27 March 2023

How to Improve Employee Wellbeing in 2023

In a world of quiet quitting and growing expectations, discover what it takes to improve your employee wellbeing to better support the people in your company.

We all know this, but it bears repeating. It’s still quite challenging out there. There are targets to hit, loads to do, no time, people moving and workloads increasing.

But one of the biggest challenges and priorities right now is managing employee wellbeing.

Research conducted by McCann Worldgroup revealed that mental health is emerging as the #1 future health concern, so now’s the time to make employee wellbeing a key component of your employee experience.

The question is where do you start? As a part of our ‘How to’ series, we explain the importance of employee wellbeing and provide practical tips to help you make it a priority in your company.      

Think of it as your very own employee wellbeing toolkit.

Why employee wellbeing is important

There was a shift in 2021 when employee wellbeing became employee engagement. The pandemic accelerated the need for change. With people working in isolation, months of uncertainty and everyone having to adapt to new ways of working, companies were made to adapt.

Fast forward a few years, and expectations have only heightened. Companies that champion mental health and embrace employee wellbeing often find it easier to attract top talent, retain staff and build highly engaged cultures.

Engage for Success revealed that employees with high levels of wellbeing are 35% more committed to their company.

As mentioned earlier, poor mental health is becoming the #1 future health concern, with it costing UK employers between £33bn and £42bn a year. Mental health difficulties are also the biggest cause of sickness absence.

To create a thriving culture and engaged workforce, it’s important to put people first and make employee wellbeing a priority, not just a consideration. Here are a few ways you can start to do this.    

5 tips to improve employee wellbeing

  1. Give people a space for honesty

The first way to improve employee wellbeing is to gain useful insight into your wellbeing metrics by asking the right questions.

Surveying and listening to employees can be a brilliant way of understanding what they need, but crucially, keeping things anonymous is more likely to get genuine results. Try using anonymous pulse surveys regularly throughout your year to find out how people really feel. This leads us nicely to the next point.

  1. Do your research

The best way to get your board to sit up and take notice is to share any evidence of the impact of employee wellbeing strategies on business. Then research your employees. Make sure you know what they really want to feel better and happier at work and challenge any assumptions which might be outdated or not serving anyone.

  1. Embed employee wellbeing into your culture

Rather than thinking of employee wellbeing as a standalone people strategy, make it part of your environment and employee experience. When you take a holistic approach to wellbeing, it’s about more than the mental and emotional – it’s physical, social, and financial too.

And it’s the prerogative of leadership to look at all the different aspects of employee wellbeing. Embrace the idea that there’s a worldwide cultural shift around feeling supported, good, and healthy at work, and incorporate it into management accountability.

And finally, publicly publish your employee wellbeing performance to build credibility.

  1. Create opportunities for conversations

There is a huge comfort gap between generations when it comes to talking about wellbeing and mental health. A Time magazine poll found that 62% of people aged 20 to 37 were comfortable discussing their mental health at work, compared with about half as many people aged 54 to 72. 

Aim to redress that imbalance and help everyone feel more empowered and skilled in talking about their wellbeing – and their wellbeing needs.

  1. Nurture cross-collaboration

Connecting with other people is brilliant for a boost. Our clients have told us how good it is to collaborate with people they don’t normally work with.

Think about building new, cross-skilled teams or hosting inter-departmental meetings. It’s a chance to demonstrate the diversity of thought and, inclusion. It promotes agile working, innovation and learning – a winner for future-proofing your business, too.

Start asking the right employee wellbeing questions

Knowing where to start is probably the biggest challenge when it comes to employee wellbeing. But at McCann Synergy, we have the tools to help you transform your approach. You can see how we put some of these ideas into practice in our Aviva wellbeing case study.

So, if you’re ready to kick start your employee wellbeing communications for 2023, get in touch with Head of Growth Blair Meyler at blair.meyler@mccannsynergy.com today.

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