Why wellbeing?

Why employee wellbeing should be part of your reward strategy
Image courtesy of Sharon Mollerus

Verditer often works with clients looking to differentiate their benefits, ensuring alignment to organisation values and making them personal to employees. We are really pleased to introduce Angela Steel who specialises in wellbeing. Angela says....

Corporate wellbeing is not traditionally considered a pillar of reward policies. When I speak to reward professionals about what we do I occasionally receive if not quite a blank stare, perhaps an intrigued look – as if to say “well it’s not part of my remit, but thinking about it, is there a possibility it should be..?”

It’s early days yet but the answer is a resounding ‘Yes! It should be.’

Let me explain why. And share some personal experience too.

1. Taking care of employees makes them more engaged and loyal

Employees who feel cared for by their employer are 27% more likely to stay with them for more than five years 1. That’s a considerable financial incentive, when you consider the average cost of replacing a member of staff earning £25,000 or more is £30,614 2.

On an anecdotal level, whilst participants we work with appreciate the positive effects they’ve experienced themselves, it’s the benefits to their loved ones, which they seem to value above and beyond everything else. An educational wellbeing programme can lead to changes within an entire household, creating a powerful sense of trust in return.

2. Neglecting the health and wellbeing of employees increases sick leave

According to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), more than a million working people in the UK experience a work-related illness, costing employers 27 million working days a year, or the equivalent of £13.4bn. In fact NICE has just published a set of guidelines on workplace policy and management practices to improve the health and wellbeing of employees.

A study by the journal Occupational Health showed that obese workers take on average four more days off sick than those with a healthy weight. With obesity levels predicted to rise to at least 50% of the population by 2050, it’s in the best interests of employers to support their staff in maintaining a healthy waistline.

And yet sick leave doesn’t seem to be the highest concern from the professionals we speak to on a day to day basis. They are generally even more concerned about ‘presenteeism’ and hidden losses caused by low performance, which brings me to point 3:

3. Wellbeing initiatives have a real impact on productivity and performance

97% of HR decision makers believe in a link between employee wellbeing and organisational performance, according to research by Edenred (the 2015 Wellbeing barometer, which surveyed 422 HR decision makers) and 81% invest in some sort of wellbeing initiative for staff. Looking at nutrition specifically, research by Brigham Young University found that employees with a ‘less healthy’ diet are 66% more likely to be less productive.’

Who hasn’t experienced that mid-afternoon lull? Imagine on a company-wide scale, if most employees are struggling to concentrate for up to an hour after lunch… the hidden cost is enormous over time. And yet, a couple of simple adjustments on meal choices, based on new insights and knowledge, could make a vast difference.

There is something rather deep and meaningful about investing in someone’s health. And it will become even more significant as the current infrastructure and the NHS struggle increasingly to cope with the burden of chronic illness. Beyond all the statistics showing the value that investment in wellbeing can have for the company, to the employee who benefits, you could argue that living a healthier and longer life is actually priceless.

Employers who appreciate this will reap the intangible benefits in years to come: they will be the ones who attract the best candidates, retain the best people and cultivate trust. 

If you’re thinking of incorporating a wellbeing offering for your employees, get in touch with Angela to book a free, no obligations wellbeing planning session.


1. According to research conducted by ICM for financial protection specialist Unum in 2014.
2. Research by Oxford Economics, 2014


Angela Steel is the founder of SuperWellness, a company that specialises in employee wellbeing with an emphasis on nutrition. Angela trained as a Nutritional Therapist and is the author of of ‘Eat Your Way to the Top, 31 Habits for Optimising Your Potential at Work and Beyond.’


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Image courtesy of Sharon Mollerus