June, 2023
Towngate Blog

Insight & Advice – The Importance of Employee Wellbeing and How It Affects Productivity & Staff Morale

by Julia Ford

It is certainly no secret that the wellness of employees goes hand in hand with productivity levels and the overall morale of a company. As a result, now more than ever, just as we are encouraged to strive toward a greener and more sustainable world, employers are recognising the importance of staff wellbeing and how they need to take a similar stance concerning the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees.

Maria Waida, freelance content writer for enterprise software businesses, defines ’employee wellbeing’ as

“the overall mental, physical, emotional, and economic health of your employees. Influenced by factors such as their relationships with co-workers, the decisions they make, and the tools and resources they have access to”.

There is an ever-increasing demand on employers to not only create a stress free and happy working environment, but also to recognise traits in their employees that may indicate something is amiss. Many companies now have a dedicated mental health first aider who is trained and qualified to spot any problems and look to help the employee in any way possible. Having this particular person as a ‘go to’ can also make employees feel more at ease and more likely to seek help if needed.

Whilst in business terms an employer is predominantly concerned with the welfare of their staff within the workplace, it is also a hugely affective management decision for an employee to encourage a healthy work/life balance. Draining your employees by expecting excessive unpaid hours of work, minimal breaks and not providing the correct tools for them to carry out their job to the best of their ability, will only in the long run lead to increased staff absence due to stress and illness.

Recent studies have shown that employees are 13% more productive when happy and that 38% of Generation Z who are actively seeking employment would consider a healthy and happy working environment to be their number one factor in whether or not they would accept a role.

Here at Towngate, we pride ourselves in taking care of our team. Our people are at the very heart of what we do and to us, employee wellbeing is critical in maintaining a healthy working environment. We feel that optimising both mental and physical health will create a more well-rounded and happier overall lifestyle for our members. Below we give you just a small insight into some of the ways we are striving to ensure our team feel well cared for.

In April of this year, we once again opened our employee health assessment scheme to all staff. This is a bi-yearly opportunity for each member to visit a health centre near to them, to undertake a preventative health check, offering a current health and well-being overview, with additional tests where appropriate. This is an “all-rounder”, covering both mental and physical health.

We do strongly believe that mental well-being is key to a happy workforce and there is no better place to start than to encourage relationship building with colleagues and associates alike. With this in mind we organise various events throughout the course of the year, to encourage staff to build those relationships whilst also promoting both physical and mental wellbeing.

Examples of some of our more physical events, are detailed below:

Our walk for our late colleague, Stephen Guy, took place during April. He was a keen walker and one of his favourite routes was the Brighouse to Sowerby Bridge Canal trail. The Towngate staff, along with close members of Stephen’s family, completed the walk on luckily, one of the only warm, fine days of the month (!) finishing off with a delicious meal at the Navigation Inn, Sowerby Bridge. Stephen passed away during April 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and left an unfillable void within the team. The walk was a wonderful way of sharing stories about Stephen and his life and in some ways helped the team to come to terms with his loss.

Within our team, we also have some keen would-be Wimbledon tennis players! We are again organising and hosting our annual Corporate Tennis Day alongside our long-standing firm of solicitors; Schofield Sweeney of Huddersfield, which this year, took place place on Thursday 25th May. This “doubles” event is a fantastic day out, with varying levels of ability, all pitching together to win what is becoming quite a prestigious accolade!

Our next challenge, should we agree to accept it! …is the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk, most likely to go ahead during September 2023. This is a way of building individual self-confidence, an increase in morale throughout the organisation and an opportunity to push ourselves just that little bit further.