Employee wellbeing can be an essential factor in creating a positive work environment.
A survey by CIPD opens in new window found that 27% of organisations with a health and wellbeing strategy reported improved productivity, and 46% claimed improved employee morale and engagement opens in new window.
Improving employee wellbeing isn’t the preserve of large businesses.
Smaller businesses and start-ups can implement many free, cheap, and effective ways to support employee wellbeing opens in new window, whatever the size and makeup of their team.
Discover more about managing people with our free Managing and managing people course opens in new window, with teaches you managerial effectiveness, the skills required and how to develop management skills.
As part of our Learn with Start Up Loans opens in new window partnership with The Open University, our online course is free to join, delivered by experts and includes a free statement of participation on completion.
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is the overall mental and physical health of your employees.
Factors that can influence wellbeing include:
- high-pressure opens in new window workplace cultures
- negative workplace environments such as exposure to noise or lack of ergonomic furniture opens in new window
- colleagues, including managers and supervisors, and interpersonal relationships
- job role and responsibilities, such as workload opens in new window and deadlines
- access to support networks opens in new window, both formal and informal
- access to healthy activities opens in new window, such as gyms or healthy snacks.
Why should employers care about wellbeing?
Poor employee wellbeing can negatively impact your business.
Issues related to employee wellbeing such as increased absence, presenteeism, lack of motivation and productivity, high staff turnover, and a reduced work standard can potentially hinder business growth opens in new window.
A report by Deloitte opens in new window estimates that employee absence due to poor mental health can cost businesses around £7bn a year and £9bn in turnover costs.
The HSE opens in new window reports that 32.5 million working days were lost in 2019/2020 due to work-related ill-health.
With more employee support and wellbeing help, this number could be reduced, minimising business costs.
Free wellbeing resources
Start-ups and small businesses may lack the funds used by larger firms to implement formal employee wellbeing strategies.
However, there are free resources available that you can use to boost employee wellbeing.
Mind is a mental health charity that provides free resources you can share with employees to help boost their wellbeing.
It also provides resources for employee looking to develop a positive mental health culture in the workplace.
- How to implement the Thriving at Work standards in your workplace opens in new window
- Wellness Action Plans opens in new window
- Guide for Small Businesses opens in new window
- How to manage stress opens in new window
Visit Mind opens in new window for more free advice, downloadable guides, and booklets.
Living Life to the Full
Living Life to the Full is an online library providing information, resources, and courses supporting those with mental wellbeing difficulties opens in new window, health conditions, and illnesses.
Find more information at Living Life to the Full opens in new window.
NHS audio guides
The NHS has a selection of different audio guides designed to help boost wellbeing.
These vary from topics such as anxiety control training to low confidence and assertiveness.
Find out more at the NHS website opens in new window.
Learn with Start Up Loans
Designed to support start-up business owners and their teams, Learn with Start Up Loans has free learning resources dedicated to mental health and wellbeing in conjunction with The Open University.
- Making sense of mental health problems opens in new window
- Work and mental health opens in new window
- Panic attacks: what they are and what to do about them opens in new window
- Exercise and mental health opens in new window
Visit Learn with Start Up Loans opens in new window to discover more free learning courses.
The Government website offers guidance on the legal responsibilities opens in new window an employer has regarding their employees.
Visit the Gov.uk employment portal opens in new window for more.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a handy guide for understanding the basics of workplace health and safety including managing mental health conditions opens in new window, navigating the pressures of working alone opens in new window, and dealing with stress at work opens in new window.
Mental Health At Work
Mental Health At Work has links to free resources to help anyone within a business.
From leadership opens in new window and management to employees and volunteers, there are links to guides, advice and information, and playlists/series that tackle different areas of wellbeing.
Visit Mental Health at Work opens in new window for the entire range of resources suitable for various levels in the business.
Everymind at Work
Everymind at Work is an organisation that supports individuals struggling with their wellbeing.
It has free, downloadable resources for both employees and employers.
Visit Everymind at Work opens in new window to access additional resources such as risk assessment forms.
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation has a free downloadable guide opens in new window on how to support employee mental health.
It offers tips to support wellbeing and a video on how to talk about your feelings.
Find the guide on the Mental health Foundation opens in new window site.
Mental Health UK
Mental Health UK delivers support and services to people struggling with their wellbeing.
It has a variety of downloadable resources, including:
- Managing stress and building resilience in the workplace opens in new window
- Mental health awareness posters opens in new window
- Wellbeing plan worksheet opens in new window
Visit Mental Health UK opens in new window for further guidance and resources.
ACAS has a downloadable framework sheet to encourage a positive environment in the workplace.
It shows the importance and roles of each employee in the business, including management, and how everyone has a role in helping boost employee wellbeing.
Download the framework from ACAS opens in new window.
MindTools helps individuals feel more supported in their jobs and encourages them to have happy careers.
Its guide to Improving Physical Health and Wellbeing at Work opens in new window focuses on the dangers of sitting down for extended periods and offers practical ways to boost physical wellbeing.
Welbot focuses on the health and wellbeing of employees.
It has various resources on physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.
It offers guides on areas such as hydration in the workplace and the benefits of physical exercise.
Find the resources at Welbot opens in new window.
Read our guide for the best ways to enhance employee wellbeing opens in new window.
Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with The Open University on sustainability in the workplace.
Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:
- Effective communication in the workplace opens in new window
- Managing relationships opens in new window
- Succeed in the workplace opens in new window
- Leadership and followership opens in new window
Plus free courses on climate and sustainability, teamwork, entrepreneurship, mental health and wellbeing.
Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.