A Definitive Guide
Attracting and retaining the right talent is becoming more and more of a preoccupation for businesses. Not only is it costly to replace leavers, it is highly disruptive too. New joiners invariably take time to become productive, time where momentum can be lost. As most businesses know, attracting and retaining the right talent is more than just a matter of a competitive salary and the work environment. Corporate wellbeing programmes are rapidly becoming an important employer differentiator.
The cost of investing in a corporate wellbeing programme may seem out of the reach of all but the largest most innovative businesses such as the global tech business Arm. There are benefits for all businesses and importantly programmes can be built to any budget.
Employee’s wellness improves team moral helping you retain a team of happier and healthier individuals for longer. It also has impacts when recruiting – better referrals as well as productivity and customer satisfaction. While deflated and overworked people deliver low-quality work and poor customer experiences, healthy teams commit to going above and beyond for your company. They can even improve your marketing campaigns with employee advocacy.
Corporate wellbeing programmes also enhances your reputation by demonstrating that your business genuinely cares about your people. As customers increasingly seek brand that share their values, a highly visible wellbeing program helps you connect with your audience.
What is Corporate Wellbeing?
Corporate Wellbeing, also known as Workplace Wellness in the United States, is any workplace health promotion activity or organisational policy designed to support and encourage healthy behaviour in the workplace and to improve health outcomes for employees.
What are the benefits?
There are multiple benefits to both any business and those who work in it from a Corporate Wellbeing programme. Importantly for the company, is that it reduces the amount of money spent on things like health insurance, staff attrition as well as sick leave.
The benefits for employees are obvious too. No matter how great your business is, it’s worth noting that the workplace can be a very stressful environment for many employees. In fact, an industry study found that over 30% of employees think their workplace causes them high, or extremely high levels of stress. Common side effects include fatigue, anxiety, and even weight gain which have serious impacts on the individual’s long-term health.
A survey in 2017 by the Business in the Community (BITC) concluded that those FTSE 100 companies that prioritised employee engagement and wellbeing, outperformed the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10%.
When you’re trying to build an influential brand, the last thing you want is a team full of people that are overwhelmed by nerves, and unable to interact positively with your target audience. That’s one of the reasons why in the last five years, two-thirds of HR managers have developed stronger corporate health and wellbeing programs.
So, why do you need a corporate wellbeing programme?
The simple answer is that when your employees feel great, their performance levels increase too. Ongoing support helps your staff to maintain high levels of productivity in a healthy way. Additionally, fit and lively team members also have more energy to contribute to achieving your business and brand goals. Other benefits include:
Reduced sickness, absence, and presenteeism: According to Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Survey 2019, absence has increased by 10% since 2014 and Presenteeism has increased 75%. Healthy staff members are less likely to take time off work, leaving you with productivity problems to tackle. At the same time, a corporate wellbeing programme also helps you to avoid “presenteeism” – when your staff come to work even though they can’t perform to the best standard. Countless people turn up to work each day and just ‘get by’ until they can go home. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of thing that has a positive impact on your brand.
Improved staff retention: It’s difficult to build a great brand without the help of a supportive team of employees. Workers who feel supported by their employers want to stick around for longer, which means you develop a great community full of devoted employees.
Reduced costs: Between 2016 and 2017 it is estimated that Britain lost about £14.9 billion as a result of ill-health, work-related injuries and other wellness problems. In addition to that it is calculated that mental health issues cost the UK about £26 billion every year. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review there is a benefit of 3.3 times any investment. This is 2.7 return on absenteeism.
Happier, more satisfied employees: Staff who feel supported and cared for at work, also want to give more back to the people who hire them. According to one workplace survey, around 80% of today’s employees would feel more positive towards their employer if they could get their hands on better corporate wellbeing programs.
How a corporate wellbeing programme can cure brand problems
The more you prioritise corporate health and wellbeing, the more benefits you’ll see, from motivated and engaged staff members to reduced staff turnover. However, you’re probably wondering by now what corporate wellbeing strategies have to do with your brand, and the image you present to the world around you. Simply put, today’s customers want to connect with businesses that ‘care’.
There are many ways to show that your company is more than just another soulless corporation. CSR strategies, partnerships with charities, and even emotional marketing all have an impact. However, corporate wellbeing has a direct effect on branding that many companies forget about. Let’s look at just some of the ways that corporate wellbeing programs can give your image the boost it needs.
1. Corporate wellbeing programme develops your employer brand
Just like corporate health and wellbeing, the term “employer brand” has emerged as a common buzzword in recent years. However, there’s more to this concept than just hype.
According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2015, 49% of employees struggle to make job decisions because they’re unsure what it will be like to work for a particular company. In an environment where it’s becoming just as hard to attract great talent as it is to engage your customers, employer branding shows candidates that you have something valuable to offer.
Employer brands are built just like consumer brands – through consistent and soulful experiences with your team members. Corporate wellbeing programmes help you to define your employer brand and demonstrate that you genuinely care about giving your people the support they need. When you implement corporate wellbeing strategies, you energise existing employees by helping them to maintain and improve their health. However, you also simultaneously attract new talent to your door, by reminding them that there’s more to you than a consistent salary.
2. Corporate wellbeing encourages employee advocacy
Corporate wellbeing programmes don’t just make you more attractive to employees; it can make your company more compelling in the eyes of customers too. When your staff members are happy, healthy, and dedicated to your company, they’re more likely to go above and beyond to help you achieve your goals. In some cases, this could mean taking part in employee advocacy projects.
With employee advocacy, you give depth to the claims that your company makes, by supporting them with real, authentic messages from your employees. The statistics on employee advocacy speak for themselves. Content shared by your staff gets up to 8 times more engagement than content shared by your brand channels. That’s because your customers know that the best way to get a genuine insight into a business, is to look towards your employees.
Corporate wellbeing programmes not only inspire your employees to advocate for your brand, but they also give them something great to talk about when they’re looking for ways to provide you with a ‘shout out’ in their social media posts.
3. Happier teams make for happier customers
Today, the biggest differentiator for any brand is experience. When companies want to build loyalty with their target audience, they can’t rely exclusively on the price of their products or the features they can offer. Today’s consumers want a consistent experience that they can depend on time and time again. Studies find that 86% of customers who receive great customer experiences are likely to purchase again from the same company.
So, how do you deliver an unforgettable experience? Simple, start with your employees.
Look at it this way, would you be more likely to remember a shopping session with a customer representative who looks miserable and exhausted or one that’s happy, engaged and brimming with energy? Corporate wellbeing programmes help to give your employees the support they need to be more productive and profitable at work.
4. Corporate wellbeing makes your brand more credible
How your brand operates on the inside should always link to how you want to be perceived on the outside. Great branding is all about building a lasting reputation for your company in the eyes of your target audience. The only way to do this successfully is to be as transparent and authentic as possible with your customers.
If you want your customers to believe that you’re a friendly brand that cares about other people, then you need to back that idea up by showing them that you’re willing to put the needs of your employees first. A corporate health and wellbeing strategy shows your audience that you’re more than just ‘all talk’. It gives depth to your brand identity and provides you with yet another way to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Tips for creating corporate wellbeing programmes
Corporate wellbeing programme strategies can be complicated to implement. After all, one team’s idea of the perfect wellness strategy won’t be the same as another’s. While a technology company offering software solutions to customers over the web can provide their staff remote working opportunities and flexible schedules, the same efforts just aren’t possible for a construction company.
Fortunately, there’s no ultimate checklist that you need to complete to be classed as a brand with a corporate wellbeing program. If you’re encouraging healthy habits, your team appreciates your effort, and your brand is growing. As a result, you’re on the right track.
Here are a few things you’ll need to do to get started.
1. Talk to your staff
It’s tough to create perfect corporate wellbeing strategies without the input of your staff. After all, the only way you can find out what your people need most from you is to talk to them. Reaching out to your employees and finding out how you can help them accomplish their best work is a great way to launch a successful corporate wellbeing programme.
To gain input you can:
Bring everyone together for a team meeting and brainstorm ideas: Make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts, no matter how out-of-the-box they are.
Send out surveys: Give people a chance to speak to you anonymously with staff surveys that ask for input from different groups around your organisation. Try to get as many different opinions as possible.
Launch a vote: Check out what some of the competing companies in your space are doing to support corporate health and wellbeing and ask your staff to vote on the ideas they’d like to see in your company.
2. Align corporate wellbeing programme with brand purpose
For corporate health and wellbeing strategies to be successful, they need to become an essential component of your company culture. The only way to make that happen is to align your wellbeing programs with the vision and purpose of your brand. Think about what you stand for as a business, and how you can align that idea with supporting the wellness of your employees.
3. Create a plan
Proper planning for a corporate wellbeing programe involves making sure you know exactly what you’re going to do. You also have to know how you’re going to measure your progress. Think about the kind of well-being programmes you’re going to use, and how they align with your culture. So, if you’re a company that’s all about joy and happiness, you could implement employee stress counselling.
4. Measure and review your results
Once you’ve chosen a corporate health and wellbeing strategy, decide how you’re going to measure its success. For instance:
Use your goals as a benchmark: Decide what you want to accomplish with your programmes. Then use those goals to help you measure success as you go.
Gain feedback wherever you can: Ongoing communication is crucial to corporate wellbeing strategies. Make sure you give your employees plenty of ways to share their thoughts with you about your new campaign.
Measure productivity levels, sickness, and other KPIs: Keep an eye on any critical metrics. These might link back to your corporate wellbeing strategy. For instance, if sickness and absence levels drop, then you’re probably moving in the right direction.
Some examples of great corporate wellbeing programmes
Sometimes, the best way to get the inspiration you need for a new initiative is to look at successful examples. That’s why we’ve put together this quick list of corporate wellbeing providers to act as your muse.
Arm Holdings is a global semiconductor and software design company. Its culture is built around the concepts of “we, not I”, “Passion for progress” and “Be your brilliant self”. The latter drives their commitment to team wellbeing through their wellbeing program provided in large part by Office Athletes.
Arm created ‘nap rooms’ for their employees that allow them to take some time out, recharge, and de-stress. They offers their employees unlimited paid time off, so that staff can enjoy the perfect work/life balance. Arm also offers an in-house culinary team responsible for whipping up delicious performance enhancing meals. This and free executive coaching sessions, in house gym, health assessments and wellbeing support makes for an award winning program.
For good reason, Google has a great reputation as one of the best employers in the world. Their business is built around a single idea that the company is the best in the world. Google’s corporate wellbeing programs are designed to bring this ethos to there team as well.
The Google campus offers everything from on-site healthcare services, to physical therapy sessions, massage services, fitness classes and more. They also offer plenty of ways for employees to develop. They can learn to play the guitar, take coding classes and even learn to cook. The Google campus staff kitchens and cafes focus on highly nutritious foods to keep their teams operating at peak performance.
With a brand image based on innovation, Microsoft has one of the best corporate wellbeing strategies in the world. Each year they have their own wellbeing week. Here they explore new ideas designed to help their workforce be more productive, happier, and successful at work. Microsoft also offers free education and resources individuals who want to stop smoking, manage their weight or get fitter. The company funds gym memberships and other fitness purchases showing they’re genuinely interested in helping their team. Microsoft also hosts a health screening event each year. This provides the team with information about their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and much more. Their assistance program also offers family and personal counselling and stress management sessions.
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