The future belongs to businesses with healthy, happy high performing workforces. Over the past 100 years, this wasn't important. Due to slow-moving markets and a lack of economic prosperity jobs were repetitive and limited in supply. Fast forward to today and the picture couldn't be any different. Markets and technology move rapidly, the economy is fantastic (in comparison) and jobs are available in abundance. What does this mean for businesses? It means their success is no longer reliant on having enough people to do repetitive tasks but instead on people being innovative. It means that posts will no longer be filled just because they pay. Companies must now emphasise attracting potential talent as well as retaining existing talent.
Another significant change we are going through affecting people and businesses is health. As technology makes our lifestyles more sedentary and processed food more available, the average levels of physical and mental health are declining. Good health is an essential requirement for the sustainable performance and innovation companies now require of their people. Most businesses incorrectly view employee engagement and well-being as a challenge to be tackled. We help businesses understand employee engagement and well-being is a business opportunity to be seized. By using the four-pillar methodology businesses can transform through their people.
Do your people enjoy and feel valued in their work?
Companies in the top quartile of employee engagement experience an average of 20% higher profits and 65% less turnover than similar companies in the lower quartile of employee engagement. To achieve high levels of employee engagement your management and leadership need to understand it, you need to make it a key business objective and you need to track it. Employee engagement is fundamental to a healthy high-performance culture. Without engagement, nothing else you try will lead to long-term improvements with your people. Businesses, regardless of their size or industry are engagement-producing machines, the problem is most don't understand or prioritise it.
Mental Health Are your people able to maintain or improve good their health alongside their work?
Employee health is ultimately the responsibility of the employee, not the business. But, the business creates an environment in which employees spend 50%+ of their waking hours. Businesses also have a lot to gain from good health or lose from poor health. As already highlighted, businesses are increasingly reliant on employees being agile and innovative to keep up with fast-changing markets. Change is by its very nature, fulfilling but anxiety-inducing in humans. Add to this that we work at fast speeds and are hyper-connected and it's easy to see that we are on a new mental health playing field. By understanding the new challenges, training managers, and implementing a few simple systems businesses can create cultures of psychological wellbeing in this new environment.
The same question again, are your people able to maintain or improve their health alongside work? Our lives are busier than before and our work is increasingly sedentary. When we require our employees to sit for 6+ hours a day and stare at screens there is an undeniable negative impact on their physical health. Once again, most businesses choose to ignore this issue or try and address it with incentives and 'hacks'. With some basic training and a few simple interventions, businesses can support their people in offsetting these negative impacts. What's more, with very little effort businesses can easily create environments that help people improve their health (and in turn their performance).
Are your people able to perform in their roles to a high standard without sacrificing their work-life balance? Mental health accounts for 70 million lost work days in the UK every year. Up to 79% of UK employees report going through burnout (which usually leads to long-term sick or resignation). Businesses need to create a culture of sustainable performance or they are at constant risk of losing their high performers. In the fast-paced hyper-connected world of today relying on people to naturally not let work creep into their private life doesn't work. Businesses need to proactively train and support their people to work in a way that sustains performance long term.
All businesses want healthy, happy high performing employees that stick around. However, engagement, well-being, and retention rates are dropping. Employee engagement and well-being is a business opportunity. People are struggling with their engagement and health outside of work as well as in it. By taking the time to understand the contributing factors and implementing a full approach solution, you can become one of the businesses that lead through a healthy, happy high performing workforce.
Mike Jones Better Happy Founder
Mike founded Better Happy in 2018.
He now works with a variety of businesses ranging from small accountancies up to large organisations such as Travelodge on improving employee happiness. Mike's vision and the vision of Better Happy is 'Every employee happy, every business thriving'