The past few years have been tumultuous for the business world. The pandemic prompted unprecedented upheaval in all aspects of our lives and had a huge effect on company performance and employee performance across all sectors.
It has never been more important to retain talent, improve buy-in, and build a resilient business culture. Employee wellbeing is the key to future-proofing your business by ensuring your employees are equipped to weather any storm ahead.
Employee wellbeing programs were, for a long time, viewed as extras or unnecessary expenses that were of little concern to the company overall. However, the comprehensive 2022-23 Global Wellbeing Survey from Aon Global tells quite a different story.
According to the aforementioned report: ‘every four percent increase in wellbeing performance correlated to a one percent increase in company profit,’ which is proof that wellbeing initiatives pay financial dividends that cannot be ignored.
In this article, we’ll summarize the main findings of the report to help you decide where to concentrate your wellbeing efforts.
Brief Summary of Key Findings
- Employee wellbeing is a number one priority for companies across the globe, outranking other key areas such as attracting and retaining talent, financial margins, product innovation, and environmental impact.
- 63% of organizations globally say employee wellbeing has been more important to their company since 2020.
- 43% of companies worldwide have increased their spending on wellbeing initiatives, indicating a growing recognition of the importance of employee wellbeing in driving business success.
- There is still room for improvement, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, where individual emotional wellbeing initiatives are offered at a lower rate than in other parts of the world.
Employee Wellbeing Factors and Their Relation to Business Outcomes
Various metrics measure employee happiness and how that correlates to employee performance and, in turn, company performance. A holistic well-being approach includes physical, financial, social, career, and emotional wellbeing support.
Promoting employee physical wellbeing is essential for improving business outcomes. According to the Global Wellbeing Survey, many of the most popular physical wellbeing initiatives are preventative in nature, including immunizations, ergonomics evaluations, and health screenings.
Additionally, physical activity, musculoskeletal conditions, and high blood pressure are identified as the top risk factors affecting company performance. Yet, despite the risks of poor physical wellbeing, only 50% of organizations incorporate physical wellbeing into their employee wellbeing strategies.
Investing in employee physical wellbeing reduces the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses, ultimately improving business outcomes. By implementing a comprehensive physical wellbeing program, businesses can ensure a healthy and productive workforce.
The study also uncovered that financial wellbeing is the area companies currently lack the most. Although 34% of companies surveyed offer advice on retirement savings, employees tend to be more preoccupied with their day-to-day financial situation.
Financial wellbeing pertains to salary but can also extend to bonuses and financial incentives for high employee performance. It can further stretch to employee support through debt advice and financial planning services that can help reduce overall stress in an employee’s life.
Stress is a significant factor when it comes to employee performance. It’s apparent from cross-referencing with other studies that minimizing stress directly impacts employee performance. Furthermore, reduced stress can decrease staff turnover and protect your company’s bottom line.
Social wellbeing refers to interactions with others in their community. In the workplace, this pertains to team building and staff appreciation. The Asia Pacific region’s most popular social wellbeing initiatives are employee rewards, flexible working accommodations, and team-building activities.
The survey also found that employees who feel supported by their colleagues and managers are more inclined to invest in the team’s success. This positive work environment also leads to higher retention rates, with employees being 1.5 times more likely to remain with their current employer, reducing the likelihood of a costly and disruptive rehiring process.
Career wellbeing is the area in which employers can enact the most positive influence on the lives of their employees.
The Global Wellbeing Survey suggests that companies can boost career wellbeing by offering customized training and career coaching and encouraging staff to envision their future goals within the organization.
Finally, emotional wellbeing is probably the most interconnected of all the factors above. A person’s emotional state affects every area of their life, and this, of course, includes work.
45% of respondents to the Global Wellbeing Survey said that the most important accommodation for emotional wellbeing is flexible working (making it the top factor polled). But work environment and mental health policies also scored highly.
Employee Assistance Programs and stress, anxiety, and depression programs are the most popular initiatives in this area. The study found that these programs can improve employee engagement, job satisfaction, and productivity, leading to higher levels of innovation and overall success for the business.
Where to Integrate Your Wellbeing Initiatives
Wellbeing initiatives should directly tie in with your business’ Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategies in order to maximize the output of your labor force.
A comprehensive wellbeing strategy understands that issues under the umbrella of DE&I, such as gender identity, race, and family status, directly impact a person’s overall wellbeing.
Wellbeing is also closely associated with Health & Safety, which now extends beyond physical safety into the world of mental health. The WHO estimates that anxiety and depression cost the global economy 1 trillion USD annually, predominantly through absenteeism.
That said, staff training, such as masterclasses in mental health first aid or mindfulness and stress management, can be excellent tools to empower your employees to support each other.
How Does Employee Wellbeing Help Your Business?
Surveys worldwide have proven that your staff’s wellbeing directly improves your employee performance and, therefore, your company’s performance.
Businesses that invest in comprehensive wellbeing packages are more likely to attract and retain top talent. This has been demonstrated by the top employee assistance programs (EAPs) globally. Employees who feel supported in their wellbeing are three times more likely to remain with their employer and recommend their employer to others.
The risk of not addressing employee wellbeing can be costly. While the global rate of reported feelings of burnout is 1 in 4 employees, it climbs to 1 in 3 in the Asian Pacific region. Burnout is a significant factor in low productivity and, therefore, low company performance.
What Can You Do?
If you want to increase employee performance and boost your profits, it’s time to invest in your people.
The Global Wellbeing Survey found that a quarter of companies have implemented a new wellbeing strategy in the last two years, but the Asia Pacific region is lagging behind. Fewer wellbeing initiatives are offered here than in other areas of the world, with only 20% of companies providing ongoing emotional wellbeing programs.
We at MindFi are leaders in our field in the APAC region. Our app-based employee assistance program offers 1:1 therapy bookings, group therapy and sharing sessions, and self-help resources, which are essential services for improving employee wellbeing and business outcomes.
Let us support you so you can support your employees better. Creating a happier, healthier workplace is a proven method of enhancing company performance, so what are you waiting for?