Employees can be a company's biggest asset, if they are deployed and managed effectively across the organisation. Particularly in a difficult economic climate, a hardworking, engaged and motivated workforce can make a huge difference for businesses of all sizes. As such, companies need to think about how they can maximise the productivity of each individual and of the teams they comprise. Every worker is different, meaning employers may need to be flexible about how they treat each individual case.
What is for certain is that employees are only productive if they are healthy enough to come into work each day and give their all. Staff members not only need to be healthy in body but also in mind. Should there be failings in either case, the chances of employee absenteeism, and the associated lost productivity, rises quickly. As such, employers need to be giving greater consideration to the wellbeing of their staff.
According to Oliver Gray, managing director of energiseYou, businesses should be looking to avert health issues before they start to impact on individual output and the overall bottom line. But rather than being proactive, many are continuing to take a reactive approach to wellbeing, seeking to help people only when they become sick or injured. Mr Gray argues that preventing these occurrences in the first place is key to maximising productivity and avoiding unnecessary costs.
"Successful organisations know there are huge benefits to be had from combining reactive health interventions, like private medical insurance, with proactive sessions to help employees really understand what simple changes they need to make to improve their health," he told HR Magazine. "The forward thinking companies know that by taking a more proactive approach, focusing on both physical and mental well-being, and promoting healthy ways of living they have a real opportunity to make a positive change to the health, energy and performance of their staff."
Mr Gray said this not only reduces the cost of reactive health interventions, but also increases positivity throughout the organisation. Employees feel as if their managers and company bosses are genuinely concerned about their welfare, and this can boost morale. "In order to deliver real change we need to move away from thinking about wellbeing as a standalone activity," Mr Gray told the news provider. "It is something that needs to be threaded through all talent management activities and that really becomes part of the culture."
He said that only by helping employees understand what simple changes they need to make to change their habits will organisations reap all of the benefits of healthy, energised, high performing staff. For instance, encouraging workers to take regular breaks can help avoid eye strain and headaches, while providing suitable seating and running training sessions on posture can eliminate back problems. Similarly, opening communication channels with all employees and encouraging them to flag up any issues can help avoid the build-up of stress and tension which can ultimately lead to lengthy absences from the workplace.
"By organising health and wellbeing sessions that are relevant, dynamic, engaging and informative employees will be motivated to take action and it is this that will enable them to perform at their best," Mr Gray stated. Businesses do not need to invest significant sums of money on these sessions, or even set hours aside during the week. They simply need to make employees aware of the issues, and most pertinently, the fact that support and advice is available should they need it. If employers can make their workers believe they are not on their own, this is half the battle won.
"Organisations that are taking a proactive approach and making employee wellbeing part of their culture with directors, managers and employees buying into the concept are reaping the benefits," Mr Gray told HR Magazine. "They are not only seeing a reduction in sickness absence and staff turnover but also an increase in performance, higher staff engagement and reduced healthcare costs." And in a difficult economic climate, this can be what makes the difference. Businesses need to operate as efficiently as possible, but without jeopardising output and turnover. If they can maximise the value of their personnel, they can go on to achieve so much more.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 28th May 2012
A Marketing Executive is required by a very successful Wokingham based enterprise that has been established for over ...
Graduate Networking Engineer
The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a hugely successful global IT business, seeking to recruit a bright and talent...
Application Team Lead
The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a finance sector specialist to assist in their search for a Development Manager...
Senior Systems Administrator
Windows Systems Administrator - Redhill, Surrey. A small IT Managed Services provider is looking for an accomplished ...
A global Hedge Fund based in the heart of London is looking for an articulate Desktop Architect/VMware Specialist to ...
A global Hedge Fund based in the heart of London is looking for an articulate Desktop Architect/Support Analyst to jo...
Is faster better?
‘Hire slow, fire fast’ - it’s an old business adage that continues to hold traction today. But in today’s hiring envi...
Unemployment falls to 4.3 per cent
Unemployment in the UK fell to 4.3 per cent between February to April 2017 and May to July 2017, the lowest since 197...
Keeping candidates engaged during the recruitment process
The relationship between a hiring team and a candidate can be a highly fruitful one, if it has been cultivated proper...
UK companies to publish pay ratios between CEOs and workers
Companies publicly listed in the UK are going to be expected to make public how much their chief executives are paid,...
Are internal candidates a safer bet than external candidates?
When you need to recruit for a vacancy in your firm, you’re faced with two choices: hiring externally or promoting in...
Does it pay to recruit with diversity in mind?
Is diversity a significant aspect of your recruitment strategy? If not, you may be hindering your company’s future pr...