What you need to know about employee wellness in a nutshell
When employee wellness and wellbeing are a priority, your frontline workers thrive!
Frontline employee wellness and wellbeing are often overlooked. But their wellbeing is just as important as office-based employees in an organisation, and taking care of their mental, emotional, financial and physical health is vital. This article will discuss why the well-being of frontline employees is so important, wellness initiatives employers can consider, and the benefits of prioritizing the care of frontline employees.
Reasons to Focus on Frontline Employee Wellness and Wellbeing
Without their frontline workforce, many organisations would not survive. Failing to care for those on the ground can have catastrophic results for the employees and the business.
- Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress lead to impaired concentration, lower job performance, lack of motivation, and poor physical health.
- Financial issues can cause huge amounts of stress and severely impact productivity and job performance.
- Poor physical health results in the taking of sick days or absenteeism, increased health costs, and lower productivity.
So, it stands to reason that employee wellness and wellbeing should be high on the list of priorities for any organisation striving for success to:
- Reduce Turnover: When frontline employees are not happy or healthy, they are more likely to leave their job. High turnover rates can be costly for businesses, and recruiting and training new employees takes time and money.
- Increase Productivity: A healthier frontline workforce equates to a more productive one. Improved focus and concentration, reduced safety incidences, reduced absenteeism and increased revenue, can also be attributed to a healthier workforce.
- Improve Customer Service: in the retail sector, for example, healthy employees are generally happier, delivering infinitely better customer service. Customers are likelier to have a positive experience when interacting with a happy, engaged employee.
In fact, according to research, 56% of employees who participated in workplace wellness programmes reported fewer sick days, and 60% of employees said they were more productive at work and cited wellness programmes as the reason.
Initiatives for Frontline Employee Wellness Programmes
Employers can take several initiatives to improve the well-being of frontline employees. These initiatives include:
Mental Health Support: Many frontline employees work in inhospitable terrain, for example, miners. They are far from home, friends and family, leading to feelings of depression, isolation, and not being supported. Mental health issues can impact an employee’s job performance and overall well-being. It is, therefore, vitally important that they are offered support in this area. It can include access to counselling, support groups, creating awareness days, and running campaigns to destigmatise mental health challenges.
Flexible Scheduling: Flexible scheduling options can help employees balance their work and personal life and reduce stress.
Physical Wellness Programmes: The physical demand faced by many frontline workers means that their physical health is of paramount importance. Employers can offer physical wellness programmes that include access to health services, clinics and professionals, educational information about the importance of maintaining a fit and healthy body, fitness challenges and team-building exercises. These programs can help employees stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.
Financial Wellness Programmes: Financial stress can profoundly impact a person’s quality of life – it can impact both the mental and physical health of your employees. There are several ways in which employers can step in to improve the financial health of their employees:
- Implement educational programmes
- Provide budgeting advice and tools
- Give employees access to debt reviews and follow-up counselling about debt management.
- Enable employees to draw on their salary earlier than payday.
Nutritional Wellness Programmes: Many frontline employees are in the developing world and have poor access to nutritious food, leading to malnutrition and various diet-related health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Implementing a healthy eating programme and educating employees about the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet improves their general health.
Recognition and Rewards: Recognising and rewarding frontline employees for their hard work and achievements help improve morale and individual employees’ sense of self, making them happier. This display of gratitude can boost employee engagement and goes a long way to creating a positive work environment.
Benefits of Taking Care of Frontline Employees’ Wellness and Wellbeing
Providing frontline employees with the tools to thrive improves their quality of life, sense of self and makes them happier and healthier. It also has several benefits for the business. Making employee wellness and wellbeing a priority makes sense on every level. In fact, according to research from Fitbit, most HR leaders list the top benefits of offering a health and wellness program to include:
- An improvement in the health of employees by 76%
- Productivity increased by 64%
- A reduction in health care costs of 63%
- Morale increased by 59%
- 58% fewer work-related injuries and illnesses
- Absenteeism dropped by 54%
- Stress levels dropped by 52%
These stats indicate that wellness programmes do go a long way to improving employees’ overall health. Healthier employees are more invested and engaged in their jobs; they are more productive and likely to have fewer incidents that might potentially cost the business money. They also take fewer sick days, which saves the company in lost man hours and revenue.
Frontline employee wellness and wellbeing are crucial for businesses. These employees play an essential role in the success of any organisation. Employers can take several initiatives to improve the well-being of frontline employees. Taking care of their wellness has several benefits for businesses, such as improved employee retention, increased employee engagement, improved customer service, reduced healthcare costs, and positive company culture. By prioritising frontline employee wellness, businesses can create a positive work environment, boost employee productivity and enable their employees to thrive.
Talk to an expert to find out how the Wyzetalk solution can support your employee wellness initiatives.