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What's productivity got to do with your employer brand?

By Kate Harding
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Organisational performance, productivity and well-being are the ever-green topics regardless of industry and territory. However, collecting data that hone down on business units, departments, and individual employees is far too often neglected due to its time-consuming nature and variety of influencers to investigate. But by not looking further than the 'bigger picture', Could you be harming your employer brand as well as your organisational performance and well-being? 

Without having a clear understanding on the factors impacting an individual’s productivity and well-being, it’s near impossible for business leaders to identify which strategy to implement to manage and stabilise the fluctuations of productivity slumps that happen on average in most working environments. Not only that, but the ultimate bottom line is that you can’t expect your employees to be productive, motivated and even advocate your company if your leaders don’t invest in and support them, and don’t reflect good behaviours in the workplace themselves?

 

National Business Research Institute (NBRI), 2018. 5 Key Factors That Affect Employee Productivity.

 

Not surprisingly, influencing behaviours and attitudes of leaders is one of the biggest culprits for low productivity and presenteeism. Vitality’s annual survey revealed that more than two-fifths blame the management style as a cause of stress, with only a third believing they encouraged mental wellbeing. Add to that the negative example managers set by working when sick and you can see why it was discovered that UK employees lose an average of 35.6 days of productive time due to ill health.

Quite simply, your leaders hold the power to your organisational productivity and performance, whilst setting the tone for your company’s culture and brand identity. And the cost to your business? $3,055 per employee every year* - not a light figure to digest, to say the least. We ran our wellbeing survey in 2019, and a staggering 74% of respondents said a ‘well’ culture would be the difference between them staying or leaving the business. So if your productivity results look very similar to the picture above, then looking at your leadership team is the first piece of the puzzle to getting your organisation back in business.

 

The healthy approach to productivity

Awareness being the first step, organisations and their leaders need to take precautions and actionable steps to manage employee’s well-being and health through their work environment and organisational mindset.

This requires creating and establishing a structured and comprehensive programme, based entirely on the extensive employee data you have collected and analysed. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all programme. One company’s strategy will be completely different to the next and so it is critical that you listen to the data in front of you and ensure your programme hits the head on the specific factors causing productivity slumps. Then it’s the task of communicating your programme effectively to all employees, utilising your leaders as the champions and exemplars to ensure buy-in and embedment across the company.

And it doesn’t just stop there. Regular surveys conducted annually are crucial to continuous improvement and monitoring of success. You can’t implement a programme and assume it's going to solve everything in the first run. Only through development will you see a healthy rate of improvement on productivity year on year.

Here are MA, we introduced a well-being programme, ‘Montreal Moments’. The name reflects the idea of taking time out throughout each day to take care of our wellbeing. This might be going to the gym, taking a break from our mobile devices over lunch to engage with the people around us or having a 10-minute catch up with a colleague on foot rather than in a meeting room. The name reflects the practice of wellbeing being a regular thing rather than a one-off event.

Over six months, from June to December, we had a series of activities taking place that focused on the five pillars of wellbeing - Mental Wellbeing, Passion & Purpose, Sleep, Financial Wellbeing, and Physical Health. Covering a wide range of the health spectrum month by month meant every single employee had something to take away and implement into their day-to-day at MA across the course of the initiative. High attendance rates and positive feedback collected assured us these were the right focus points for our employees.

By referencing our programme, we hope that organisations can see examples of implementation and realise the quantifiable benefits it can have on your employer brand, productivity, and tenure. And as a recruitment agency placing candidates into organisations, we strive to help our clients beyond the recruitment process to ensure not only that they retain permanent talent, but also stay attractive to flexible talent pools for their future demands and gain the best performance from their talent throughout.

Author
Kate Harding
Marketing Manager