Why organisations can’t afford NOT to invest in wellbeing after COVID-19

In the current environment, many businesses will be looking closely to see where they can cut costs. However, investment in wellbeing strategies just isn’t a place to do this. Although it may save money in the very short term, employees are crying out for help and the companies that invest in wellbeing are likely to see a significantly positive impact.

Why organisations can’t afford NOT to invest in wellbeing after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the physical, mental and financial health of UK employees. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than two-thirds of UK adults (69%) are worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. As second lockdowns come into place across much of the UK, the situation is going to get worse before it gets better.

Financial health, for example, has worsened – the ONS found that one in three people could not afford an unexpected, but necessary, expense of £850. In addition, the Money Advice Service’s Unexpected Costs (2013) research found the most common emergency expense of a car repair or replacement costs were around £1,300.

Now, more than ever, organisations cannot afford to not invest in wellbeing. Here are some of the key reasons why it is wise to invest in your wellbeing programmes right now:

Increase productivity

A recent YouGov poll reported that 37% of managers were likely to make staff redundant by the end of the year. If you’ve made redundancies or are planning to, then your remaining workforce is going to have to increase their productivity in order to maintain overall output. An investment in your wellbeing programme helps to support those remaining employees, and can also increase their overall productivity by reducing the time they spend worrying about their health while at work.

Our research showed that even before the pandemic, one-third of workers felt that financial concerns impacted their behaviour at work and their ability to perform their job. With the ONS figures showing that one in six households reported reduced income in July, organisations that want their employees to be delivering their peak productivity need to ensure they are addressing financial wellbeing.

Boost morale

Investing in wellbeing initiatives shows your employees that you are invested in them and value them. Employee sentiment and customer experience are directly linked. When employees are supported and satisfied, they are more likely to deliver good service to your clients and customers.

If pay increases and bonuses have been taken off the table this year due to the pandemic, there is even more reason for you to show that you support and value your employees through your wellbeing strategy.

Retain (and attract) talent

The pandemic has highlighted the value of working for an organisation that supports its employees – not just through good times but also through tough times. Even if right now, retention is not a concern as many people are too worried about the job market to make a move, in the future employees will remember how they were treated. Make sure you are an organisation that will reap increased loyalty, rather than one that everyone is looking to leave as soon as the labour market is calmer.

Other companies are also facing the same question of whether or not to cut funding for their wellbeing strategy. As other organisations decide to cut back, your organisation has the chance to stand head and shoulders above the rest. This investment in your people will boost the desirability of your organisation as a place to work.

Ultimately, wellbeing needs to be something you invest in to increase employee sentiment and productivity consistently, rather than just a luxury for the ‘good’ years. Not investing in wellbeing at this point in time can lead to employees who are struggling to focus missing work, or think about leaving your organisation.

One year from now, when candidates in interviews are asking how your organisation supported employees during this pandemic, will you have an answer you’re proud of?

This article is provided by LCP.

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