October 12, 2021
Employee wellbeing is not only important to the lives of individual workers, but also to your company’s bottom line. Wellbeing makes a major impact on employee productivity, contentment and retentionOn average, burnout leads to voluntary turnover costs of 15 to 20 percent of total payroll for most organizations; three quarters of medical costs accrued over time are due to preventable conditions; for every 10,000 struggling workers, organizations lose $20 million in additional opportunity.

But more importantly, your employees are the driving force of your company. Their health, safety and wellbeing should be top of mind—not only to get better results, but also to provide your people with the tools, services and amenities necessary for a working life that understands and supports their needs. 

These three things can boost employee contentment and give your people greater flexibility and more opportunities to do meaningful work that both challenges and inspires.


The Necessity of Work-Life Balance

One of the best ways to support employee wellbeing comes from finding a balance between work and life outside of it. While work-life balance has been a major conversation among business leaders for years, the pandemic was a watershed moment (and an unanticipated social experiment) that highlighted the need for flexibility at work. Although most office-based workers were at home throughout the year, labor productivity rose 3.8 percent from the second quarter of 2020, indicating to most employers that hybrid work allows people to be productive wherever they are.

Among the many benefits of hybrid work is that the workplace is getting a more consumer-oriented facelift, leading employers to not only acknowledge the needs of their people, but also design workspaces and workplace policies in alignment with those needs. Individual workers overwhelmingly support being able to work where they like, and large employers are embracing flexibility as a crucial component for employee contentment going forward. Life delivers shocks and surprises, and a lack of flexibility at work only compounds the stress of these moments. Employers who remain sensitive to this and offer their people flexibility, support and understanding are the ones who will win the war for talent.


Be Sure You're Building Trust

Trust is necessary for companies to operate effectively. Teams can’t function without it, and goodwill and collaboration are necessary to achieve strategic goals. High-trust work environments support and promote connections between colleagues (leaders included), with leadership demonstrating and encouraging trustworthy characteristics. 
In these environments, employees are engaged and motivated. As you might imagine, low-trust work environments have opposite outcomes.

As low-trust environments crush employee wellbeing and drive people away from organizations, leaders should encourage people to bring their authentic self to work as a key component of building trust. As I wrote in a prior postwhen people feel like they can’t be themselves at work, trust in their employer drops and the associated pressure can impact both their productivity and mental health.


Prioritize Employee Health

More than ever, the pandemic highlighted the importance of protecting employee health. In addition to concerns around minimizing the spread of Covid or ensuring people feel safe in the space, workers also faced an uptick in mental health struggles, which impacted their work performance and overall wellbeing. 

According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion annually. Beyond being a boon to productivity and retention, policies in support of mental wellness give employees easier access to mental health resources and reduce any stigma around seeking assistance. Building a culture of inclusivity also goes a long way in ensuring your people feel safe, heard and understood. Leaders should emphasize the health and wellbeing of their people, and work to develop a culture invested in health and wellness from the top down.


Ensuring your employees connect with others safely and with purpose is crucial for ongoing success, impacting both business outcomes and individual wellbeing. When people feel content, safe and cared for, they perform better and have better health outcomes. It's more important than ever to give your people the support they deserve and cultivate an environment that prioritizes wellness.

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