Here at Employment Hero, we know employee wellness in the workplace is important. We divert a significant amount of energy towards ensuring our workplace and culture is healthy and have definitely seen the fruits of our labour. Think happier employees, increased productivity and less turnover and absenteeism. We’ve written whitepapers on the subject and our experts on staff are regularly sought after by the media for informed opinions.
However, even with all this inside knowledge, we were still a little shocked by the results of a nationwide employee wellness survey YouGov Galaxy conducted on our behalf. The results showed 59% of employees will quit a job due to a toxic work culture. A huge statistic, especially when you consider that it is the topmost reason an employee will leave a role. Feeling underpaid doesn’t hold a candle to a toxic work culture.
How to create a healthy work culture and increase employee wellness
When it comes to creating a healthy and vibrant work culture, a variety of components are needed. These include a solid employee wellness strategy, reward and recognition models that are endorsed and enforced by leadership teams, employee benefits and HR processes that focus on people, rather than process.
LISTEN to our webinar about Creating A Mentally Healthy Workplace
In our survey, we asked employees to tell us what benefits they considered essential to workplace wellbeing. Here are the top 5 ranking answers.
Top 5 workplace benefits for holistic employee wellbeing
63% Flexible working
39% Evidence the company cares about mental wellbeing
36% Benefits that allow you to get more out of your salary
35% Company shows it cares for employees
31% Company subsidised financial assistance
Now we appreciate these answers are a little vague and that you are probably looking for actionable insights. Fear not! Let’s drill into these answers, shall we? Here’s your step by step guide to creating and implementing an employee wellness strategy.
1. Tips for implementing flexible work
Flexible working is becoming a key consideration for job seekers. Our research reveals that prospective employees consider flexible work alongside pay, location and career progression when making decisions about employment. Flexible working is considered even more important when it comes to holistic wellbeing with 63% of employees surveyed listing it as a key benefit for wellbeing. The good news is that flexible work policies don’t require huge budgets to action.
Think about the needs of your business and how flexible work can fit into that framework. Is remote working viable? Can you give employees the option to choose their own start and finish times? Is job sharing possible?
Once you have established what works for your business, create a flexible work policy that covers the dos and don’ts of your arrangement and ensure employees view and sign off on said policy. Even better, have them involved in the entire process! Ask employees what type of flexible working they’d like to see in the workplace, what parameters should be set and create a policy around the feedback provided.
Here at Employment Hero, our flexible work policy is delivered to employees as part of their onboarding process. It’s always on the platform so employees can easily check the specifics.
LEARN all about How To Ace Your Job Interview…As A Business.
2. How to show employees you care about mental wellbeing
Untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces an estimated $10.9 billion per year. Broken down that’s $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims.
While we could write an entire whitepaper on this topic (in the meantime, listen to this webinar about creating a mentally healthy workplace), we will stick to one suggestion in this blog. Engage the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). A powerful way to show employees you care about their mental wellbeing is to give them the means to seek help should they need it. Through an EAP, employees can access subsidised 24/7 counselling services thanks to their employer. Employment Hero has a relationship with Acacia Connection and we work together closely to ensure our staff are looked after, as well as the staff members of our clients who have also signed on to this program.
3. How to offer money-saving benefits to your employees
This one is all about group buying power. How many staff members do you have? Are the numbers significant enough to wrangle cheaper deals at the local gym, cafe and supermarket? Smaller businesses often struggle in this arena because they don’t have the numbers to entice other businesses to offer a discount. In this case, we recommend looking into an online discounts platform that you can join. Platforms like this aggregate the buying power of all their members (numbering in the thousands) to offer benefits and discounts that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Cough, cough…Employment Hero offers one such platform in the form the Hero Shop, an online discount marketplace that offers discounts on thousands of everyday products.
READ the Top 10 Benefits Employees Would Most Like Their Employers To Provide.
4. Tips for showing employees you care about them
How to show employees you care about them? In our nationwide survey, employees said companies could show they cared about their staff by fostering an active social life, organising company outings and providing advice on career management. Fostering an active social life doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavour. Here at Employment Hero, we have a coffee buddy program where we pair willing parties together each fortnight for a free coffee (we opened a tab at a nearby cafe). Plus, we have drinks in the office every Friday afternoon.
We also recommend reward and recognition programs and taking the time to check the pulse when it comes to employee happiness. At Employment Hero we conduct regular employee happiness surveys (shameless plug: you can do this through our HR platform!) and are sure to address the feedback we receive.
5. Providing subsidised financial assistance to employees
The final step in creating an employee wellness strategy that works is providing subsidised financial assistance to employees. Our collective financial health is dwindling. Our own research shows that 52% of all workers have difficulty meeting financial commitments. These numbers aren’t surprising. The Financial Resilience in Australia report by the Centre for Social Impact, in partnership with National Australia Bank, revealed that one in seven Australians are in severe financial stress and are living paycheck to paycheck. This means they not equipped to deal with a sudden expense or job loss.
It’s also been revealed that 8 out of 10 Australians do not seek expert financial advice and yet the aforementioned stats indicate that expert advice is sorely needed.
In our survey, employees said that employers could provide financial assistance by offering free financial advisory services, helping create budgets and by providing advice on how to save and reach financial goals.
Low budget ideas include bringing a financial expert to your workplace to conduct group workshops or presentations. Hosting goal setting workshops is also an easily implemented idea that yields huge rewards. Teaching employees about goal setting will help in all areas of the business. In our article about goal setting on our content hub Life Hero, we discuss setting SMART goals to hit financial targets. In fact, we use the same format inside our business for hitting our quarterly and yearly objectives. The better employees are at setting SMART goals in their personal life, the better they will be able to do it in the business and vice versa. It’s a win-win!
For more insights on creating an employee wellness strategy download our Insights Report: What Australian Employees Want.