It is hard to overstate the importance of employee wellbeing in the workplace. Employees drive the culture of a business. They enable it to function smoothly, and productivity and morale increase when they work together as a unified team. This leads to improved profitability, higher retention rates, lower sickness rates and a reputation for excellence that can help the business thrive across all areas of its operations.
Why employee wellbeing is important
If your employees are unsupported, stressed, demotivated or burnt out, they will be unable to perform to their full potential. You will see conflict arising within the workforce, deadlines will be missed, customers will become dissatisfied and staff attrition rates will increase.
This is why employee wellbeing should be a priority for every business. In order to achieve your strategic objectives, your staff must be your focus. It is vital that you listen to them, support them and provide them with the tools, processes, time and training they need to succeed. When your employee wellbeing initiatives are effective, you will see marked improvements in output. 
Why parents need specific support
All staff need support to deliver to their full potential, but it is crucial to consider the specific needs of parents. Whether they have young children in nursery who can be prone to catching every infection going, requiring them to take time off to care for them, or older children whose educational stresses are causing anxiety at home, parents are never off duty .
With the ever-present demands placed upon them from every angle, parents are keenly aware of the need to complete their work within specified deadlines. They may struggle to accept calls for overtime, requests for overnight travel or to compress deadlines on planned work. This is not because they are less committed than their peers but because they are genuinely unable to do so.
It is vital that employers recognise the unrelenting pressure that is involved in raising a family and that they support their employees. This may be as simple as allowing flexibility to work from home at short notice or around school holidays or being open to working around flexible schedules. However, it could go further.
Tried and tested employee wellbeing initiatives
1. Staff engagement. When scheduling rotas or planning the delivery of a project, engage with your staff and ask them to discuss their availability openly and honestly. If they know they will need to attend a school sports day, it is easier to factor this into the plan and allow them the time off. Simply assuming that they will be present will inevitably see them rush to fit in the work prior to this personal commitment, or try to work in their own time, creating a schedule imbalance and a potential morale issue.
2. Recognise performance. Parents may feel demotivated if their efforts at work are not recognised. They may already feel lost outside of work, balancing domestic chores with childcare responsibilities and perhaps worrying about the work they have to complete the following day. Simple acts of recognition in the workplace for a job well done will be hugely motivating for them.
3. Promote career progression. In the midst of soccer practice and piano lessons, parents can sometimes lose sight of their career goals. Many will want to develop their careers, particularly as their children age and become less dependent on them. Routine development reviews offer employers the opportunity to discuss long-term career aspirations and desires and to develop a route map to achieving them. Offering targeted support and training enables parents to feel as though they are on the right trajectory, which can help maintain focus and improve confidence and productivity.
4. Encourage wellbeing breaks. Accepting that work can be inherently stressful is essential. Expecting your staff to believe that they should rise above all workplace stressors is unrealistic and bad for morale. In creating a culture wherein it is okay to not be okay sometimes, people are more likely to talk about their experiences. Allowing time for talking, whether in a peer support network or with a dedicated staff counsellor, can help staff relieve their frustrations and return to work in a more positive state of mind. A wellbeing break for some may simply be a walk around the site or attending a session at their local gym. Whatever form it may take, if it achieves the result of a settled and more productive employee, it is always worthwhile.
Terryberry are employee wellbeing specialists. We can help your business to implement the tools and techniques that will make happy staff a reality. Happy staff are more productive, so investing in employee wellbeing will always be money well spent. For a demonstration or to find out more, please contact us today.