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Helping Lancashire businesses: Seven reasons why wellbeing is the new competitive advantage

Wellbeing

A rise in burnout, ill health at work and the loss in productivity that these issues may cause, are raising the cost of doing business. With the cost of managing sickness at work also on the rise, you need a healthy team to stay competitive and to ensure a healthy economic forecast for your business.

Writer, productivity coach, and business consultant Michelle Bondesio, explains what's behind burnout and outlines why prioritising wellbeing helps you achieve better business outcomes.

Why should we place wellbeing at the heart of business?

According to recent HSE stats, 30.8m work days are lost every year due to work-related ill health. More than 50 per cent of these lost days was attributable to stress, anxiety and depression. These causes of ill-health are also the three main culprits that contribute to burnout. In 2022, an Open Access Government report concluded that burnout was affecting 46 per cent of the global working population, and that statistic has not declined in 2023.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress, for example, working a stressful job. Common signs of burnout:

  • Feeling tired or drained most of the time
  • Feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated
  • Feeling detached/alone in the world
  • Having a cynical/negative outlook
  • Self-doubt
  • Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Aside from supporting a healthy team to do their best work, businesses can improve productivity, reduce costs, and create a more positive and productive work environment, when they place wellbeing at the centre of their operations.

Seven reasons why prioritising wellbeing helps you achieve better business outcomes.

1. Increased productivity

Countless studies prove that employees who are physically and mentally healthy are more productive. Healthy employees are more likely to be more optimistic, engaged and motivated at work, more focused on their work, and less likely to make mistakes in their work.

2. Improved creativity and innovation

When employees are less stressed, and feel good about themselves, they are more likely to be expansive, creative and innovative in their thinking and output. This can lead to new ideas and solutions that benefit your business.

3. Reduced absenteeism and turnover

Healthy employees are less likely to take sick days or leave their jobs, which saves your business money on healthcare, recruitment and training costs.

4. Better employee morale

Help your team look forward to being at work. Irrespective of whether you have an in-person, hybrid, or digital office, creating positive morale at work leads to a more positive and productive work environment, where people will want to be.

5. Better customer service

Employees who are less stressed are less grumpy. Those who are happier and healthier at work are also more likely to provide better customer service, which leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty

6. Stronger company culture

Supporting your employee's wellbeing at work creates trust and loyalty. A strong and positive culture at work can make employees feel more connected to your company and more likely to stay employed with you for the long term.

7. Reduced stress and burnout

Stress and burnout play havoc with our productivity, creativity, and wellbeing. To help your employees perform at their best, it is essential your company provides your team with the right resources to support their physical and mental health at work.

Things you can do to focus more on employee wellbeing

Here are some specific things that business owners can do to support the wellbeing of your team:

  • Offer flexible work arrangements.
  • Provide access to health insurance and wellbeing programs.
  • Encourage employees to take breaks and vacations.
  • Create a positive and supportive work environment.
  • Set reasonable and fair expectations around availability out of hours.
  • Be open and communicative with employees.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and growth.

Placing wellbeing at the centre of how we do business has become a non-negotiable. A focus on wellbeing gives businesses the opportunity to create a more productive, engaged, and motivated workforce, as well as differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive economic landscape. It also leads to a more positive and enjoyable work environment for everyone. Given that most of us spend at least half our time at work, this is the ultimate win-win!

About the contributor

Michelle Bondesio

Michelle (Mich) Bondesio is the founder of Creating Cadence and Bondesio C&C, the author of The Cadence Effect, and the host of the Creating Cadence podcast. She is a writer, productivity coach, and business consultant, working to change the conversation around how we work, to transform toxic cultures of overwork through the adoption of more intentional productivity practices, which support our wellbeing, creativity and productivity better.

Michelle received Boost support and joined the Boost’s programme for start ups in 2018. She has since delivered programmes for Boost and is now a member of Boost & Co, which includes additional public and private sector organisations that can help businesses grow.

Several Lancashire-based organisations offer wellbeing support, coaching and wellness programmes in various formats. Some of them are also Boost & Co members, including Elementas, Essentalise, Leap Health, and the Healthy Leaders Academy, as well as Mich Bondesio’s own Creating Cadence.

Boost is helping Lancashire businesses. We have a range of funded support programmes and a team of business advisers you can talk to. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.

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