Improving well-being decreases burnout and turnover

14 January 2020 2 min. read
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A new report from PwC has suggested companies could boost their profitability by improving employee well-being. According to the study, employee turnover can cost firms large amounts of money, with firms having to pay the equivalent of a third of a worker’s annual salary to replace each outgoing staff member.

Every year, sick staff cost British firms a combined £77 billion in lost productivity, so it is understandable that at present firms are moving to address the well-being of their staff. This includes everything from providing increased support for mental health to improving the infrastructure of buildings to prevent physical health maladies.

Now, a new report from PwC has further suggested that taking such measures can pay dividends. Well-being efforts can have positive effects for businesses, in part by empowering employees to become more productive and loyal.

Improving well-being decreases burnout and turnover

According to PwC, investing in well-being and flexibility impacts important business outcomes, such as employee intent to remain with the organisation and their perception of team effectiveness. Three key factors were found to be boosted by investments into employee well-being: happiness and passion for one's work, an increased PwC People Engagement Index and lower levels of burnout.

The study also found that PwC employees who made a point to appreciate their personal accomplishments at work experienced improvements in regard to their well-being. So did employees who remembered the ways they had been fortunate in work and life, while those engaging in activities that renewed or recharged them such as sport were most likely to report higher levels of happiness and passion for their work. In turn, these individuals were less likely to exit the firm.

In a competitive environment where firms are competing for a shrinking pool of talent, this can be crucial. PwC contended that while there is no standard to accurately measure the cost of employee turnover, estimates indicate it can cost 20-33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace them.

In a statement about the report, Michael Fenlon, Chief People Officer for PwC, said, “At PwC, we’re learning about how we can better support well-being and flexibility from our “Be well, work well” initiative. As the design of jobs and work is evolving through automation and better use of data, we have an opportunity to reimagine the workplace experience in the post-industrial, digital innovation economy. That means paying attention to how we can renew our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual/purpose-driven sources of energy.”