Beyond Fruit Bowls: Prioritising Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace for Cost Savings

Beyond Fruit Bowls: Prioritising Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace for Cost Savings

In today’s corporate landscape, the conversation surrounding employee wellbeing has reached an all-time high. Companies, now more than ever, are recognising the importance of building a healthy and supportive work environment. However, there exists a stark contrast between companies that merely fulfil the basic requirements of employee support and those that excel in prioritising employee wellbeing.

At the most fundamental level, many companies simply fulfill their basic requirements in supporting employee wellbeing. These include providing fruit bowls in the office, offering flexible work arrangements, promoting open communication channels, and ensuring ergonomic workspaces. While these initiatives are undoubtedly beneficial, they often represent the bare minimum in addressing the multifaceted needs of employees.

Moving beyond these basic offerings, progressive companies take additional steps to enhance employee wellbeing. They implement Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to provide confidential counselling and support services. They also introduce wellness initiatives, cultivate supportive environments, and actively recognise and appreciate employee contributions. Moreover, they prioritise maintaining a healthy work-life balance for their staff.

However, it is the companies that truly excel in prioritising employee wellbeing that set the standard for organisational support. These companies go above and beyond by investing in mental health and wellbeing training for their employees. They develop comprehensive wellbeing strategies tailored to the unique needs of their workforce. In addition, they implement inclusive policies and diverse initiatives that promote a sense of belonging for all employees.

Why invest in employee mental health and wellbeing?

But why are these companies investing so heavily in the mental health and wellbeing of their staff? The answer lies in the substantial cost-saving benefits that come with prioritising employee wellbeing. 

Emotional and Behavioural Advantages

Research has consistently shown that companies with robust mental health support systems experience lower rates of absenteeism, presenteeism, and staff turnover. This translates to significant savings in recruitment and training costs, as well as increased productivity and overall performance.

By providing early intervention and support, companies can prevent more severe mental health concerns from arising, thus avoiding absenteeism, sick leave and workers compensation claims. Moreover, fostering a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported can boost morale and motivation, leading to higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction. This, in turn, can enhance employee loyalty and retention, further reducing turnover costs for the company. 

Corporate Social Responsibility 

In addition to the emotional and behavioural advantages of prioritising employee wellbeing, companies also have a social responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Under the Australian Workplace Health and Safety Act, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must manage the risk of psychosocial hazards in the workplace. This includes addressing factors such as stress, bullying, and work-related mental health issues.

Corporate social responsibility budgets should encompass spending on the right initiatives, including those aimed at promoting employee wellbeing. Some of this budget needs to be allocated specifically to support employee mental health and create a psychologically safe workplace environment. By investing in resources such as accredited mental health training, counselling services, and wellbeing programs, companies can fulfil their legal obligations while also fostering a positive and supportive workplace culture.

At Applied Education and Training (RTO 46114) , we recognise the importance of prioritising employee wellbeing in the workplace. That’s why our 10936NAT Diploma of Mental Fitness and Resilience is designed to address the gaps between companies’ perceptions and optimal practices in supporting employee wellbeing. Our program equips individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to promote mental health and resilience within their organisations effectively.

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