The last few years has drastically increased the spotlight on workplace wellbeing, with the number of days lost due to work-related ill health in 2021/22 reaching a staggering 38 million.
Employees are a vital part of any business, and their wellbeing is a contributing factor in their overall performance.
So, what can HR managers and business owners do to improve this? A good starting place is to keep up with the latest trends that are affecting employee wellbeing. They can also implement policies and guidance to support their staff with these issues.
We have put together some of the top issues business owners should be aware of in 2023, the impact that they may have on employee wellbeing, and some of the ways in which they can reduce the impact this has on their business.
Employee mental wellbeing will continue to dominate
With cases of burnout, anxiety, and depression at record levels employee mental health should be at the forefront of the minds of business owners when it comes to workplace wellbeing.
Employers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing.
Often mental health conditions can be hard to detect, so observing your staff to identify any mood or behaviour changes could be an indicator that something is wrong.
If a member of staff raises an issue to say they are concerned for another employee, then ensure to take action. This first step could be to be open with the employee and ask if they are ok.
Consider also introducing trained mental health advisers to the workplace to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health illnesses.
Hybrid working is here to stay
Data from the CIPD shows that more than three-quarters of organisations have embraced hybrid working.
There is evidence to show that hybrid working can increase productivity, and it can also positively impact an employee’s wellbeing.
However, while hybrid working has health benefits you should also ensure that workers avoid feeling isolated and offer a balanced approach to hybrid working with a number of both online and offline opportunities for connection and celebration.
Cost of living crisis
In a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) survey of over 1,000 managers and team leaders, 71% have seen evidence of increased stress and anxiety within their teams due to the cost of living crisis.
Furthermore, 93% of these said it was affecting their team’s productivity. Managers should be empathetic towards their staff who are feeling the effect of this.
Some employers have offered cost of living payments to help support workers in the short term, however when making these payments it is important to bear in mind that those staff who receive and rely upon universal credit may in fact end up suffering because of this.
For those who are on universal credit, one off payments can be made in instalments to help balance any penalties in their support payments.
Employers and managers may also consider relaxing the rules around workers getting a second job to help boost their take home pay. This will of course have to balance against the organisation’s needs and ensure productivity will not be affected by this.
Maintaining an employee wellbeing programme can help to address some of the issues mentioned above. There are a number of ways in which businesses can approach these matters, including ensuring the workplace promotes flexible working, providing support for vulnerable employees, and checking that the workplace is a healthy and happy environment that staff enjoy being in.
To find out how hr inspire, Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy, can help you navigate facing employee wellbeing issues, speak to a member of our HR team today – we pride ourselves on bringing your business the benefits, protection and experience of an entire HR department.