The business case for investing in employee wellbeing

THE BREATHEEven before the pandemic, the concept of ‘VUCA’ had become a well-known term to describe the world of work – volatile, uncertain, confusing, and ambiguous. Staying in balance was already tough. Work-life balance was even more tough. Employees were taking the strain. Organizations were starting to speak about concepts like employee wellness and putting people first but at the same time, were pushing them harder, to work longer, and achieve more with less.

This crisis has shown that people are not cogs in machines, that the old ways of work are unsustainable. We have seen that people are not equipped to cope in this new world. Levels of stress, burnout, and depression are at all-time highs.

Employee Wellbeing has taken on new meaning and people are looking to their organizations for help.

The data tells us that – more than ever before in our history – that employees want employers to be partners in their wellbeing journeys. Employee wellness companies in South Africa encourage employee wellbeing. The research from the past few months has also shown that wellbeing is more fragile and more important than it was before. This is front and center on your employees’ minds, and it needs to be on the minds of your leaders too.

Some leaders may ask why employee wellbeing should be a business’s concern. They may think that wellbeing is the responsibility of the individual and that a leader’s main priority is to improve business performance, not an employee’s health or social life. It’s a valid point, but it overlooks the effect of individual wellbeing on corporate performance.   Gallup research over the last 20 years has shown the undeniable evidence between wellbeing, culture, and engagement.

The question of if employee wellbeing should be a core aspect of organizational strategy is no longer up for debate. The research has spoken. It shows that companies that prioritize their people on all levels are talent magnets, which will be a crucial competitive advantage in the days ahead. Their employees have stronger connections to the organization, which improves engagement – and therefore performance, loyalty, and profitability. Their people are more productive and are more resilient and able to bounce back during difficult times.

We believe in the Branson philosophy of ‘put your people first and your business will be more competitive.’

And we see that people with thriving wellbeing do better in life. It would make sense then that companies with thriving employees would do better business.