How your employees' well-being affects your bottom line...
By Yvette Jeal ACC, Business Coach
I'll let you in on a little secret…In my quest for ever increasing productivity (for myself and my clients), I have been introduced to the simplest yet most sensible theory: Enhanced emotional and physical wellbeing equals enhanced success.
We have created a culture over the last few decades that celebrates the desk slave; the one who is first in, last to leave, works through weekends, and does it all with little regard to health. We push harder and harder for increased productivity, and then scratch our heads as we pick up the pieces when it all falls apart. And. It. Always. Does.Because the approach is unsustainable.
I have fallen victim to this myself in the past – haven't we all? – but since working with a company that specialises in helping individuals within organisations make sustainable change to their daily habits, I have noticed significant improvements in both my efficiency and energy. It really is the small changes that can have a big impact on your mental and physical wellbeing, leading to improved productivity and performance.
Many forward-thinking businesses are starting to catch on to this and are investing in the health and wellbeing of their workforce using external consultants that specialise in this area. Anna Keeble from -- a company that describes itself as Driving Business Wealth through Peoples' Health – explains it as "forward thinking business leaders investing in employee wellbeing and thus benefiting from higher performance, engagement, productivity and cost savings, leading to an indirect impact on the bottom line."
According to Keeble, many companies are still very reactive in their approach to wellbeing, highlighting that they pay 36% more for health care now than they did five years ago and costs are rising. While FTSE 100 companies that report on wellbeing outperform the rest of them by 10%.
It makes sense, doesn't it? If we are paying for endless sick days for our employees, high attrition rates or managing a staff that is burnt out and exhausted, how can we expect them to reach their full potential?
Now, as with most things in life, making lifestyle changes we know are going to benefit us is easier said than done. My guess is that a lot of you already know that you should be adequately hydrated (2-3 litres a day), well rested (mentally and physically), and well fueled with nutritious whole food, starting the day with a protein-based breakfast. But how many of us grab a bowl of cereal in the morning because it's quick and easy, and suffer the blood sugar peaks and troughs that affect our concentration throughout the day as a result? Guilty! We often know what we should be doing but struggle to actually do it. Identifying what it is that stops us from achieving our goals throughout the day/week/year and overcoming these barriers is where this process really plays out.
Personally, I've been learning to set myself up for success with these changes by planning, preparing, believing in and valuing my goals and being open to change…Not so dissimilar to the process of coaching!
As time goes on, we are undoubtedly going to see more companies move away from the traditional one size fits all blanket approach to wellbeing and recognize the value of the preventative and personalised approach.
"It's simple really," Keeble says, "If you want your business to do well then you need to look after your key asset; your people. Help them tackle the challenges to their wellbeing and you will see the benefits of increased concentration, productivity, performance and loyalty."
What better way to do that than by bringing positive lifestyle changes to those around you?
I think that's the definition of a win-win.
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