their own hopes and dreams for the future, Nudge then tailors its education around this.
You can also target people close to pensionable age with advice about how to use their pension pot in the best way possible, but let’s face it if you only concentrate on this small population you have an issue coming to bite you in the future.
The graphic below shows the Cloud9 People approach to wellbeing and describes why you may want to look at this, we see wellbeing as enabling employees to make choices, achieve their goals and deliver great results for you the employer:
Health + Wealth + Happiness = Wellbeing
We offer wellbeing surveys as part of our employee survey solution Touchstone to help companies really understand how employees think about their own wellbeing.
This blog was written by Nick Court.
Or contact Nick directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
At Cloud9 People we help all sizes of companies look at how they can add value to their people conversations, feel free to get in touch and see how we could help you.
If you want a wellbeing review, come and have a chat and we can help you out.