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Employees should always strive to do their best while at work, whatever the circumstance. In practice, however, this simply isn’t the case. Disengaged, unmotivated, unsupported employees are more likely to underperform and even leave a company due to poor workplace culture.

It’s simple – people want to be happy. Feeling satisfied, cared about and encouraged leaves us feeling good about ourselves and our situation. This leads to us feeling equipped and empowered to do our best and work to the best of our abilities.

Attracting employees in today’s current climate is no difficulty. Thousands of candidates are applying for individual roles. Whilst it might not be too tough to fill a position at the moment, finding the right person for the job is still a challenge. Employees are looking for a fulfilling role that challenges them, offers progression opportunities and most importantly makes them happy.

So the real answer to attracting great employees and retaining them is happiness and fulfillment. And the best way to develop a company culture that prioritises these things is ensuring wellbeing runs throughout your operations.

No, we don’t mean free fruit, ping pong tables and other gimmicks. We’re talking about giving employees the tools they need to improve their physical, mental, social and financial health. Through wellbeing education, managerial support and on-site activities, employees can be encouraged and motivated in the workplace to do their best.

At its most basic level, employers should consider their team’s physical environment. Employees want an ergonomic workstation, natural light, good air quality, access to quiet zones if needed and the opportunity to personalise their environment (such as changing their temperature). Employees are more likely to thrive under great physical working conditions, and focussing on this first will help you to then move on to rolling out a more comprehensive and detailed wellbeing programme.

Ongoing feedback and performance reviews may not seem like a wellbeing matter, but that’s not the case. Encouragement and professional development plays a big part in a corporation’s employee wellness strategy. Employees who feel valued and challenged to progress are more likely to stick to their role and grow within a business. Those who aren’t motivated to develop may stagnate and look elsewhere for these opportunities.

Listen to your employees to find out where your company culture is letting you down. A Salesforce report found that employees are nearly five times more likely to be motivated to do their best if they feel their voices are heard. Staff members like to feel empowered and appreciated, and training your managers to listen and empathise with employees will play a big part in your efforts to retain great people.

Employers must not miss an opportunity to demonstrate that they care about their employees. Offering wellbeing services to enhance employees’ physical and mental health can make a big difference. Ideas such as organising lunchtime walks through to arranging internal mental health awareness campaigns demonstrate that employees are more than just a number on a payslip. It shows your staff that they’re valued, and that you understand they have a life outside of work to prioritise too. Showcase your commitment for achieving work/life balance and your employees are more likely to stop clock-watching and truly value their time at work.

There are obvious business benefits to improving retention rates and attracting great employees. Losing a valuable employee or a bad hiring decision can be a costly mistake due to lost productivity, recruitment fees, training time and resources and much more. Oxford Economics analysis found that, in some cases, replacing a lost member of staff can cost around £30,000.

The two key points to take away from this are: treat your existing employees well to avoid losing (and having to replace) your team. And shout loud and proud about your employee wellbeing strategy in order to recruit the best candidates.

Companies must not underestimate the value of employee advocacy. Those who are happy at work are significantly more likely to recommend a business as a great place to work. Engaged employees may be willing to shout about your business on social media, share news with friends and family and generally be an overall advocate for your business. Those looking to move roles will notice a business’s engaged employees and will be more likely to apply. Your employees offer invaluable insight into behind-the-scenes working life, so don’t miss your opportunity to decorate this shop window by ensuring your team members are motivated enough to become advocates.

Stand by your people, and they’ll stand by your business. When it comes to finding the best ways to attract and retain valuable employees, you should always analyse your company’s value and find new ways to continually improve your culture.

Andy Romero-BirkbeckFounder & Director – We are Wellbeing Ltd

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