A study from Deloitte found a staggering 2.7 million employees quit their jobs every month, with many citing a ‘lack of empowerment’ as the key reason. With the stakes so high, companies must take measures to help them keep their best and brightest.

More companies are waking up to the fact that employee engagement is about more than salaries, it’s about taking a holistic approach to staff welfare. Choose wisely and you’re on course for a harmonious work environment. Make a miscalculation and you could find yourself struggling to recruit and retain top talent.

With this in mind, here are four steps employers can take to prioritise employee wellbeing all year round.

Be accessible and flexible

The first step to developing your wellness strategy is to ensure it’s as inclusive and accessible as possible, so it can be fully integrated across the workplace.

To do this, you need to communicate with all levels of the business to secure company buy-in. Consider group meetings, as well as providing one-to-one sessions between senior and junior team members to fully inform them of the details and long-term goals.

You could try introducing “change champions” too. This is a group of employees who work to improve the health and culture of the workplace by socially connecting with others and helping to educate co-workers about programme offerings readily available.

Health comes first

More businesses are learning to develop a culture-first mentality which looks at the ‘total quality of life’ for employees to boost their overall wellbeing and enhance productivity.

For example; At Express we worked closely with one of our clients Airwair to support its focus on wellness by helping them provide healthier food choices to their staff.

Airwair is always looking for new angles for innovative workplace wellness initiatives. As such, it now provides employees with treadmills for use during meetings, on-site massages and a designated wellness room in each office.

The company found a more health-focused approach resulted in more positive employee feedback, as many reported the investment in their health and happiness made them feel more valued.

Food, glorious food

As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat.’ Businesses are increasingly realising that healthy food choices are essential in the working environment and something that needs to be built into organisations’ wellness programmes.

Studies show employees who eat healthily are, on average, 25 percent more likely to perform better, so it’s vital to find ways to make healthier food choices more readily available in the workplace.

These offerings don’t need to be overly lavish to have a positive impact. For example, look to update refreshment facilities and provide healthier options to support employee wellbeing.

Be more responsible

Increasingly, employees and consumers alike are demanding more from businesses, with research indicating 79 percent of people would prefer to work for a socially responsible company.

Research also suggests CSR and wellness initiatives that work together have been proven to ‘improve collaboration, innovation and soft skill development.’ So how can employers ensure practices stay up-to-date and fresh enough to gauge maximum interest?

Creating a calendar of CSR-related events for employees to participate in throughout the year, eliminates it being seen as ‘ad hoc’ activity and encourages maximum staff participation.

Incorporate it into everyday activities, such as cycle to work and lift share schemes. Smaller charitable initiatives such as bake sales or sponsored lunchtime sporting events, can also have a big impact on workplace morale and complement more serious, long-term corporate objectives.

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