Why companies should invest in their employees’ well-being
Understanding the importance of employees’ well-being is crucial, as it is an integral part of being a responsible and sustainable business. The entire livelihood of a company stems from the employees who see a future in the company and with them a part of it. This is why it is essential for a company to become aware of, and to strengthen its responsibility for the well-being of its employees. Companies that make progressive decisions and strengthen their responsibility for the well-being of employees are essentially taking part in a greater commitment to play a positive role in society.
Well-being of employees a top priority for Israeli companies
A review of Israeli companies’ performance, derived from the Maala ESG Index spanning more than a decade, indicates continuous improvement on these issues in Israel. For example, in 2006, only 45% of companies participating in the Maala Index reported that they had conducted an employee satisfaction survey during the preceding two years; the figure increased substantially to 85% by 2019.
David Grayson, who is an emeritus professor of corporate responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management in the U.K., explained at the 2018 Maala international conference, that the crossover of technological changes and the demographic changes that are happening in Israel have caused a fourth industrial revolution. When looking at the effects of this revolution, Grayson feels we need to pull together government, civil society, individuals, and businesses in order to truly play a positive role in society.
Prof. David Grayson at the Maala international conference 2018
There are substantial risks for businesses when skill-based exclusion of certain parts of the population from the economy and society occurs. Dr. Sigal Shelach, CEO of JDC Israel, explained this, also at the 2018 Maala conference, by saying, “I feel that the basis of democracy is allowing people the right to make a living from work. Employers will have to take a major role of not only training employees for specific skills, but to also train for unspecific skills as well”. In response to the societal challenge of the working poor, Israeli companies have started to construct processes to bolster human capital by supporting, developing, and advancing low-wage employees. They have created practices, strategies, and inspiring programs to generate economic support for these employees.
Further data from the 2019 Maala Index regarding employees’ well-being indicates that employee health is encouraged by facilitating checkups (82% of rated companies), promoting healthy nutrition (75%), and helping employees quit smoking (31%). Sixty-nine percent of companies rated on the 2019 Index have either a gym on-site or arrangements with external facilities for the benefit of the employees’; and 81% of rated companies support employee sporting teams and sports days. They have also introduced opportunities for career development, provided tools to adapt to the changing world of employment, and contributed to a culture of meaning and values in the workplace.
Poor human resource management is bad for business. So implementing the discussed strategies, and other such programs and strategies for the benefit of employees, is a way to boost the livelihood of the employees along with the business itself.