Learning & Development

Fostering Employee Well-Being: The Catalyst for Organizational Success

As we marked World Mental Health Day in early October, it’s essential to shine a light on the role that employee well-being plays in creating a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace. As the war for talent rages on, it’s clear that employees are looking for factors beyond pay or benefits when choosing their employer. In fact, a recent Gympass report found that nearly all workers (93%) consider their wellbeing to be equally critical as their salary, up by 10 points year-over-year. Organizations that prioritize the mental health of their employees are not only fostering a winning workplace culture that employees are seeking but also reaping numerous benefits for their bottom line. In this article, we will explore the advantages of improving employee experience in the workplace and how it can contribute to a more profitable, sustainable business.

Producing Higher Quality Work

For a modern workforce comprised of remote and hybrid employees, an engaging work environment is a vital component of employee attraction and retention. According to Zippia, 68% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged at work, with disengagement increasing turnover rates by almost 50%. Simply put, employees don’t want to feel isolated or disconnected – no matter where they’re working from.

However, creating an engaging culture requires more than a year-end survey or annual reviews. It commands in-the-moment help and feedback that offers actionable steps toward improvement, which can be accomplished with the help of technology.

Adopting artificial intelligence (AI)-powered applications can support this by tracking and analyzing various indicators of employee well-being in real time, including current and mounting stress levels, workload management, and productivity levels. This valuable data can be instrumental in identifying areas that require TLC and crafting interventions to bolster employee happiness and engagement.

For example, if an AI system identifies that an employee’s stress level seems to be rising following a complex conversation with a customer, it can intercede by recommending the employee take a break by going for a walk or completing breathing exercises.

On the other hand, AI-powered performance management systems can ensure employees are getting real-time coaching and guidance from management to improve tasks and achieve their goals. Employees benefit from enhancing their skills and alleviating performance frustrations straightaway – without having to await an annual performance review or a daunting conversation with their manager.

These proactive measures help prevent well-being issues before they escalate, leading to happier employees and a healthier work environment for all. And, when employees are content and actively engaged with their work, they’re more likely to deliver exceptional customer service, creating a positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Creating Stronger Customer Relationships

Many organizations want to focus on customer satisfaction first and foremost. However, there’s compounding evidence that employee experience (EX) is directly tied to customer experience (CX). Meaning, employees who are happy at work will spread their positivity and have a greater commitment to delivering high quality service which in turn, improves customer relationships.

In a world of rapidly changing customer preferences and increasing corporate competition, the way by which employees approach customer interactions and truly get to know customers can become the deciding factor between a company’s growth and stagnation. This is because the adage rings true that “obtaining new customers is more expensive than retaining current ones.” Building the proper customer relationships can help avoid customer churn and add new customers organically by increasing positive word of mouth. In turn, these loyal customers lead to new revenue and growth opportunities.

Bolstering the Bottom Line

In short, it pays to invest in employees and their well-being. The first reason being that it costs a lot to onboard and train new employees — making it important to actively recognize disengaged employees and take proactive steps to better retain them to extend tenure. Second, a Gallup report found that companies with highly engaged workers see a resulting 20% increase in sales. This is because unhappy employees don’t just dampen the mood during meetings but can also adversely impact a company’s financial performance. When employees are dissatisfied, their productivity decreases; their customer interactions become less impactful; they tend to take more sick time; and they’re more inclined to seek new employment opportunities. On the other hand, happy employees channel their satisfaction into producing quality work and building meaningful customer relationships, ultimately reducing turnover and increasing profit margins.

Employee Well-Being is a Business Investment

Acknowledging the importance of mental health in the workplace goes far beyond one day, as it should be a year-round practice. It’s important to recognize that focusing on employee well-being is not just a feel-good initiative; it’s a strategic business decision. Organizations that invest in the mental health of their employees see many benefits, from improved customer satisfaction to increased sales. Prioritizing employee well-being is an investment that pays dividends for both employees and the organization as a whole.

Joshua Feast is co-founder and CEO of Cogito.

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