Why employee health affects marketing
As most marketers will tell you, there are not just the four P’s to consider when developing your marketing strategy, there are seven P’s – particularly when marketing something that involves a service.
But how does an employee’s mental wellbeing affect marketing?
There has long been the notion that happy employees are more likely to deliver a quality service, so it stands to reason that an employee who is not feeling on top form, by no fault of their own can potentially let the side down by delivering a bad experience.
We all know that if a product or service is marketed well and to the right audiences, conversion rates should be high, however, if the experience is poor, it stands to reason that the sale could fall through. So whilst your process and your physical evidence might live up to expectation, an interaction with a staff member who is not feeling happy may lose the sale.
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened the importance of mental health issues and an awareness of their impact will be particularly important as the gradual relaxation of lockdown measures see people returning to work after months of working remotely.
NHS statistics for 2019 showed that one in four adults, and one in four children experience mental illness. In addition, the results of a CIPD survey carried out in 2019 on over 1,000 businesses reported that just one fifth of employees feel well informed about the support available to them on mental health issues.
But, it really isn’t about the commercial reasons for looking after your staff, there is a fundamental duty of care to ensure the mental wellbeing and health of your employees is looked after.
Over the last few years, great strides have been made to improve awareness of mental health and to help those affected or those who are working with people with mental health issues to seek help.
Great employers place employee wellbeing at the very centre of their culture and create environments and have specialists trained to help.
There are nation wide initiatives such as “Time to Talk” day on 6 February 2020 which encouraged everyone to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.
Very often, just asking someone ‘are you ok?’ can help.
Why should marketing be concerned?
Firstly, it’s fundamental issue of duty of care to employees and the affect not looking after your employees will have on their health, the morale of others and your brand reputation. Secondly, the effect of poor service on revenue and likelihood of winning repeat customers.
Let’s look back to 2016 when Sports Direct came under fire for their Victorian Workhouse culture. The affect of these HR policies damaged reputation, impacted sales, lowered the company share price, and no doubt discouraged talented people from applying to work at the company.
The knock on effect is also magnified staff shortages, either because staff are off ill or can’t be replaced, declining profits which affect the ability to invest and poor consumer confidence.
Against this backdrop, it becomes pretty difficult for marketers to develop successful campaigns.
If your company does not have wellbeing at the core of its culture and brand values, then now would be a great time to start rethinking your strategy, but we recommend you get experts in to help you deliver the required changes.
Your marketing team also has a role to play in helping you to create the environment in which people do feel they can express their opinions and health concerns in a constructive and sensitive way.
Our Director team recently became i-Act accredited managers. This does not mean we are qualified to deliver advice, but we are part of a growing body of practitioners who have been trained to recognised the signs that someone might be experiencing problems and getting them to seek help.
We are now actively encouraging our clients to take a more proactive stance and to start developing their own wellbeing programmes because there is plenty of evidence to support that taken seriously, a great many tangible financial returns and business efficiencies can be achieved.
Here’s a stat to ponder – for every £1 spent on workplace wellbeing there is a £4 return.
- The WELL Standard accreditation
- Six reasons your office is your biggest wellbeing initiative
- Becoming an i-act accredited manager