The Key to Employee Retention: Prioritising Wellbeing

by | Sep 12, 2023 | Training & Development

Victoria Brocklesby, COO and Co-founder of Origin, a leading UK manufacturer of aluminium doors and windows, believes employee wellbeing is a moral obligation. Here, she highlights the benefits employers can gain by fostering a happy and supportive workforce.

Construction is often cited as one of the most stressful industries to work in and regularly hits the headlines due to the sector’s subsequent talent drain. With 22% of construction firms currently experiencing staff shortages and a four-month average lead time to fill positions, this is very much felt by those working in the industry. To combat this, and better attract and retain valuable talent, prioritising employee wellbeing is crucial. In fact, research shows that employees who feel cared for by their employer are 69% less likely to actively seek a new job.

Besides being the right thing to do morally, focusing on wellbeing also yields several business advantages. Healthy and content employees are more productive, and addressing mental health issues can reduce absenteeism. Gallup research reveals that well-supported employees are 71% less likely to experience burnout and three times more engaged at work, contributing to a safer workplace with fewer incidents and sick days.

Reducing staff turnover also saves money on recruitment, especially as the average cost per hire in the UK is £3,000 and the construction industry’s turnover rate is around 20%. Reprioritising staff wellbeing becomes essential for businesses aiming to create a healthy work environment and reap business benefits.

Actionable Advice

At Origin, we have four key ways we put our employees’ wellbeing first:

Culture: Company culture is essential and can make or break an organisation as a great place to work. Emphasising a close-knit community and upholding values that mean something is key. At Origin, our culture is founded on a base of care, trust, and respect, which have been vital to our success as a family business.

Benefits: Generic benefits don’t show you care or genuinely understand your employees. Any benefits package must be tailored to the needs of your employees. For example, it would be meaningless to offer a cycle-to-work scheme to employees that work from home.

Learning and Development: Investing in an effective training and learning policy demonstrates you care about employees’ career progression and broader learning, which is one of the best ways to foster a sense of belonging and boost loyalty.

Active Listening: Allowing employees the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, and make suggestions to senior members of staff is critical to ensuring they feel heard and valued. For this to be effective, you must also ensure each idea is given fair consideration and report back on whether or not it will be progressed.

Whilst these are four focuses of Origin, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to employee wellbeing. Any strategy must be genuine and tailored to the interests of your employees. It goes beyond introducing benefits; it’s about enhancing the entire work experience.

In Summary

Prioritising employee wellbeing has the potential to transform lives and businesses. Employees benefit from genuinely feeling like they belong, and businesses benefit from lower staff churn and improved productivity. However, Initiatives must be meaningful and genuinely beneficial to be effective. Compassion and genuine care are absolutely essential to success.

Find out more about Origin

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