The Big Five of employee wellbeing
Employee wellbeing as a concept has grown in importance and acceptance over the years, with the first recorded version of occupational safety and health, De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (Dissertation on Workers’ Diseases) being printed in 1700.
The Covid-19 pandemic has snapped the spotlight firmly on employee wellbeing, and this is something that organisations have taken to heart, and are investing in the wellbeing of their workforce. Perkbox conducted a study on the top HR trends of 2022, and one of the most significant findings was 42% of HR professionals saying savings made through continuous remote work in 2022 will be put towards providing or increasing a wellbeing budget.
However, the wellbeing of the employee now relates to more than just the physical safety of the workspace and the physical health of the worker. These are still important, but other aspects of the employee’s life also need to be looked at and cared for.
What are the Big Five?
- Workspace wellbeing
This marks the first of the Big Five, with 62% of HR professionals marking this as a major part of their concerns. Workspace wellbeing involves the work environment, whether it is safe for the worker, and whether the workspace is conducive to working well.
Let’s face it, the environment employees work in has a major impact on wellbeing. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a dark, uncomfortable spot all day, every day. Plus, with the growing trend of remote working, the workplace can now include the option to incorporate employees’ homes as well. While working from home may protect employees from possible workplace hazards, it can also expose them to other issues, such as an unsafe home environment, inadequate equipment or difficulty concentrating due to having to care for children at the same time.
- Emotional wellbeing
According to Psychology Today, emotional wellbeing refers to an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of your emotions, and an ability to manage effectively through challenges and change. In the workspace, this means the ability of an employee to healthily deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with work, and being able to maintain their general mental health.
60% of HR professionals earmarked this as a major aspect of employee wellbeing. The expectation is that companies will be working to support mental health by improving and expanding benefits to cover a range of emotional wellbeing challenges. Equally important will be creating more awareness of the importance of emotional well-being. This could range from company-wide education, right down to specific line manager training.
- Social wellbeing
With 58% of HR professionals marking this as a major aspect of overall wellbeing, social wellbeing looks at how the employee is interacting with others. This covers developing positive relationships with others and serves as an additional indicator of the mental state of the employee. It’s especially important due to the current trend of remote working, as a lonely or isolated employee can easily feel left out and out of step with the company culture.
At the same time, recognition and reward of an employee’s efforts can help enormously with social wellbeing. Being visibly appreciated and feeling valued can increase engagement, productivity, and employee retention. At a time when organizations are fiercely competing for the best talent, these could make all the difference.
- Financial wellbeing
50% of HR professionals have financial wellbeing as an important aspect of overall employee wellbeing.. Ultimately, this comes down to an employee having enough money andfinancial knowledge to meet their personal needs. Finances are undoubtedly a major stressor for an employee and can be a huge source of anxiety and a detriment to mental health.
By providing financial wellbeing benefits, including educational resources as well as tangible solutions that help employees stretch their salaries, an organization can show it cares for its employees as individuals. This in turn inspires loyalty, increases motivation, and enhances engagement.
- Physical wellbeing
Earmarked by 46% of HR professionals, physical wellbeing stands among the Big Five by virtue of being a constant concern in the workplace because of the pandemic.
Physical wellbeing influences productivity in many ways. For example, a worker’s energy levels are ultimately dependent on healthy behaviours such as regular exercise, eating and sleeping well.
Addressing the Big Five as an organization
Ultimately, addressing employee wellbeing comes down to an organization’s ability to care for, connect with, and celebrate their employees, no matter where they are. Perkbox, a global benefits and rewards platform with over 10 years of experience in the field, provides a centralized platform for perks, wellbeing, and recognition in a single mobile app.
An out-of-the-box solution that’s easy to use and implement, Perkbox allows organizations to attract and retain top talent with tailored and meaningful benefits that value every employee as an individual, and a wide variety of wellbeing tools that cater for all needs.
Bring your benefits, rewards and people initiatives into one place, for a harmonized experience that saves time and money.
To kickstart your new employee wellbeing initiative, visit Perkbox here to learn more.