Posted on: Thursday July 04, 2019
Identifying and resolving wellbeing issues in your workforce
It can be difficult to understand how your employees are really getting on, but with these tips you will be well on your way to understanding what your staff need from you as their employer and more importantly, how you can help them.
Financial Wellbeing - Understanding your audience
When trying to resolve any issue in the workplace, you must understand your demographic, which is why introducing new shiny benefits into a business isn’t always simple. Especially with such a diverse workforce, organisations need to cater to everyone. In order to understand your audience, you need to ask them what they need so that you can create a plan on how to implement changes. For example, if your workplace has many university graduate employees, it would be wise to offer financial wellbeing initiatives to help them pay off their student loan. However, if you have an older group of employees, it may be good to offer good pension advice or fair value loans. Understanding the challenges and life stages of each diverse group in your business will get you on the right track.
Physical health – Make it accessible
We all know that being fit and healthy is important, but how many workplaces actively encourage this? Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, and a study by Heart showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This could then potentially link to more time off sick, which is evidently bad for business. Hence why when it comes to physical health, the most important thing is to make sure it is accessible. This means that nothing is too far out of reach, the technology is accessible for all salaries and can fit in with whatever schedule they may have.
In addition to this, now that the average GP appointment waiting time is 19 days, we should encourage alternatives to health concerns. Services such as videoDoc offer consultations anywhere through the internet, and using a computer or mobile you can have a secure video consultation with a doctor, without the need to make an appointment. 72% of patients have rated videoDoc as excellent, and 93% rate it above 4 stars out of 5. This would take the pressure off having to take annual leave but can also alleviate stress from the NHS.
Mental health – Better communication
Thankfully, mental health awareness is expanding both in and out of the workplace, but there is still more work to be done. Creating a culture in the workplace that allows for open communication about these issues means stigma will lessen. Our recent research showed that there has been an 84% increase in Employee Assistance helpline calls from men regarding mental health between May 2018 and April 2019. Negatively this statistic could be seen as signs of worsening mental health in men in the UK but could potentially suggest an increased acceptance for seeking help when you need it. To help your employees talk about their struggles you could offer a confidential EAP service, allow flexible working and even normalise taking ‘mental health days’ every now and then.
Deborah Frost, Chief Executive of Personal Group commented “More diverse and geographically spread workforces are harder to reach by traditional, desk-based intranet wellbeing services. We believe it is now more important than ever that the entire workforce knows where they can go for help and that there is 24/7 access to care. Our data proves the positive impact that providing private, ‘always-on’ support can bring to employee wellbeing”.