Why Invest in Employee Wellbeing
Written by Hein Schröder
Organisations are in the business of making a profit. Without making money, an organisation cannot be a sustainable entity. Without being sustainable, it cannot contribute to society and the world at large – planet earth faces many challenges and corporates has a responsibility to ensure its existence for future generations to come. Other than corporate responsibility that spans wide and deep in the context of where a business operates, the saying ‘charity begins at home’ becomes particularly relevant in the context of employee wellbeing.
Sufficient research evidence exist to accept that ‘organisational health’ impact the sense of wellbeing of its employees. Direct and indirect cost of burn-out is well documented. Absenteeism directly impacts productivity whilst constructs of high staff turnover and employee engagement are indirect, often hidden costs.
Organisational Culture could promote health or could be a contributing factor to ill-health in general. Company values are likely to drive behaviour. If a value of High Performance is rewarded at the cost of a balanced lifestyle, employees are likely to work unreasonable hours.
Leadership sets the tone in Organisations of what behaviour is acceptable and what not. By modelling values-driven behaviour in support of responsible and healthy living, they are likely to influence others towards similar behaviour.
Towards Sustainable Returns – a Holistic Approach
Health and well-being should be approached in a holistic manner, both at an individual level as well as at a corporate level. At levels, a pro-active and preventative mind-set yields more sustainable results and higher ROI – optimising people is all about sustainable returns.
The value a company creates is the result from how people apply their skills, energies and expertise to the capital and raw material. Of all the business levers available to leaders, the greatest potential to build value is offered by its people.
A holistic approach at an individual level encompasses many aspects: physical, emotional, work-life, relationship, financial, spiritual etc. A holistic approach at an organisational level gives cognisance to the complexity of the person and all they bring into the world of work. For people to deliver optimally, they need to be ‘in flow’ with the work they do – in this event, people will be enthusiastic, show a zest for life and be dedicated to their work.
Human Factors to Optimise Organisational Outcomes
- Good work Engagement
- Good Corporate Citizenship Behaviour
- High Retention of Staff [low staff turn-over]
- Good work-related wellbeing [low distress and stress-related ill-health]
- Good Health
Cutting edge research by the WorkWell Research Unit of the North-West University resulted in standardised and validated survey-instruments being developed and provides for measurements against a norm. It allows for employee risks prediction and the proactive management of these for individuals, teams and areas of operation within the Organisation.
An organisational intervention could provide leadership with insight into the organisational ability to act on strategic intent by providing data on the psychological desire and capability of the workforce. In addition, insight into the efficiency in the workplace [quantifying the human factor in the Balanced Scorecard] is derived from using credible instruments. In addition, other processes, inter alia competency-based-assessments could be used to identify specific strengths and areas of development of managers and leaders in support of their personal growth at a business level.
Hein is the Founder Member of Hein Schroder & Associates cc. He is a Clinical Psychologist with over 25-years experience in the corporate world. After completing his studies, he joined a global blue-chip financial services organisation. He worked in Human Resources for 10 years and specialised in Assessment/Development Centres and Organisational Development.
In 1997 he started his own business and consults to large corporates, locally and abroad. He is an expert in Management and Leadership [competency based] assessments. People development is his passion and he combines this with coaching and mentoring. Hein is a skilled Process Facilitator. He adopts a holistic approach to assist individuals and teams to achieve their innate potential in support of organisational objectives and strategic intent.