When you take stock of your company, what do you consider to be the most valuable part? Is it your product? Your business model? How about your customers?
While all of those things are essential, they aren’t the most important. If you read the title, you can probably guess what I’m about to say next. If you haven’t, you might be a little surprised.
The most valuable aspect of any company is its people, at least until the robots take over.
Your people are the engine that powers your business. If you don’t take care of them, they’ll start to falter from wear and tear until you’re sputtering along one day and you find yourself stranded on the highway hitchhiking.
This is a problem if your goal is to attract and retain your best talent.
It takes regular maintenance to keep that engine running smoothly. To speak plainly, that means you need to take a holistic approach to the well-being of your employees. Don’t be put-off by the term “holistically”. I’m not trying to sell you on herbal remedies. What I’m saying is that there’s more to the well-being of your team than physical health.
Create a culture of well-being that emphasizes physical, social, and mental health. The first part’s easy, slap on some health insurance and maybe a gym membership or a step-counting competition and you’ll be surrounded by a group of peak performance athletes – not to diminish the importance of this aspect with humor.
Social health. Yep! That’s a thing, and it’s something you shouldn’t take lightly. It’s being able to relate to the people around you and form healthy relationships, in and outside of the work environment. At the very least, this requires constructive communication and in its ideal form, you’d actively influence opportunities for your team to form friendships, which can have a profound effect on engagement and productivity.
Putting the stigma aside, mental health is an essential component of workplace wellness. Mental health issues like stress are a major contributing factor to negative workplace performance, including absenteeism and can even lead to some physical health issues like weight gain. Among the top reasons for people having negative mental health experiences in their roles are a lack of opportunity for advancement and growth, low wages, and a lack of teamwork.
I gave you the “how”, now I’ll give you the ”why”. Employee well-being is the bottom line and it can have a noticeable effect on your company’s bottom line. As it turns out:
- You Want to Keep and Hire the Best.
According to Mental Health America, about 70% of employees are currently seeking their next opportunity. Is your team in the top 30 or the bottom 70? Statistically, that means 7 out of every 10 employees already have one foot out of the door.
The top 30% mentioned in that statistic usually feel like they are valued by their employer and have the opportunity to grow within a company. How do you fix it?
Bonus Tip: Recognition, as simple as it seems, can help make employees more content with their place in the company. Try shouting out or giving personalized cards to your team members for group and individual achievements. It doesn’t need to big, it just needs to be sincere.
- You’re Burning Money (Figuratively).
Negative stress costs U.S. businesses up to $300 billion a year due to absenteeism, stymied productivity, and people jumping ship. Stress can lead to mental health issues and substance abuse, which indirectly costs U.S. businesses up to $100 billion.
Poor social health costs U.S. businesses up to $550 billion a year due to actively disengaged employees, the Gallup “State of the American Workplace” study showed.
And a Harvard study calculated that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.
The business case is clear, employee well-being is profitable. Producing more productive team members who produce better work and show up to work more often.
- It’s One Fewer Thing to Worry About
As a small business owner, your processes have to be efficient. The goal is to automate as much as you can, so you can focus on what you’re good at. You may not see it as a business process, but culture is something that you can cultivate to propagate itself. If you don’t have to worry about the physical, social, and mental health of your team, then you can focus on growth.
Author: Barron Rosborough
Barron Rosborough is a seasoned digital marketer and writer from Los Angeles, CA. He writes on topics ranging from wellness to leadership (and everything in between). He is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at SnackNation, a curated healthy snack subscription service for offices and homes.