Increase Employee Productivity and Effectiveness while Improving the Health and Wellbeing of a Workforce.

Increase Employee Productivity and Effectiveness while Improving the Health and Wellbeing of a Workforce.                   

Paper - 31st May 2016:   

Change is now the only constant in business. Resilience of employees is key to adaptation to change. Talent retention is now one of the key challenges facing businesses in this era. Turnover of staff can be the single highest needless cost an organisation has through the requirement for advertising, recruitment and training, all while tolerating a reduction in productivity.

So how is Talent Retention achieved? It is created through the provision of intangible benefits to the employees, benefits that cannot be replicated in competitor companies. A key benefit now valued by staff is the provision of a Health & Wellbeing program. This provides an answer ton the question: How does my employer value me?, How does my employer invest in me rather than my work?

Due to consistent changes staff are becoming less engaged and as a result, less productive and efficient. It is apparent that within these business affected, the morale of staff can be low and uncertainty is more widespread.  This position, while unfortunate, provides a major opportunity within a business to improve engagement, morale and consequently improve employee productivity and effectiveness. Many organisations have become resilient as a result of challenges, and this needs to be recognised and utilised. The changing nature of work according to the latest thinking in Human Resources identifies an opportunity for remaining staff to flourish in their positions, allowing morale to be improved and more productive and effective work to be done. By focusing on the following initiatives, allows this improvement to be made.

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Employee Resilience

By focusing on these elements, employee engagement can be improved leading to many benefits including:

  • Reduced absenteeism,

  • Improved service provision,

  • Reduced presenteeism among employees,

  • Improved productivity & morale,

  • Improvement in work efficiency,


Many organisations in Ireland are now implementing these strategies. It is an evolving process and the easy wins are in the Staff Wellbeing space where low budgets are required to implement these strategies.

Outlined below are some extracts from up to date literature on this subject and steps required in implementing a wellbeing programme within a business.


Increasing Employee Productivity and Effectiveness

How is this done? It is now common practice for organisations to focus on the issue of employee engagement. Some of the key objectives of this focus include:

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Employee Resilience

Recent high level papers have been published such as: Price Waterhouse Coopers: “Building the case for Wellness” (2008) and Engage for Success: “The Evidence: Wellbeing and Employee Engagement, giving conclusions that Workplace Wellness contributes to great benefits where it is implemented. The key points of these documents are as follows:


Meaningful work leads to lower levels of absence because people are engaged with their work and that the association between meaningfulness and engagement is strengthened by wellbeing. Bevan (2010) states:                                                                                         

“The relationship between employee health and employee commitment and engagement is multi faceted. Indeed, there is research evidence that suggests a two-way, possibly self-reinforcing relationship: healthy employees are more committed and committed employees are more healthy”.



Committed and healthy employees are more likely to deliver high value customer service: evidence exists that engaged and committed employees have a significant influence on customer outcomes, whilst low levels of commitment and high levels of absence lead to lower customer satisfaction and spend (Bevan, 2010; Rucci et al., 1998; Barber et al., 1999; Bates et al., 2003).

                When employees are engaged and thriving, they are more likely to be agile and resilient, so major organisational changes are unlikely to throw them off course. Likewise, engaged, thriving employees have fewer health problems. Compared with their engaged but struggling/ suffering counterparts, they have fewer unhealthy days as a result of physical or mental illness, are less likely to be diagnosed with a new disease in the next year, and are less likely to be newly diagnosed with anxiety and depression. These factors add up to big savings for companies’ bottom line in terms of staff costs, productivity and performance (Gallup, 2013).



Companies with highly engaged staff report employees taking an average of 7 absence days per year, approximately half the 14 days per year reported in low engagement companies. Those employees in high engagement companies also report significantly less workplace stress, 28% versus 39% (Aon Hewit , 2012).

According to IIP (2014), those who described themselves as happy in their role were less likely to take ‘sickies’, than those who described themselves as unhappy, with 27% of unhappy workers having embellished the truth about being ill to take a day off on at least one occasion, compared with 20% of contented employees. More than 6% admitted to taking a ‘sickie’ more than five times in one year.


Bevan (2010) stated that there is growing evidence that poor health and wellbeing can be a significant contributing factor to accidents at work. Tiredness is a factor in many accidents, for example, it has been estimated that 20% of accidents on motorways are attributable to fatigue (UK).


The CIPD (2012) report that examined the impact of emotional and transactional employee engagement on business outcomes found that emotionally attached employees are more likely to go the extra mile to support colleagues and to support the organisation, and are highly unlikely to engage in damaging, deviant behaviours or to plan to leave the organisation.

The CIPD (2013) said that “consistent with previous years’ findings, evaluations of wellbeing spend generally conclude that investing in wellbeing is worthwhile.”

What Next

At Everyday NFW we establish Health & Wellness Programs through the basis of Nutrition Fitness & Wellbeing. You can check out our Specific Programs here