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Well-being at work: A winning strategy for employers

December 5, 2023

Modern companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of employee well-being as a key element of their overall strategy. It turns out that employee well-being is more than just a perk, it’s a fundamental pillar in achieving optimal, sustainable business performance.

At this time of year, when many sick days and resignations reach their peak, here are a few tips for harmonizing employee fulfillment and high performance that the recruitment experts at Kenova have listed below, following an analysis of the finance and accounting market.

Promoting productivity through well-being

Studies have shown conclusively that healthy, fulfilled employees are more productive. A work environment that promotes physical and mental well-being can help reduce employee absence, increase concentration and stimulate creativity. Employees who feel supported and listened to are more inclined to invest themselves in their work, which translates directly into improved performance and results.

Fostering Employee Commitment 

According to Gallup, companies that manage to maintain a high level of employee engagement enjoy a significantly higher rate of profitability than those where engagement is less pronounced. This makes it imperative to create an environment where team members feel fully invested in their work, feel a sense of belonging, and clearly understand how their contributions contribute to the company’s overall objectives. A recruitment process geared towards deep adherence to the company’s values and mission can greatly enhance employee commitment and dedication, while offering meaning to their day-to-day activities.

Creating a positive corporate culture

Fostering a corporate culture focused on transparency, open communication, diversity and inclusion is a strategic investment in creating a favorable working environment. According to a Deloitte study, companies promoting a positive culture are three times more likely to attract and retain talent. Harvard Business Review highlights the crucial role of leadership in creating this positive environment. Thus, strengthening leadership skills has become imperative to foster a corporate culture that actively listens to employees, enabling leaders to act accordingly while working for the common good.

An Environment of Gratitude

Fostering a culture of give-and-take within the organization is crucial to cultivating gratitude and minimizing the risk of ingratitude on the part of employees towards the employer’s initiatives. By encouraging transparent and open communication, employees are encouraged to recognize and express their appreciation for the benefits and programs in place. Managers play a key role in modeling a grateful attitude. By clearly defining expectations and benefits in a transparent policy, the organization eliminates potential misunderstandings and encourages a fair exchange. In this way, the give-and-take culture becomes a fundamental pillar, where employees recognize the value of the employer’s initiatives and actively contribute to a positive, collaborative atmosphere.

Work-Life Balance 

Chronic stress among employees can have profound consequences for their well-being and productivity. It is associated with physical and mental health problems, lower productivity, increased absenteeism, higher turnover, and deteriorating interpersonal relationships. Constantly stressed employees find it difficult to concentrate, make informed decisions and may lack motivation. Business and work demands rarely diminish. However, employers can mitigate these effects by implementing stress management measures and offering a more flexible work environment that actually allows employees to pick up and slow down when necessary.

Work-Life Balance Impact of Extended Remote Work

Remote working offers undeniable advantages, simplifying the lives of many employees and reducing the constraints associated with travel. However, studies suggest that prolonged teleworking, in the absence of face-to-face social interaction with colleagues, can have insidious consequences over time, such as feelings of social isolation, reduced motivation due to lack of recognition, and limitations in terms of creativity and innovation. In addition, prolonged isolation can contribute to increased anxiety in some employees, affecting their well-being and their ability to engage fully in their professional tasks. Opportunities for informal learning, crucial for professional development, can be restricted, and disconnection from corporate culture and the stress associated with the blurred boundary between professional and personal life can also impact on employees’ mental health. Encouraging regular face-to-face meetings, organizing virtual social events, and promoting open communication are strategies that companies with a majority of remote workers can adopt to reduce these effects.

Ensuring Continuous Professional Development 

Implementing training programs, professional development plans and continuous learning opportunities is a key strategy for stimulating professional growth and retaining talent, while nurturing a sense of individual accomplishment. When employees have the opportunity to grow within their company, they are significantly less likely to explore other job opportunities in the marketplace. In fact, according to a LinkedIn study, over 94% of employees would be inclined to stay with a company that actively invests in their professional development and offers prospects for advancement.

In addition, an employer’s ability to provide employees with the right tools is of particular importance in this ever-changing world, where some traditional jobs will disappear while new ones emerge. This ability to anticipate changes in the job market and empower employees to adapt to them contributes not only to retaining talent, but also to preparing the company for future challenges.

Pushing Back the Boundaries of Comfort 

Too much comfort can lead to boredom and reduced productivity. Too much can lead to apathy and ingratitude. That’s why it’s essential to stimulate every employee to excel, to offer the best of their abilities in what they’re passionate about.

Encouraging employees to step out of their comfort zone is crucial to their development. Kenova suggests introducing stimulating challenges, such as innovative projects or broader responsibilities. Involving employees in decision-making processes while giving them the opportunity to contribute to meaningful projects can also boost their commitment and growth. However, it’s important to strike a balance between new challenges and the support needed to avoid burnout.

«Growth and comfort cannot coexist»

– Ginni Rometty

The happiness index for employees and managers

Attention to the employee happiness index is becoming essential. According to a study by the University of Warwick, happiness at work, influenced by job satisfaction and positive relationships, is associated with a 12% increase in productivity. Companies need to integrate wellness initiatives to remain competitive, as employees place increasing importance on these policies when evaluating job opportunities.

By viewing wellness as a long-term investment, significant returns can be seen in a more motivated team, reduced absenteeism costs, improved corporate reputation and increased productivity. Visionary employers who integrate well-being into their strategy see a more robust corporate culture and resilient teams. In this way, well-being at work becomes a necessity for thriving in a demanding business environment, often linked to finance and accounting roles.

Supportive employers invest in a future where economic success and individual well-being coexist harmoniously. “Take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your business”, says Virgin CEO Richard Branson. 

Employee well-being is not only a strategic investment, but also a guarantee of lasting success. By adopting these strategies, companies improve employee satisfaction and productivity, thereby strengthening their market position. 

Kenova’s recruitment team has written this brief report after analyzing the retention of its clients’ accounting and finance departments, as well as their organizational culture. If you would like further information on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact one of our consultants.

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