Latest Public Sector News

25.03.14

Wellbeing at work

A guest blog from Investors in People

Tight deadlines, long hours, ever-growing to-do lists and unforeseeable circumstances can all take their toll on your people – especially in an environment of constant budget pressure and uncertainty. In our recent Investors in People Wellbeing at Work Poll (February 2014), which questioned 3,000 people working in a wide variety of sectors, more than 50% of employees felt that their bosses didn’t care about their mental wellbeing, so long as they got the job done. And over a third of these people had already considered looking for a new job.

With low morale, stressed out staff are more likely to take time off work. Our survey showed that stress makes ‘sickie’ rates soar: one in 10 Londoners have ‘pulled a sickie’ more than five times in the past year alone. What’s more, unhappy staff give less to the organisation when they are there. And they’re less likely to stay with you in the long term – increasing your recruitment and training costs and impacting on your ability to attract and retain the best talent.

The good news is that having the right systems and support in place can reduce stress levels, and increase employees’ motivation and commitment towards what they do. 51% of the people questioned in our survey said that health and wellbeing benefits provided by their employers had added to their overall sense of job satisfaction.

Whether it’s talking to your team to find a working pattern that fits for them, being more adaptable to their needs, encouraging regular breaks and exercise or simply showing your appreciation for their hard work, focusing on wellbeing can work wonders. In fact, our survey revealed that eight out of 10 employees would feel more positive towards their employer if they offered health and wellbeing benefits.

Some of the most popular employee benefits included:

• Flexible working hours (43%)

• Health insurance (41%)

• Dental insurance (23%)

• Opportunities for career breaks (10%)

• Complimentary fresh fruit (10%)

However, for these benefits to have a really positive effect on your workforce, they need to be taken seriously and grounded in a work-wide approach. 46% of stress is attributed to workload, according to The American Institute of Stress – so you may also need to make some broader management decisions, backed up with clear-cut policies and regular reviews of your people’s happiness and motivation.

Investors in People’s tips on creating a good workplace culture could help your business develop a healthier and happier culture.

And if you think your business has its culture just right, you might want to consider the Investors in People Awards, launched for the first time this year. Any Investors in People accredited organisation can apply for a range of Awards, including Most Innovative People Strategy, Excellence in Work-Life Balance, and Excellence in the Public Sector. Look at all the categories, and find out how to apply here.

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