Don’t complain about your best talent leaving: here’s what to do now

With top talent always on the lookout for greener grass, there are surefire tactics to keep your best employees doing their best for you.

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Mental health and employee wellbeing have taken a dive in recent years. These low levels of job satisfaction and high levels of burnout are directly linked to the pandemic, which reshaped today’s working world. A company’s success is intricately connected to its employees' health and happiness. It must focus on creating a positive and supportive work environment, boosting workers’ quality of life and reaching for an organisational culture that promotes success. 

Why should you invest in employee wellbeing?

Employees who are physically and mentally well are more likely to be engaged in their tasks, leading to higher levels of productivity and creativity. A healthy workforce is motivated. Investing in wellbeing programs can create an environment conducive to high productivity levels. Workers who feel supported are more likely to bring their best selves to work, leading to improved overall performance. 

Workplace wellbeing across the United Kingdom ranks poorly. About 51% of long-term sick leave is due to poor mental health, and 61% of employees report feeling exhausted at the end of the workday. These statistics highlight the pressing need for a renewed focus on well-being initiatives within the UK workforce. Factors such as long working hours, high job demands, lengthy commutes and limited flexibility contribute to the pervasive issue of sickness absence.

This stress and anxiety don’t just affect employees. In 2021, 96% of SME owners reported bottling up the stress of running a company. The main concerns for business owners are a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis, including:

  • Higher energy expenses
  • The possibility of a recession
  • Increased staffing and recruitment costs
  • Losing business
  • Increased interest rates
  • Higher supply costs

Assess employee needs

Assessing employee needs is the first step in creating a workplace that promotes wellbeing and productivity. It involves understanding the unique requirements and expectations of individuals within the organisation. Regular surveys, one-on-one meetings, focus groups and open communication channels can be invaluable tools in this process. You can identify areas needing support by actively listening to employees’ concerns, aspirations and challenges.  

This assessment may include various aspects, such as workload, professional development opportunities, work-life balance and mental health resources. Tailoring benefits and initiatives based on this evaluation ensures employees feel seen and supported, creating a positive and inclusive work environment. Ultimately, understanding and responding to worker needs enhances job satisfaction and contributes to a more resilient, engaged and successful workforce. 

Offer flexible work arrangements

The world of work is changing, and flexible and remote employment options are gaining traction. Acknowledging employees’ diverse needs and wants is crucial for creating a supportive atmosphere. Flexible options, such as remote work, flexible hours or compressed workweeks, empower individuals to better balance their personal and professional commitments. 

Offering flexible options reduces the stress associated with rigid schedules and enhances overall job satisfaction. Employees appreciate the autonomy and trust conveyed through these arrangements that boost their wellbeing. Moreover, organisations prioritising flexibility are more likely to retain and attract top talent, as it demonstrates a commitment to work-life balance and a recognition of individual needs. As much as 71% of job seekers prioritise flexible work options when considering a new role. 

Implement mental health support programmes

Providing mental health support programs is a pivotal investment. Acknowledging and addressing emotional concerns creates an environment where employees feel valued and supported. Offering resources like counselling services, mental health workshops and employee assistance programs demonstrates a commitment to the holistic health of your workforce. This improves job satisfaction and reduces stress and anxiety levels, enhancing mental resilience. 

Organisations prioritising mental health support create a compassionate work culture and build a reputation as companies of choice. In today’s competitive job market, where professionals seek employers that prioritise wellbeing, such initiatives become key factors in retaining top employees. 

Invest in accelerated training programmes

In the UK, 81% of the workforce believes acquiring new skills and knowledge is important. Accelerated training programmes provide employees with opportunities for continuous learning and professional development, allowing them to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving job market. A hands-on and interactive approach using simulations and real-world scenarios ensures people are equipped with the necessary knowledge in a shorter time frame. 

The sense of mastery and growth that comes from these programmes contributes to higher job satisfaction and a positive work environment. Employees appreciate the investment in their career advancements, adding to a sense of loyalty and commitment to the organisation. 

Measure the impact

It’s futile to implement wellness programs and take proactive steps to improve workers’ wellbeing if you don’t know how successful it is. Regularly assess the effectiveness of these initiatives. Employee engagement surveys, productivity metrics, retention rates and feedback are valuable tools in gauging success. For mental health support, tracking absenteeism and utilising counselling services provides insights into the impact on wellbeing. 

Additionally, monitoring the return on investment of training programmes through performance assessments and skill acquisition metrics helps quantify their contribution. Regular feedback sessions and qualitative evaluations can complement quantitative data, offering a more comprehensive view of the impact on the overall work environment. Establish which goals you should measure short term vs long term to determine accurate outcomes. 

This comprehensive evaluation ensures wellness programmes align with organisational goals and allows for adjustments and refinements based on evolving employee needs. This creates a workplace that thrives on continuous improvement and the sustained wellbeing of the workforce.   

Employee wellbeing contributes to a thriving organisation

Workplace wellbeing is more than a trendy buzzword — it’s a fundamental aspect of building a successful and sustainable organisation. Investing in the health and happiness of employees helps companies create a positive and productive work environment. The benefits extend beyond individual wellness to encompass increased productivity, talent retention and a strong organisational culture.

Mia Barnes - Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine

Mia Barnes is a freelance writer and researcher with over 3 years of experience in the field. With a specialization in workplace wellness, financial well-being, human factors, and ergonomics, her articles aim to educate and empower readers, providing them with practical tips and insights to enhance their overall well-being in various aspects of their lives. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online publication, Body+Mind magazine.

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