Ten years ago, it would have been hard to imagine employee wellbeing being a priority for most companies. But the pandemic, the transition to hybrid working and the cost-of-living crisis have changed all that. Now, focusing on employee wellbeing is one of the main ways an employer can ensure an engaged, productive and innovative workforce.
This is backed up by plenty of research. A Brigham Young University study, for example, found that employees with a healthy lifestyle were 25 percent more productive and had 27 percent lower absenteeism rates. Wellbeing programmes also attract and retain top talent, according to McKinsey research, which found that an “increased focus on employee wellbeing,” including feeling supported and included were among employees’ top priorities.
And research also shows that nurturing wellbeing is good for the bottom line. According to economists at the London Business School, companies listed in the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” – which has wellbeing as one of its key metrics – generate 2.3 to 3.8 percent higher returns on shareholder value compared to their industry peers.
How we’re prioritising employee wellbeing
This new reality has prompted us to make Wellbeing a central part of our People Agenda at Liberty Global, alongside themes such as Belonging, Connecting, Partnering and Growing. It’s a strategy that highlights our colleagues as one of our greatest assets, investing in their professional experience, career-building, and wellbeing accordingly.
Our Wellbeing pillar covers four key support areas – body, mind, social, and financial. They encapsulate the major components of a well-rounded, healthy life, from staying fit and managing our finances to nurturing our mental health and relationships. We’ve designed Wellbeing Week around these touchpoints, via virtual and in-person workshops on a range of topics available to colleagues across our global sites.
These initiatives are built on employee feedback, too. As we refine and evolve our Wellbeing agenda, we’re listening carefully through two annual employee surveys. The insights are invaluable to better understand how our colleagues are faring and feeling about working at Liberty Global. This consists of an employee engagement survey and a dedicated DE&I survey, where we measure if employees feel like they belong and can bring themselves to work every day. We’re tracking progress and holding ourselves accountable.
Throughout the week, we’re hosting expert-led webinars on managing stress and boosting resiliency, maximising financial wealth, and how to build a psychologically safe environment – at home or in the office. In person, employees can head over to smoothie bars, sign up for health check-ups, or connect over lunch with any of our six Employee Resource Groups, who will be set up in all our offices. Our ERGs – employee-led groups focusing on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion pillars – have gone a long way to develop inclusive communities within Liberty Global, providing safe spaces and educational sessions.
All in, the week of events point employees back to the ongoing wellbeing support we’re providing to them. They include tools and resources that bolster wellbeing, including a dedicated Employee Assistance Programme offering 24/7 support and access to the Calm app, giving employees much-needed “me” time.
Despite these milestones, we’re aware this is an ongoing journey. Looking after employee wellbeing isn’t just about a single day or a dedicated week – it’s an everyday choice colleagues, senior leaders and the overall organisation must commit to. But initiatives, such as our Wellbeing Week are crucial in normalising open discussions around once-taboo topics, such as mental health, financial difficulties and overall wellbeing.
I plan to keep this conversation going, bringing wellbeing to the forefront, raising awareness that it extends beyond physical health, and reminding employees we’re there for them.