Tax time: How to invest in your people and yield returns for the year ahead

As we approach end of the financial year, Aussie businesses are setting up for success in the year ahead. But as discussions of budgets and profit margins are prioritised, leaders must not neglect investing in their people. We know that supporting your people is good for business.

People who are feeling their best, both in and out of work, perform better in their role. Not to mention that those who feel supported by their company are more likely to build a sense of loyalty – happy people means higher staff retention. But, when looking at your bottom line, it might be daunting to decide how to invest in your people without breaking the bank.

How can you invest in your employees?

When it comes to workplace wellbeing, culture is usually led from the top. There are so many important actions, methods and initiatives you can implement as leaders to help drive good culture but whatever your budget, investing in your people is always good for business.

Whether your business model is a startup, small and medium sized enterprise or national corporation, here are some things to consider when setting your budgets for the year ahead:

  1. Survey your employees or staff to identify any problem areas worth attending to. What’s working well? Where is there room for improvement?
  2. Consider what you have in the past financial year. Take stock of the wellbeing initiatives you already have in place – while hybrid working is great, it’s not enough.
  3. Consider what initiatives can be run in-house. Is there anyone in your team qualified in a skill outside of work that they could bring in to help colleagues? (i.e. yoga trainers, meditation etc). Set aside appropriate time for them to run this alongside their workload.
  4. Are you able to offer staff extra time to complete initiatives outside of the office? For example, volunteering days or mental health and wellbeing days in addition to leave.
  5. Consider your BAU budget. What are the small things you can do to reward staff and remind them you’re on their side? This might be a wellness budget (discounts on local gyms, vouchers for wellbeing activities outside of work, monthly employee awards).
  6. Where can you bring in partners to use their expertise? Consider wellness coaches, monthly massages, nutritionists, etc.
  7. Consider partnering with an Employee Assistance Program. EAPs have a host of toolkits, and counselling for those that need support. The program is confidential and at AccessEAP, if your budget isn’t spent across the team, sessions can be redistributed to those in need.

Fiona Mackenzie is the CEO at AccessEAP, an Australian owned, for-purpose provider of Employee Assistance Programs. AccessEAP works in collaboration with customers across industries including health, education, not-for-profit, mining and professional services. It enables workplaces to put people in focus, creating a positive, productive and supportive workplace culture.