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Employee wellbeing going up the agenda

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Employee happiness and wellbeing is fast entering the mainstream of business. In the past, businesses’ concerns about staff health rarely extended beyond reducing sickness absence.

Nowadays, organisations understand the business benefit of looking after their employees’ wellbeing, while the UK Government’s Fit for Work programme promotes health and wellbeing at a legislative level. Meanwhile, Oracle’s Simply Talent research found that 90 percent of employees believe that health and wellness technology and processes are important to transforming corporate culture and creating a unique working environment.

Oracle’s Andy Campbell advises businesses that it’s easier than they may think to institute modern health and happiness initiatives: “Investing in staff wellbeing can seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t mean every company has to build their own version of the Googleplex complete with gyms and swimming pools,” said Campbell. “For example, some firms offer their staff a free FitBit health tracking device and challenge them to commit to walking one million steps per year, with participation linked to qualification for the company’s premium health plan.

“These initiatives work especially well when there is an element of ‘gamification’ – creating friendly competition on an individual or team basis. This can be hugely successful in getting staff to participate in wellness schemes and that gamification must also be tracked and measured in relevant HR systems. Such initiatives don’t just encourage a healthier workforce, they also increase engagement between employer and employee, and give the company a positive story to tell when trying to recruit talent who are more likely to work for a company that differentiates itself from the competition in terms of the benefits it offers. What’s more, it helps to foster an atmosphere of healthy competition – and collaboration – while also helping to develop a corporate ethos and identity in an effective way throughout the year.

“New entrants into the workforce expect a different relationship with their colleagues and employers. They want a more personalised experience, with flexible benefits such as homeworking and tailored health packages, making employee wellbeing a priority is therefore the best way to engage and retain the new talent that young recruit.”

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