When seeking to grow a business in new markets, owners strive to achieve sustained growth, progress and profitability. Employee health and wellbeing is often not a primary focus for those driving the growth of the company, although it should be. In this blog, the Albion Languages experts look at how communications can support employee wellbeing and why it should be made a priority.
Research commissioned by UK-based mental health charity, Mind, found that work is commonly the biggest source of stress in life, with one in three people (34 per cent) stating that their work life was stressful. Sadly, the report also uncovered that one in five of those questioned went on to develop anxiety as a result of the stress they experienced.
Too much stress is detrimental not only to health, but also to workplace performance, therefore, it makes business – and ethical – sense for employers to take responsibility for looking after their staff and lowering stress levels.
Mental health and wellbeing – a business case
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a lengthy period of tension which has naturally affected employee health and wellbeing, making it increasingly vital for organisations to ensure their best asset – their workforce – is both supported and protected.
Prioritising wellbeing through well-planned initiatives that promote a wellness ‘culture’ within a company will have positive outcomes for the business too.
According to a report by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, sickness absence due to mental ill health alone costs the UK economy more than £8 billion per year, while businesses in the USA lose up to $300 billion per annum as a direct result of workplace stress.
There is also a close correlation between a healthier workforce and productivity. A workforce in good health will take less time off, be more motivated and more productive. In fact, a study by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in Geneva found that every €1 invested in occupational health and safety generated a return of €2.20.
Importance of localised communication
Effective communication is essential when building rapport and developing productive working relationships. However, when communicating with teams located in various locations across the globe, effective communication becomes more complex.
Human Resource teams will need to fully grasp the importance of cultural adaptation, ensuring that wellness programmes are compiled to face up to the specific challenges of employees in each region. Mental health is a delicate subject and so must be handled – and written about – with care. Societal norms vary dramatically in different locations and a campaign written without comprehensive research and culturally sensitive localisation can easily cause offense and even lead to higher levels of employee stress.
While the theory behind the health and wellness strategy can be agreed upon, localisation is also needed to ensure it is appropriate for each of its geographical targets. The name, images, language and phrasing may all need to be altered. However, this shouldn’t be a reason for inaction, a culture of wellness can be successfully cultivated if there is a thoughtful and consistent focus on communication.
Moving forward with a new health and wellness strategy
While substantial efforts have been made to improve employee mental health, a significant amount of work still remains. Simply understanding the issue is a major first step, but the team at Albion Languages can work with you in a consultative capacity to research and guide the multilingual communication process. In this way, highly targeted employee wellbeing advice and support can be provided for each of your business locations.
If your business works across borders, or is looking to move into new territories, then speak to our team about how we can support you in growing your business.