Every successful business understands that their most valuable asset is their team.  Focusing on the wellbeing of staff is vital in giving businesses the edge in a competitive world.  To remain at the top of their game, team members need to be able to be present, calm, focused and resilient.  They need to be able to thrive under pressure without becoming overwhelmed.  Having a strong focus on wellbeing can build these core skills for healthier individuals and teams.

Weaving a real commitment to wellbeing into the fabric of a business has numerous benefits:

  1. Boost Productivity

A study published in Science Direct* illustrated that companies who valued wellbeing and productivity equally were more successful. This finding was backed up by the recent ‘Human Capital Trends’ study (2019)** carried out by Deloitte, which evidenced that companies outperformed their competitors because their staff felt valued and supported.

2. Increase Collaboration and Creativity

Collaboration and creativity are key components in an ever-evolving business landscape.  When we are healthier and feeling calm, we work better with others.  Feeling stressed can make us defensive and entrenched in old ideas, seeking refuge in the familiar.  If we feel less defensive, it is easier to see someone else’s point of view. With improved health, we have more energy for new ideas and find it easier look at problems from different angles.

change and transitions are much easier to manage when we are experiencing increased levels of Optimism and Vitality – natural products of wellbeing


3. Attract the Right People

Whilst important, it turns out that salary isn’t always the top priority for employees. Having a positive working culture, a focus on opportunities for professional development and flexibility of working conditions, all rate highly when potential employees are making choices of what businesses to join.  Employees are now more conscious of the value of having a good quality of life. A company that can evidence a real working commitment to staff Wellbeing, will be more likely to attract the right people.

4. Retain the Right People

Making a real commitment to the Wellbeing of staff is no longer an optional extra.  It plays a significant part in what businesses can offer their employees.  There is no doubt that when individuals feel valued, they are more engaged and willing to go that extra mile for their teams.  Feeling valued and having control over day to day tasks are directly linked with motivation and retention.

placing the wellbeing of staff high on their list of priorities, gives businesses the competitive edge in retaining quality people


5. Healthy Responses to Stress and Pressure

Work and life in general can be stressful and busy, and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down.  It comes as no surprise that, according to the Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (2017), people who feel stressed in their jobs are less likely to stay.  To make matters worse, the study also indicates that people who are stressed are more likely to make choices that do not benefit their health and wellbeing – poor eating habits and less exercise.  In addition, stressed employees report poorer sleep habits with only half of highly-stressed employees (50 per cent) enjoying a healthy seven hours’ sleep a night compared with 80 per cent of less stressed colleagues.  These factors, over time, will have a negative impact on performance.

The irony is that we need a certain amount of stress and pressure to succeed. It is how we view and respond to stress that make the difference.   Learning about stress, how it impacts us, how we can respond in a healthy way and how we can protect our long-term health and wellbeing, are powerful tools for businesses to integrate into their strategies.

when it comes to stress

Knowledge is Power


6. Reduce Absenteeism

The cost of health or stress related employee absence is becoming a growing drain for businesses of all sizes.  The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Absence Management Survey 2016 found that the average number of working days lost to sickness per employee, per year sits at 6.3.  For some high-pressure roles, this is much higher. The knock-on effect on colleagues from filling the gap and taking on extra work and of employing cover for long term absences can be a further drain. Not to mention the impact on client relationships and the reputational damage of delivery drift.

improved physical and mental wellbeing has a positive impact on levels of staff presenteeism


Most businesses now have a Wellbeing Promise as part of their staff offer, however for it to really have the positive impact required, it must be practical and meaningful.  Improving the Wellbeing of staff is easier said than done.  Providing better work environments, encouraging healthy eating, regular exercise and permission for flexible working arrangements, can go a long way.

However, to make a real difference, hearts and minds need to be changed.  Building on small incremental changes, individuals and teams can achieve powerful momentum in their health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing programmes need to work with the employee from where they are, to ensure meaningful engagement. Ranging from something as simple as helping staff to understand the performance enhancing benefits of a good night’s sleep, to using up to date learning about Physical Intelligence to help individuals perform in high stress situations.

Seeds need to be planted in the right way for sustainable change so that the commitment to Wellbeing runs far deeper than a surface level.  Building on small incremental changes, individuals and teams can achieve powerful momentum in their health and wellbeing, creating a recipe for success for thriving businesses.

Catherine McIntosh is the founder of STRIVE & THRIVE CONSULTING.  She is a Consultant, Trainer and Writer on Performance and Resilience for Teams.  Strive & Thrive provide a range of programmes Building Peak Performance and Resilience for Teams.
The Thrive Wellbeing Workshop is specifically designed to be delivered to teams, teaching easy ways to make lasting changes to health and wellbeing.  Contact us:  catherine@striveandthriveconsulting.com