Why now is the time for employee wellbeing


    May 11, 2023


    Workplace wellbeing has gone from being a nice-to-have to becoming almost mission-critical to ensuring employees feel a sense of belonging and passion for the workplace. In fact, I would say that keeping a check on employee wellbeing is as important as keeping a check on the pulse of the business.


    So many organisations, in my opinion, underdeliver and overplay their efforts to keep employees happy and well. There is so much more to wellbeing than email reminders about taking a walk on a sunny day, mindfulness apps, and discounted gym memberships. Employee wellbeing, whether mental or physical, goes beyond just these emails: a modern, healthy organisation has wellbeing at the heart of its culture. 


    Employee wellness has become a top priority for many organisations, especially recently. From getting in and out of lockdowns due to the pandemic to adapting to hybrid work culture, organisations across sizes and industries continue to evolve and adapt. But the key to navigating through an ever-evolving work environment is ensuring a healthy employee mental and physical wellbeing.


    According to the CIPD’s health and wellbeing at work survey, an increasing number of organisations in the UK say they’re being proactive about employee wellbeing. While I find this heartening, the survey also shares that only around half of these organizations have a formal employee wellbeing strategy in place.

    If you are still wondering why wellbeing matters so much and if you can put employees at the heart of your organisation's work culture, read on to learn how, at Signify, employee wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. But to understand that, let’s first answer a simple question-


    What is employee wellbeing?


    Employee wellbeing is defined as the overall - mental, physical, emotional, and economic - health of the employees in an organisation. It’s influenced by various factors, such as employees’ relationships with co-workers, the work environment, and the tools and resources they can access. Work/life balance, fair pay, and workplace safety also significantly impacts employee wellbeing.  The term “wellbeing” covers several aspects of how people feel about their lives, including their jobs and relationships with the people around them. Employee wellbeing is a critical component of a healthy working environment and organisation. Organisations that promote wellbeing make it easier for employees to manage stress while maintaining a positive and productive environment. Wellbeing can refer to mental and physical health and more complex things such as satisfaction and engagement levels.


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    Of course, a person’s wellbeing has a lot to do with their personal or social life, but research shows that the workplace and employers can have a significant influence on an individual’s sense of wellbeing and their sense of belonging to their organisation. Therefore, the most successful wellbeing programmes are the ones where employees are at the heart of the organisation. While this is the prerogative of the HR team to provide tools, it’s everyone’s responsibility in the workplace to bring wellness to work life. 


    The benefits of being focused on wellbeing at work


    When you improve the health and wellbeing of your people, you’re helping to create a more motivated, engaged, and high-performing workforce – which can only be good for business. The benefits of investing in employee wellbeing include:


    • Attracting and retaining top talent: The pandemic has shifted people’s priorities, redefining measures of success. People are putting wellbeing, sustainability at the forefront of their decision making when deciding on an employer.
    • Improved DE&I: Focusing on greater inclusivity can help you attract a diverse workforce of talented people from all backgrounds and different mindsets. Along with preventing health problems from developing, a supportive and inclusive workplace can give staff members who already have health issues the help and resources they need to stay at work – and thrive.

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    • Increased productivity: Healthy, happy, and motivated employees come to work feeling energised, engaged, and fully focused on the job, helping employees to work smarter and achieve more.
    • Stronger teams and better productivity: An environment that encourages collaboration, team building, and friendship at work is vital for employees to feel like they belong. Those who work in a team with colleagues, like friends, tend to put in more effort as they feel accountable to their colleagues. It has long been recognised that a healthy workforce dramatically affects productivity and leads to fewer absent days, increased motivation, company loyalty, and overall economic growth of the organisation.


    How we do it at Signify


    At Signify, we strive for a culture where employee wellbeing matters and employees feel valued and involved. We ensure that preventative and curative measures will be available to support this culture and provide a safe and healthy working environment.


    • A respectful culture: Regular shout-outs for good work, letting employees feel part of the company's successes, and regular encouragement help build a real sense of teamwork and company pride. Showing employees that they’re pivotal to the success of a business and that their efforts don’t go unnoticed, sharing gratitude is a way of increasing motivation and wellbeing. From receiving a thank you email to a thank you award – we foster an environment of encouragement and appreciation.
    • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP): it is reassuring to know you’ve got somewhere to turn when you need reliable information or support and someone to talk to when things don’t run as smoothly as you’d like. EAP is an independent third-party vendor, the service offered to Signify employees is free, confidential, and impartial and you can call it as often as you need to, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Giving employees easy access to services such as EAP will help them maintain a healthy work-life balance, keep their wellbeing positive and, feel they belong to a secure environment.
    • D,E & I policy: We strive to create an inclusive culture in which differences are recognised and valued. By bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and giving each person the opportunity to contribute their skills, experiences, and perspectives, we can deliver innovation that matters to our customers and consumers and thus create value for Signify and its stakeholders.
    • Social@Signify: Our in-house social team, Social@Signify, outlines and organises social activities, key dates and initiatives. From free Wednesday breakfasts to celebrating festivals to bringing your dog to work day, the Social@Signify team ensures that having fun-filled days at work makes the culture fun and warm.



    Bring your dog to work day


    This list is not exhaustive but demonstrates how an employer can support their employees’ lifestyles (and go beyond basic perks like discounts and memberships only). But that’s not all.  Remember: the demographics of your workforce are likely diverse. People have different hurdles and challenges. While HR leads on helping employers offer relevant and meaningful benefits, the entire organisation must foster a culture of being greater together.

    About the author:

    Mark Gabbitas

    Bren Lumsden


    Head of HR, Signify UK&I

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify UK&I PR

    Nikita Mahajan
    Tel: + 44 (0)7459751618

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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