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Revealed: A simple secret to boosting productivity

Rex Fan, Lead Behavioural Insights Advisor at Bupa UK

Many of us start the new year with good intentions, but halfway through January, you may be finding it difficult to stay motivated. The UK’s search habits show that motivation isn’t just a January problem, either. Over the last year, those struggling have turned to Google:

  • ‘Feeling demotivated at work’ – searches increased by 67%
  • ‘Motivational factors for employees’ – searches increased by 25%
  • ‘Lost motivation at work’ – searches increased by 21%

As an SME owner, keeping your team engaged isn’t always easy, but research[1] shows there’s a simple solution. 60% of SMEs find that supporting their team’s health and wellbeing plays a valuable role in boosting productivity.

Rex Fan, Lead Behavioural Insights Advisor at Bupa UK, explains why health and wellbeing services can increase motivation, along with the differences between products on offer.

Wellbeing services and motivation
SME owners know that every employee is to business success. After spending time recruiting the perfect talent to help your business grow, knowing the best ways to keep your team happy and feeling motivated can help take you to the next level.

As small businesses have compact teams, lack of motivation can be especially detrimental. How we feel when we’re at work makes a huge difference to our quality of output and achieving business goals.

If employees are doing too much, it can lead to burnout. If employees are doing too little, they have bore out. Both ends of the spectrum can affect motivation and lead to staff absences, which can further damage your business output.

Wellbeing services are a great way to show your team that you appreciate them and their contributions, while reinforcing the importance of taking care of both body and mind. When your team invests this time in themselves, it can lead to healthier habits and reduce overall staff absences.

What’s more, wellbeing services also serve as a perk to working for your company – which can both help to retain and recruit the best talent.

The latest Bupa Wellbeing Index – a landmark survey conducted amongst 8,000 UK adults – found that health insurance ranked in the top three most sought-after benefits for a third (39%) of employees. This was behind only flexible working (53%) and a company pension scheme (46%).

As the war for talent continues, benefits play a significant role in staff attraction and retention. More than two-fifths of employees (42%) said they would be more likely to stay in their current role if it offered good health and wellbeing benefits, while 28% say they would feel more valued if their employer offered more benefits to ease their cost-of-living. Almost a fifth (19%) said that health insurance through work is a priority benefit for them as a result of financial pressures.

The Bupa Wellbeing Index data also shows employees are making good use of their health insurance; 42% of those with health and wellbeing benefits have used them in the last 12 months.

How wellbeing, resilience and motivation are connected
Each of your employees will have their own individual tolerance for coping with stress. How resilient we are affects how well we’re able to tackle demanding situations. For example, a person with lower resilience levels may find a stressful work task negatively impacts their wellbeing more, compared to a person with higher resilience.

When we’re faced with a tricky work situation, someone with lower resilience levels may feel intimidated tackling similar future situations.  However, did you know that your individual tolerance for stress isn’t fixed? Developing your resilience can help you to adjust to and recover from pressured situations more effectively.

Resilience and wellbeing go hand in hand. From looking after the basics of your physical health to making proper time to relax and unwind, the principles of developing resilience levels will naturally improve overall wellbeing, too.

7 wellbeing services to help boost SME productivity:

  1. Business health insurance helps to get employees back to their best, quickly, that can offer access to various treatments including cancer, mental health and muscle, bone and joint issues.
  2. Employee assistance programmes (EAP) help improve morale and engagement through providing an outlet to confidentially and impartially disclose anything harming their wellbeing with a counsellor.
  3. Occupational health services incorporates a range of services, from risk assessments to health assessments, covering your employee’s physical and mental health, whether it’s for something new or ongoing.
  4. Employee health assessments take a preventative approach to health and wellbeing, helping employees feel empowered to make healthy lifestyle choices.
  5. Employee private GP services help to keep absences at a minimum by giving them quick access to a range of GPs or nurses. Bupa’s employee private GP services can also provide round-the-clock health information and advice from a range of doctors and GPs.
  6. Physiotherapy and musculoskeletal support protects your team’s physical health with access to a full range of services in-person, online or via telephone.
  7. Employee flu vaccinations add an extra layer of protection to your team and business when the flu season arrives.

[1] https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2021/04/workplace-wellbeing/#:~:text=Three%20in%20five%20(60%25),critical%20for%20ensuring%20high%20productivity.

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