Why Flexibility, Wellbeing, Inclusivity and Diversity Are Crucial to Employee Health

19.12.16

Flexibility, wellbeing, inclusivity and diversity can all be found on the agenda of every HR meeting of every company around the globe. Although we address each topic separately, the truth is they are all interconnected and tied to one overarching theme - employee health.

Think about it - employee health suffers if an employee feels excluded or discriminated. Employee health suffers if an employee’s needs and wellbeing are ignored or neglected. Flexibility, wellbeing, inclusivity and diversity are all related.

Employee health is an ongoing, long-term strategy representing both mental and physical health that should be woven into the fabric of every company.

Below we look at flexibility, wellbeing, inclusivity and diversity from the perspective of employee health and how they can be made part of your company’s long-term strategy:

Flexibility

The average full-time employee spends approximately 40 hours a week at work, which makes up a significant part of one’s week. While work plays an important role in our life, we also need time for all the other elements in our life that make us whole.

This is where supporting employee work-life balance and offering flexibility is important. After all, not every employee’s lifestyle is best suited to a 9 am-5 pm schedule.

Flexible working conditions can mean a number of different things and can be arranged in various ways to best to suit the employee and the employer. Offering employees the flexibility to adjust their schedules so that they can attend to other obligations, work from home when needed, look after dependents, attend a gym class, workshop or other appointment which is important to them, is one such way.

Flexibility can also be shown in the form of employee benefits.

Using Benify’s global benefit platform to enable employees to choose the benefits most useful to them is another way. After all, each employee has their own preferences and needs, and Benify’s global administration system helps multinational companies to manage their global benefits and address the needs of each employee.

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Wellbeing

A Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees, revealed that 23% of employees feel burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44% reported feeling burned out sometimes.

In the war for talent today, employee wellbeing has become an ever-vital issue. Prioritising employee wellbeing is a must for every company, or else your employees will simply go elsewhere.

It’s a fact that healthy employees are happier, more productive and take fewer sick days. In fact, absenteeism is said to 27% lower among healthy employees.

One of the most effective ways to support your employees’ wellbeing is through your benefits offering using Benify’s benefit administration system. What can you offer your employees, which would benefit their health? Whether it’s a discounted gym membership, at-work massages or allowing employees to choose from a range of preselected wellbeing-focused benefits using their benefits budget, the list of ways you can support employee health are endless. Remember, happiness is contagious and can affect the entire workplace.

Inclusivity

Feeling connected to your colleagues, the company, its values and workplace culture are important factors when it comes to employee health and wellbeing.

An inclusive workplace has a positive effect on employee self-esteem through feelings of being seen, heard and welcome – an environment where employees feel they can bring their whole selves to work. An inclusive workplace also provides for greater social connectedness, reduced discrimination, prejudice and harassment.

An inclusive culture is one where respect and differences are celebrated. Workforce writes: “Inclusion must be actively interwoven into the fabric of company culture so that all people feel like they belong in the workplace — and that they can succeed there.”

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Diversity

Diversity allows for unique perspectives in the workplace and has been shown to inspire creativity and drive innovation. Furthermore, recruiting from a diverse talent pool allows companies to find and recruit the best talent out there.

As one Science Nordic article shares: “Diversity makes us all more open-minded, both in our communities and at work”. The article continues, “Greater diversity leaves less to room to discriminate in communities and in the workplace”. As a result, diversity – like inclusivity – creates feelings of belongingness, which is key to employee health.

Data compiled by virtual event solutions company, Evia, shows that despite the fact that women make up 50% of the workforce in the U.S., they make up less than 20% of those working in tech jobs. At Benify, we follow a diversity success plan that consists of several initiatives aimed at decreasing the gender gap. Some examples of our efforts include bias, diversity and inclusion training for all employees, and the formation of a female network for our women in IT called "Benitas".

So, the next time you’re discussing flexibility, wellbeing, inclusivity or diversity, think about it in terms of one central theme - your employee’s long-term health.

Want to learn more about employee experience? Download our free e-book, The New Employee Experience: How to maximise and optimise every step of the employee journey

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