Opinion

Your business can only be as healthy as your people

John Hewitt

,

15.02.2021

To prove it let’s do some crunches.

When you're busy building a business, how well the people in your office are feeling, sleeping and eating doesn’t always find its way to the top of your priority list. You care, of course, but the bottom line often will take president and overshadow other aspects. 

Business leaders that think putting profit over people is a winning strategy, might not like this, but that is not accurate or an effective way to boost performance for your brand – at all. Employee wellbeing isn't just a "nice to have", it's a key pillar of every successful organisation looking to achieve peak performance in 2021.

Just think about it for a moment. If there's one thing we've all learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, it's that medical health and economic health are interdependent. 

Still not convinced you could boost your business with healthier, happier employees?

Need persuading that you can gain a razor sharp competitive edge by focusing on the wellbeing of your workforce?

OK, here's the evidence in the form every business person loves the most. Facts and figures!

Let's crunch some numbers

Organisations with high levels of employee wellbeing outperformed the stock market by around 2% - 3% per year over a 25-year period. That impressive figure comes from a report by Professor Alex Edmans of London Business School.

Similarly, a study by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in Geneva found that every €1 invested in occupational health and safety generates a return of €2.20. Proof that workplace health and wellness schemes can not only save money, but bring increased profitability.

Absence makes the profits grow smaller

Perhaps the biggest, most direct benefit of focusing on staff wellbeing is reduced sickness absence. And that matters because, according to the Office for National Statistics, absenteeism costs businesses £902 per employee per year, with on average 7.5 days per employee lost to sickness absence per year.

Can that be changed? Yes it can. According to ERS Research & Consultancy,

“ 82% of health and wellness initiatives in the workplace resulted in dramatically reduced sickness absence.”

Everyone falls ill sometimes, of course, but all the evidence suggests that when an employer looks after people's wellbeing, they are more resistant to illness and recover faster. Result: less time off work.

This doesn't only boost the business because people spend more time doing their job. They are also more productive overall. And the company saves the considerable sums it would have had to spend on recruiting staff to replace the ones taking time off sick.

More good feel good factors

  • Productivity is also key to peak business performance, and it's closely related to wellbeing. In fact the report Healthy Work, Challenges and Opportunities to 2030 by Henry Vaughan-Jones and Leela Barham found that employees in good health can be up to three times more productive. 
  • Loyalty matters too, given the high cost of replacing skilled staff. According to Cotton and Hart (2003) "organisational wellbeing links to low employee turnover and high employee performance". Similarly Investors in People (2014) have reported that 80% of staff said they would feel more positive towards their employer if they offered better health and wellbeing benefits.
  • Every business needs to recruit the right people of course. There's ample evidence that companies who look after the wellbeing of their people build a better employer brand, and so find it easier attract and retain skilled workers.
  • Employee engagement is another essential for business success. CIPD reports that this increases by 31% when staff feel appreciated, knowing that their employer cares about their wellbeing.

Knowledge is power

You may have noticed that at BBI we feel strongly about helping businesses to gain and maintain a competitive advantage using a breadth of data. Yep, we're constantly gathering the latest data and keeping our fingers on the pulse of new and emerging trends and digital marketing tactics to achieve this for our clients, so there's plenty more when that came from.

If you don't have the time or resources to keep up with the latest business intelligence, why not let us do it for you? Join our‘Peak Performance Club’, a regular series of free bulletins and guides in 2021 dropped monthly straight into your inbox. We cover the latest findings and sharpest thinking on every aspect of how to achieve your business goals. Alternately get in touch to find out how our team of creators, strategist, analysts and digital marketers can help your business grow.