• juliemari


According to a CIPD 2020 study report on Health and Wellbeing at Work, stress-related absenteeism at work has increased by 37% since last year, and 89 per cent of employees have worked while feeling unwell. Indeed, working can be stressful and mental health issues are becoming increasingly common in the workplace... Employees can quickly feel overwhelmed. This is why a company needs to take care of its employees and their well-being within the company, in order to create the best possible atmosphere for the employees and the smooth running of the organisation.

Employees wellbeing can be physical, mental and social, so it is important to consider these three aspects of wellbeing that have different dimensions as the Innovative Workplace Institute shows:

In my opinion, it is one of the organisation’s roles to take care of its employees so they feel good and comfortable. You don’t adopt dogs if you’re not going to take care good care of them, right? So if a company recruits employees, it will have to make sure they’re feeling good within the company.

Employees wellbeing is very important. Indeed, if the employees are feeling good in the company, it will create a positive atmosphere and generate motivation that will lead to an increase in general productivity and employee engagement. Plus, positive attracts positive. If the company puts employees in positive working conditions, these employees will naturally pass on their positivity to customers.

Employees wellbeing was particularly important during the COVID-19 as it was a very stressful period that can easily lead to burnout. Reassurance and protection from employers were vital.

The CIPD constructed a well-being pyramid model, showing the vital elements for a healthy and productive working environment.

Employers can offer many benefits to the employees for their well-being such as a room to relax in, the possibility of taking a day off to take time for yourself or your child's first day of school, discounts for museums or the gym, chocolates for Christmas, the possibility of seeing a counsellor… Apart from these benefits, it is also possible to change some of the organisation of the company to make employees feel better. Changing the management and leadership style, implementing flexible work hours and improving communication can reduce employee stress and create a supportive environment.

All these benefits are very good for employees well-being, for the company’s productivity but also PR, as it will lead to a good reputation.

I am going to analyse two examples of employees wellbeing activities from two different companies: Timpson and Amazon.

A good example: Timpson’s No Excuse Tool Box

Timpson is very committed to the well-being of its employees. For example, there are "No Excuse Tool Boxes" available in the shops. This small box contains essential products such as a hairbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving foam, toothbrush, tie and shirt. It looks like a small box with ordinary products inside, but in reality, this box is much more significant than that. The products it contains are essential but represent a budget. This way, every Timpson employee can feel clean and smart without having to make concessions on the food budget for example. It also allows employees to feel part of the company.

A less good example: Amazon Zen Booth

Amazon has been accused of exploiting its employees, who sometimes feel like robots. Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, has defended himself by calling his employees industrial athletes, but I think that it sounds very ironic.

A "Zen Booth" has been set up in the warehouse. This is probably well-intentioned, but this tiny room dedicated to employee's relaxation has been the subject of much ridicule on social media. This booth is so tiny that you can feel more oppressed than if you continued working, the fake blue sky can also be oppressing and creepy, and this booth is located in the middle of the warehouse. In my opinion, it feels more like a punishment than a moment of relaxation. I don't think it will help Amazon's reputation about working conditions and employee welfare.

My friend Andrea interviewed two Amazon employees to get their opinion on their working conditions, you can find her article on her blog.

To conclude, an integrated employee wellbeing program is essential for the smooth running operation of a company. Taking care of the employees will only lead to positive outcomes in terms of commitment, productivity, public perception, and reputation. so don't skimp. Companies must remember that prevention is preferable to cure, hence proactive measures are recommended.

Thank you for reading me, I'd love to read your thoughts about employee wellbeing!

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