The most valuable asset in any workplace is its people. Employee wellbeing has become increasingly important, particularly as both small businesses and their employees have felt the impact of the pandemic.
Investing in the wellbeing of your employees is one of the smartest decisions you can make. Prioritising employee wellbeing increases productivity, boosts morale, builds loyalty and trust, and helps you attract and retain the best talent.
In this article, we’ve compiled a selection of budget-friendly ways that will help you improve employee wellbeing, without breaking the bank.
Offer flexibility where possible
Improving employee wellbeing involves creating a positive environment, both physically and mentally. According to research, 44% of SME employees believe that flexible working has the power to improve their wellbeing. Offering flexibility in working patterns and location can help your people perform at their best and maintain a healthy work-life balance, at no additional cost to you.
Allowing employees to set their own hours can improve productivity, particularly for creative roles where people may work better at different times of the day. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that employees who were given flexible schedules reported greater job satisfaction and felt more supported in the workplace.
Support physical wellbeing
We all know it’s important to stay active, but when deadlines are looming and work is busy, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your desk. However, a recent article by Simply Business revealed that 67% of small business owners found spending time outdoors helped their wellbeing. Improving wellbeing can be as simple as encouraging your employees to take regular breaks and spend more time in the great outdoors.
Support wellbeing by providing resources such as complimentary workout videos and recipes or make it fun by starting an in-work fitness group such as a running club or a weekly yoga session. For example, the Wellbeing Centre within Reward Gateway for Small Business provides on-demand access hundreds of exercise videos, from yoga, barre and stretching to cardio, strength, and toning. There’s something to get everybody on their feet!
Provide access to a range of wellbeing resources
Speaking of providing resources, it’s not just physical wellbeing that’s important. Mental health is top of mind for many small businesses, with many reporting increased inability to focus, anxiety and disrupted sleep over the last 12 months. Likewise, financial wellbeing is a critical factor in ensuring the happiness of your employees.
Provide access to content that supports all pillars of employee wellbeing, from financial to mental and physical. This can easily be done with a wide range of mindfulness audios and soundscapes part of the Wellbeing Centre, designed to help your employees reduce stress, increase productivity and sleep better. In addition, the platform offers content focused on financial education alongside discount schemes and cashback programmes to help your employees make their money go further.
Remember to say thank you
Sometimes, improving employee wellbeing is as simple as taking the time to recognise and appreciate your people. In fact, 45% of SME employees believe that recognition is one thing that can have the biggest positive impact on their wellbeing. Saying thank you for a job well done creates a culture of recognition and inclusivity that can boost morale and build stronger relationships among your teams.
If you wanted to go the extra mile, there are several initiatives you can put in place. For example, reward and recognition tools for small businesses allow your employees to send beautiful eCards to reward their colleagues for a job well done, demonstrating company values, or celebrate occasions such as birthdays! Receiving a note from an employee to congratulate you on a job well done is a surefire way to foster goodwill and brighten somebody’s day.
In a nutshell, there are plenty of ways to make your employees feel happy and supported without breaking the bank. Here are the key takeaways for small businesses looking for budget-friendly ways to improve their employee wellbeing.
- Offer flexibility, such as flexible working patterns and a choice of location, wherever possible to ensure your employees are empowered to do their best work
- Support physical wellbeing by emphasising the importance of taking breaks and encouraging physical movement with resources or in-work groups
- Provide access to a range of on-demand resources designed to support the key pillars of employee wellbeing, from financial and mental to physical
- Remember to say thank you, whether it’s taking the time to give an employee a shout out at a company all-hands or sending an eCard to show your appreciation
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