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Eight steps for long-term employee wellbeing

The pandemic triggered a 25% increase in the number of people worldwide diagnosed with anxiety and depression. How can businesses support the wellbeing of their workforce at such a difficult time? David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360 considers the options, and suggests steps for long-term employee wellbeing.

83%1 of employees say their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary.

One in four people in the UK experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and work is cited as the biggest cause of stress and anxiety, now compounded by economic instability, financial worries, and soaring cost of living.

A recent Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science survey4 estimates that mental health problems now cost the UK economy around £118 billion a year, and the cost in the workplace is estimated to be in excess of £2,000 per employee per year2, with 59% of long-term absence caused by stress and mental illness 3.

Together, these are having a detrimental impact on employee engagement, productivity and business reputation.

Employers have a moral responsibility to support the health and wellbeing of their workers for the long-term. Strategies and policies that protect employee mental health must be the norm, for the sake of their workforce, but also the business.

Employee Wellbeing Services are an essential part of a modern working environment. They help maintain a business, and deliver mental health support for improved workplace culture and staff productivity.

This cannot be achieved overnight, and employee wellbeing support must be maintained to remain effective.

Follow these eight steps for a long-term approach to employee wellbeing:

1.    Provide the right investment for mental health

There can be no ‘one size fits all’ answer to employee mental health. Long-term, companies need to make the right investment in a range of services to support staff, starting with training mental health first aiders and offering employee wellbeing programmes.

2.    Support career wellbeing

A lack of purpose and direction at work can deteriorate employee wellbeing over time. Establish career wellbeing by providing Employee Training Solutions, outlining a clear job progression, and offering meaningful responsibilities.

3.    Create a positive community

Cultivating a more Inclusive and Diverse Workspace will take time, but it’s an effective way of making the workplace a supportive environment for employees.

4.    Build openness

Work should be safe space for open and honest discussions about employee wellbeing. Supported by providing managers with mental health resources, offer employees self-assessments and questionnaires, and encourage co-workers to reach out if they need to talk.

5.    Emphasise job security

The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on the financial wellbeing, as well as anxiety and overall mental health, and so it is essential employees feel valued for their work and that their job is safe. Free tools and resources on budgeting and household finances planning can help ease employee worries, alongside staff recognition programmes, and clear career and promotion pathways.

6.    Work-Life balance

One of the best methods for supporting long-term mental health is to listen to what your employees want from work. Support initiatives that improve their work-life balance, such as hybrid working practices, employee wellbeing days, or even newer options like a 4-Day work week, allow staff to take the time they need to look after their wellbeing.

7.    Track results

Staff wellbeing and employee engagement work hand in hand. Measuring and tracking engagement can be great for supporting wellbeing services, by identifying what works and what employees want, to enable modifications and enhancements to how a business approaches employee support.

8.    Employee benefits

Have an employee benefits package that offers relevant, new and exciting discounts and services. This should be in-tune with discounts and savings on everyday bills and expenses to help ease financial worries. This reminds staff that they are valued.

HIVE360 provides its customisable, comprehensive, employee benefits and wellbeing package via its unique Engage Employee Benefits app as standard to businesses that outsource payroll and employment administration to the company.  Engage includes My Training, My Health, My Money, My Discounts, and My Work features and has an average of 100,000-plus user sessions each month, with an average 85% engagement.

For more information: https://www.hive360.com/payroll-pension-perks/


 1: Gympass State of Work-Life Wellness Report 2022: https://www.gympass.com/en-us/resources/report

2: Mental Health and Employers, Deloitte, Jan 2020

3: CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work, March 2020

4: Workplace Stress: Tips for Supporting Colleagues (mentalhealthatwork.com)

“The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK’: Mental health problems cost UK economy at least GBP 118 billion a year – new research | Mental Health Foundation published research with the London School of Economics and Political Science



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