The benefits of having healthy, motivated and happy employees are compelling, but despite employers’ best efforts, recent studies show that many companies still have a long way to go.
The latest figures from Babylon Health show that, in terms of their mental wellness, many UK employees are not in the best shape. In fact, in a single year, 15.4 million work days are lost to work-related stress, anxiety and depression. That accounts for 57% of all the working days lost to ill-health in the UK every year, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
The recent Tech and Inclusion Report from the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), found that the situation is no better in the tech industry. Some 66% of more than 3,000 members of the UK technology community admitted to feeling stressed at work, while 52% admitted to suffering from anxiety and depression at some point.
Perhaps more concerning still is the fact that 31% of Asian and 40% of Afro-Caribbean workers said they have experienced negative discrimination in the UK tech industry as a result of their ethnicity. Diversity is critical to business success, particularly in the fast-moving tech industry, so this is a huge concern for everybody.
Work on wellbeing
We have an incredibly diverse team with over 20 different nationalities across all our departments and we count on our staff to deliver our key promises to customers to keep them ahead in the fast-changing world of digital. We know that having a fulfilling job can be great for mental health and general wellbeing. Happy employees are also productive and it’s our staff that makes us the great company we are through their positive interactions with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
The results of our investments in wellbeing speak for themselves.
Fewer absences: happy workers have fewer days off and are more ‘present’ when they are at work. We have seen significant boosts in terms of productivity, innovation and growth.
Better performance: we have seen some employees make the mistake of thinking that longer working hours leads to increased productivity, but we know that for them to perform their best, employees must be happy, healthy and well-rested. Taking regular breaks is essential as it helps to improve focus and concentration and reduces the impact of the dreaded ‘afternoon slump’
Greater engagement: a healthy workplace culture brings employees together inside and outside of work. Teamwork, collaboration and social activities improve relationships, motivation and engagement.
Attract and keep top talent: when recruiting we demonstrate our focus on well-being and this is evident when future employees visit the Push office and meet our staff. We also believe that well-being is crucial for retaining top talent and wherever possible, we promote from within.
Positive Health Benefits: we provide very healthy food for free and have a significant portion of our staff who are vegan so they share tips on great food to eat. We believe the workplace is key to fostering a healthy environment to benefit the long term well-being of our staff.
Planning for the future
But well-being isn’t a one-and-done issue. We’re still implementing many initiatives, some of which might make a difference at your organisation.
We’re reviewing our office space, working with Habit Action to improve our environment so that it benefits employee mental wellbeing. Additionally, we will be running training programs for senior management including how to manage wellbeing; how to excel under pressure; and how to master personal resilience. We will be providing an Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health services, including a dedicated Wellbeing Space on our intranet.
We’re also implementing a rewards and recognition procedure review, as we recognise that providing positive feedback is a must for our industry. The journey has been a long one - so far - but we’re happy to report that change is underway.
Our mental wellbeing journey
- 28th July 2019 - Mental Health First Aid Champions Training. We now have dedicated Mental Health Champions in the office to support the team.
- 29th July 2019 – Wellbeing Insights Audit. We have been taking action based on insights and recommendations from our staff.
- 2019 - Holiday Entitlement Increase. We communicated a holiday entitlement increase and have a WFH policy to benefit our employees and Push. We also have flexible working hours in the office.
- 2019 - Graduate Assessment Days. Our on-going commitment to increasing resource has resulted in Graduate Assessment Days. There have been 15 new full-time employees across our teams in 2019 and more are to come in 2020.
- 2019 - Company Shuttle Bus. By providing a shuttle bus to the station in the evenings we improve the journeys home for our staff on public transport.
- 2019 - Team holiday. We took the team on holiday to Marbella for meeting some key internal milestones.
- 2019 - Yoga. Yoga and fitness sessions every Friday morning in the office
- 2019 - Food. We provide healthy food for free in the office
Nemash Pratel, marketing manager at Push Group.