Companies grapple with employee performance daily. Employee Welfare is, put simply; an array of services, facilities, or amenities established at the workplace to enable employees to execute their roles in healthy and conducive environments. It is availing facilities that improve employees’ health, boost morale, and make them feel proud to associate with the organization.
A study by the University of Warwick, titled ‘Happiness and Productivity’ found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. Research shows that employees who have access to supportive work-family policies, such as flexible work arrangements and paid parental leave, are more likely to report higher levels of job satisfaction and motivation.
When employees feel that their personal and family needs are supported by their employer, they are more likely to be motivated to perform well on the job. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that employee wellness programs, such as stress management and fitness programs, can easily translate into the impetus for employees’ efficiency and dedication to the organization.
Employees who participated in wellness programs reported higher job satisfaction, greater commitment to their organization, and higher levels of motivation. When employees perceive their organization as prioritizing their well-being, they are more likely to experience job satisfaction and be motivated to perform well. Another key factor is that employees who feel their well-being is valued by their employer are more committed to their organization.
Employee welfare programs have shown to reduce turnover and absenteeism, which can have a positive impact on motivation and morale. Organizations with employee wellness programs report a 70% reduction in absenteeism and a 51% reduction in turnover (National Business Group, 2018).
While the list of activities for employee welfare can vary, organizations ought to improve employee welfare by taking a holistic approach that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their employees. Here are some strategies that organizations can implement to improve employee welfare.
Provide Competitive Compensation and Benefits:
One of the most important ways to improve employee welfare is by providing a competitive compensation and benefits package. This includes fair and competitive salaries, healthcare benefits, and retirement plans. When organisations provide these benefits, they attract and retain top talent, and create a sense of loyalty and commitment among employees.
Flexible Work Arrangements:
Another way to improve employee welfare is by providing flexible work arrangements. This includes options for remote work, flexible schedules, and job sharing. With such arrangements, employees can better balance their work and personal lives, leading to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress.
Career Development Opportunities:
Providing career development opportunities is another way to improve employee welfare. This includes training and development programs, coaching and mentoring, and opportunities for career advancement. Investing in professional growth can lead to increased job motivation and loyalty.
Health and Wellness Programs:
Organizations can also improve employee welfare by providing health and wellness programs. This includes access to fitness facilities, wellness programs, and mental health resources. Prioritizing employee health and well-being can reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, and create a positive work culture.
Positive Work Culture:
Finally, organisations can improve employee welfare by creating a positive work culture. This includes fostering a sense of community and collaboration among employees, encouraging open communication and feedback, and recognizing and rewarding employee contributions. With a positive work culture, organizations can increase employee engagement and job satisfaction, and ultimately improve the overall performance of the organization.
A very important aspect is benchmarking companies that are doing it right. Take, for instance, UAP Old Mutual operates on an 8 Elements wellness model that offers a holistic approach to welfare. The model ensures well-being across key employee welfare drivers such as career development, physical wellness, social support, spiritual alignment, emotional wellbeing, and environmental, financial, and intellectual well-being. The company offers miscarriage/bereavement leave where a birthing parent is given up to 8 weeks of fully paid leave. Employees automatically qualify for a minimum of 4 months of fully paid maternity leave and a 1-month paternity leave. All this is in line with the pillars of Employee Welfare at UAP Old Mutual.
It should be noted that the enhancement of employee welfare at the company has influenced the motivation and efficiency of the employees as according to the Financial Statements released for the Financial Year ended 31st December 2021, UAP Old Mutual registered a record market leadership in the insurance industry.
Offering ongoing professional development
A crucial part of employee welfare is career development. Employees should consider your company as a space where they can advance their careers. And as such, it is important to establish programs where they can receive training to enhance their skill sets, on top of helping them access opportunities for higher education and upskilling outside of the workplace.
In conclusion, improving employee welfare is crucial for any organization that seeks to attract and retain top talent, increase productivity, and create a positive work culture. By providing competitive compensation and benefits, flexible work arrangements, career development opportunities, health and wellness programs, and a positive work culture, organisations can create a work environment that is conducive to employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity.
This writer, Linda Tamale is the Human Capital and Administration Manager at UAP Old Mutual Insurance Uganda
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