Even prior to COVID-19, the health and wellbeing of employees was a huge topic of conversation. But since the requirement for businesses to work from home if they can, employees have had to face a whole new way of working and disrupted routines. As restrictions begin to lift, you need to think about the recovery process and employee welfare is a great place to start.
Why employee health and wellbeing is the key to recovery:
- Employees value easy access to healthcare services
- Less of a cost, more of an investment
- Happy staff = increased productivity
- Introducing Breeze
The health and wellbeing of employees has truly been tested during the pandemic, whether it be issues with mental health, physical health, finances or social relationships. In fact, it was reported that 52% of employees said that their mental health was being impacted by isolation at home. Whilst 56% of people already suffering with mental health issues said the pandemic had worsened their struggles. In terms of the social side of work, 44% of people say their social connections in the workplace have worsened since the pandemic. With this in mind, how do you move forward? Well, making the health and wellbeing of your staff a priority is the best place to start, here’s why...
Employees value easy access to healthcare services
The coronavirus pandemic shed light on a number of things we often take for granted; hugging friends and family; meeting 6+ friends; going out for meals; team sports and exercise; and arguably above all, our health. Common colds and viruses, longer-term illness, mental health struggles, accidental injuries - the luxury of being able to see a doctor, physio or counsellor was taken away. Not to mention surgeries and operations being postponed for many to prioritise space in hospitals for COVID-19 patients. With this in mind, providing your employees with healthcare benefits such as online GP appointments and counselling sessions 24/7 is a huge incentive to increase staff loyalty and attract new recruits.
Less of a cost, more of an investment
Naturally, the cost of implementing a health and wellbeing strategy is a huge factor for SMEs. With the financial impacts of the last year, businesses have had to re-evaluate their priorities and spend. But once employers recognise that employee wellbeing is an investment and is likely to be the strong foundation to rebuild themselves on, cutting the wellbeing budget short will be a thing of the past.
Happy staff = increased productivity
This year, it’s been found that 60% of SMEs agreed that providing health and wellbeing benefits has a high impact on supporting the productivity of their staff. It can also be expected that happier staff are likely to get on with their colleagues, making a more supportive environment for collaboration, creativity and risk-taking. A workforce that is scared to speak out and share opinions could potentially miss out on some huge opportunities for the business.
Health Shield’s digital employee wellbeing solution, Breeze, is designed with SMEs in mind, providing big benefits for a small price. At just £4.00 per person, per month, your employees will have direct access to doctors, physios, counsellors, health assessments and more, all from the easy-to-use Breeze app. Want to know more? Explore Breeze.
To find out more about how employee health and wellbeing can support SMEs, download our report Wellbeing: the way forward for SMEs.