Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, was once famously quoted as saying, “take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business”. The multi-billionaire is right in that while good salaries and job prospects are important, they are just small parts in keeping staff happy.

Employee wellbeing plays a key role in reducing employee turnover and today many organisations offer lots of employee benefits, meaning that attracting and keeping the best members of staff can be a real challenge for businesses.

As wellbeing is key to reducing employee turnover, this guide looks at the things you should consider.

How to better engage unhappy employees?

According to research cited in Ladders, there are as many as 60% of workers not engaged at work. It stands to reason that people who don’t like what they are doing won’t work to the best of their abilities.

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to employee engagement because although someone might physically be in the office, it doesn’t mean everything is going well. Employees who are unhappy are often the ones damaging morale by complaining and creating a toxic environment.

Here are three ways in which you can better engage unhappy employees:

  • Ask for feedback and measure engagement – Whether it is one-on-ones with your employees or weekly catchups, it is important to gauge how employees are feeling about work. Discuss what the company should stop, start or continue doing.
  • Act on feedback – If a good suggestion has been made by an employee, make those changes and be open-minded about criticism.
  • Developing a safe environment – You want employees to be honest with you so you must create a safe space for honest conversations. Try to solve problems and work out a plan together.

What are the best ways to keep employees happy?

There are lots of HR practices that business owners can implement to keep employees happy which can help to increase employee retention and improve staff turnover.

Create wellness programmes and initiatives

Introducing wellbeing programmes is a great way to teach your employees to manage their stress levels at work. Sessions covering stress management, mindfulness training and mental health in the workplace can give employees the tools needed to manage their wellbeing at work.

These programmes can help employees feel more valued and encourage them to continue their career at the organisation. A study by GBAS found that around 40% of highly stressed UK workers are disengaged compared to just 17% of employees experiencing little stress.

Employee benefits

By rewarding employees it shows that they are valued, and this can be achieved by offering paid time off, opportunities for workers to develop their skills and providing other benefits like discounted break down cover or the cycle to work scheme, which allows workers to save money on a new bike.

Invest in the latest technology

While many businesses are aware of the benefits technology can bring to a company, whether that’s the latest iTrent software to help with your HR or online programmes to streamline internal processes. Something that gets overlooked is the benefits technology can have on employee wellbeing.

In an article on the Health Assured website, it says that implementing technology to help manage staff workload can create a supportive atmosphere and reduce workplace stress. There’s software that sends employees reminders of upcoming deadlines and updates on tasks.

Technological improvements don’t just apply to business tasks as encouraging employees to install fitness apps is a way of improving their physical and mental health. Businesses can also create an online social calendar to encourage employees to build relationships at work.


Planning employee-of-the-month awards or annual award ceremonies are events that recognise good work and will increase wellbeing.

Employees are more likely to feel valued by the business when hard work or individual achievements are recognised and celebrated by their managers.

Promote a good workplace culture

Many people ask: ‘what makes a company culture great?’ Having a positive work culture will increase employee retention and help a business to hit its goals and targets.

So how do you go about this? Promoting a culture of open communication is one way and mutually supporting a workforce is another way of creating a great workplace culture.

Making time for social events also promotes a good workplace culture as a healthy social calendar outside of the office helps inter-team bonding and an upbeat atmosphere.

For more insights into the HR and payroll industry with a focus on technology please head over to the Phase 3 insights page.