Vicky McDonald on: How Staff Wellbeing Initiatives Can Help to Attract and Retain the Best Talent

  • Monday, May 9, 2022
  • Posted By The Growth Company

When it comes to recruiting staff for your business, you are, of course, going to want to attract and retain the very best talent. But with so many organisations out there offering competitive benefits packages, how do you stand out from the crowd and show why your company truly is a great place to work?

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, I’m shining the spotlight on the importance of investing in employee wellbeing initiatives. Given the impact of the pandemic, and with many businesses still operating fully remotely or with a hybrid working model, it’s crucial that you show prospective hires and existing staff, that their health and wellbeing is just as important to you as it is to them.

In this blog, I’ll be talking about just some of the benefits of offering staff wellbeing initiatives to the bottom line, and I’ll also give some examples of the kinds of things you could look to implement.

The benefits of investing in employee wellbeing

The CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Report 2022 has shown that, disappointingly, employee wellbeing has fallen down the corporate agenda compared to the first year of the pandemic, with 70% of respondents saying that senior leaders have staff wellbeing on their agenda (compared to 75% the year before). 19% of employers also said they are not currently doing anything to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff.

On a more positive note, a third of businesses (33%) have increased their staff wellbeing budget as a result of the pandemic. But is the time, resources and money invested into staff wellbeing initiatives really worth it? The answer is yes, absolutely. Read on to learn more about some of the many benefits for your organisation.

Enhanced reputation

Showing that you genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of your workforce will enhance your organisation’s reputation and prove your business as an attractive, supportive place to work. Reputation is key when it comes to talent attraction, with more and more candidates wanting to work for employers who invest in the health of their staff. In fact, a study by Workplace Trends showed that 61% of job seekers say that it’s either very important or moderately important to them that prospective employers offer employee wellness programmes. So, if you can show how you offer this on your company website and in your job ads, you’ll be helping to attract the very best talent.

Improved productivity

The more valued and supported your workforce feel, the more productive and motivated they will be – which will boost your bottom line. By offering a wide range of well-being support, you will be able to prevent your staff from getting to a stage where they feel burned out and unable to be their best in the workplace. There’s a well-known saying from Sir Richard Branson, which is ‘if you look after your staff, they will look after your customers’, which is particularly pertinent when it comes to the relationship between your employee’s mental and physical health and their day-to-day output.

Better staff retention

Adding to the above point, your employees are more likely to stay loyal to your organisation if you put their health and wellbeing at the fore. This means they’ll be able to develop and grow with your business, and you won’t have the hassle and costs associated with regular recruitment drives to fill vacant roles due to staff leaving the business.

Reduced sickness

If your staff are equipped with the right tools to keep their wellbeing in check, they’re less likely to need to take time off sick – particularly in relation to absence due to mental ill-health. Employee wellness tools can be very powerful in keeping sick days to a minimum, as staff can access support before they get to a point where they’re having to take time out.

Types of wellbeing initiatives you could offer

Here at the Growth Company, we offer a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to help keep our staff happy and healthy. If you’re thinking about how you could improve your focus on employee health and wellbeing, here are just some of the things you could consider introducing to help you attract and retain the best talent – just like we’ve done at GC.

· Flexible working – this includes giving staff the freedom to choose when, where and how they work

· Train staff to become Mental Health First Aiders, so they can support colleagues who are struggling with poor mental health. You can find out more courses here.

· Sign your organisation up for an Employee Assistance Programme, giving staff 24/7 access to support on a range of issues either online or over the phone

· Encourage ‘walking meetings’ to get staff away from their desks and out in the fresh air

· Provide access to health insurance and private healthcare as a part of your benefits package

· Offer subsidised gym membership or, if you’re able to, provide free fitness classes on-site

· Give staff paid time off to volunteer and do good in the local community

· Train managers to facilitate open and honest conversations around mental and physical health

· Set aside a budget for team bonding and social activities

· Pay the national living wage and offer annual incremental salary increases - financial wellbeing is often a forgotten aspect of overall employee health initiatives

· Start an employee recognition programme to create a positive and rewarding workplace environment

· Invest in your staff’s personal and professional development

· Arrange webinars or ‘lunch and learn' sessions on a variety of health and wellbeing topics

· Give staff the option to purchase additional annual leave and take sabbaticals (and consider increasing your company’s annual leave entitlement if you are currently only over the legal minimum)

· Offer all staff training in areas such as resilience and mindfulness

This Mental Health Awareness Week, I would encourage businesses to review their workplace culture and benefits package and see if there are things from the above list that you could implement to put a stronger focus on health and wellbeing.

I hope this article has given you some food for thought in terms of how investing in the health of your staff can help you to attract and retain talent that will drive your business forward.

If you’re interested in joining GC and being part of a business which recognises the importance of staff wellbeing, visit our careers page and browse our latest vacancies. You can also learn more about life at GC here.

Alternatively, if you’re a business owner looking for support with your organisation’s talent attraction strategy, visit the Hub’s dedicated People, Skills and Talent page for more information on the help available to you.