It goes without saying that employees need more than money to be happy at work. Being supported towards achieving physical, psychological, and social health - that is experiencing the very definition of employee wellbeing at work, people tend to feel more positive about their jobs. As a result, businesses that pay attention to employee wellness are more likely to have employees who are productive, happy, and healthy.
That’s why we see more and more businesses coming around to the idea that employee wellbeing is important. However, given the intense work often demanded of today's professionals, it is not always easy to strike a balance between work and home life - the strategy should be put in place.
By offering programs that help staff achieve a positive mindset and a healthy lifestyle, you can create an environment that encourages vitality and engagement. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your workplace more supportive of employee wellbeing.
- Mapping out an employee wellbeing strategy
- The benefits of an employee wellbeing strategy
- How to implement an effective employee wellbeing strategy
- Actionable tips to improve employee wellbeing at work
Mapping out an employee wellbeing strategy
Employee wellbeing is part of the definition of health. All employees should be provided with a workplace where they can feel safe and secure and have many other freedoms including:
- having the opportunity for growth and development
- enjoying freedom from oppression or harassment
- receiving fair treatment
- earning sufficient income to meet basic needs
- managing personal stress effectively
- achieving fairness in outcomes.
An increasing body of evidence shows that health and wellbeing are critical to performance at work. This has led to a growing recognition of the importance of developing a longer-term approach to employee wellbeing, rather than treating it as an add-on.
However, while most organizations have some sort of wellness strategy for their employees, most of them are not looking at health holistically. To possess a more holistic approach to your workplace wellbeing strategy, you should ask yourself and your employees what could be done to improve and enhance the work environment.
Building an employee wellbeing strategy is quite challenging if it's done solely by senior management without help from all levels within the organization. Seeking the assistance of everyone in the organization would be beneficial as it will create awareness across the company. Employees can then discuss issues that impact staff health and encourage proactive responses in improving working conditions, minimizing stressors, and enhancing performance.
The benefits of an employee wellbeing strategy
The establishment of an employee wellbeing strategy in advance is beneficial to both employees and organizations.
The benefits for employees include:
- improved self-esteem and motivation
- increased productivity
- better work relationships
When it comes to the unit of organization, the cost of employee turnover is high, so a strategy that improves workplace culture and enhances absenteeism would go a long way in reducing costs. Additionally, employees who are more resilient at work will better handle the challenges they face every day. Resilient employees will also tend to have a longer tenure which translates into reduced recruitment and training costs.
By advocating for improving employee wellbeing in the company, you are not only improving their health and quality of life, but you are also developing more empowered and highly motivated employees who will contribute to the company's success.
How to implement an effective employee wellbeing strategy
There are several steps that managers can take to implement an effective employee wellbeing strategy in the workplace:
- The first and the most crucial step is to have an established strategic plan for improving workplace wellbeing. This plan should clearly state what you want to achieve, how you want to do it, who will be responsible for each task or goal, and a time frame on when this strategy would be completed. You could even include a set of objectives for your employees to review their wellness at work. Ensure that the objectives you specify will serve your organization and benefit your employees' health and quality of life at home and outside the work environment.
- Build a support group/team to help you devise and implement your strategy effectively. The team should consist of people from different functions within the organization, such as human resources, occupational health, safety, and security. Some organizations even hire a professional who specializes in improving employee wellbeing to help them with their strategy. If necessary, get your employees involved by conducting focus groups about what they think could be improved at work regarding their general wellbeing. Make sure that this team is consulted when you are drafting objectives and strategies. It will enable you to include their input and secure their buy-in on the ideas and initiatives that you have proposed. Without doing so, you would be doing this exercise in a vacuum, which may fail to achieve your objectives.
- Outline the necessary resources needed to implement your strategy. This includes budget, training, and time allocation for each task.
- Constantly evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy you employed and make improvements.
Actionable tips to improve employee wellbeing at work
Research has shown costs spent on wellness initiatives save businesses money in the long run – making it a smart investment. Without further ado, here’s what to do to assist your staff in being happier and healthier, enabling them to perform better at work too.
1. Carry out regular surveys
Conduct regular surveys on the workplace culture, which will enable you to identify any areas for improvement regarding employee's wellbeing at work. You can even ask questions about what would help employees be more productive and how they feel about their current wellness at work.
2. Eliminate workplace stressors
Identify the most common stressors faced by your employees and see if interventions could be made at work, such as changes in break times and providing new equipment, that could mitigate these stressors.
3. Provide safety training
Take into consideration the physical risks that employees are exposed to at work. This could include providing regular training for your workforce on how to handle accidents or hazardous situations as well as rehabilitation services if they are injured at work.
4. Provide health and wellness facilities
Create a space where employees can learn and exchange information about health-related issues, such as fitness trends and healthy eating tips. You may also consider having a workplace gym and lounge area for employees to exercise after work hours or rest during break time.
5. Provide snacks and drinking water
Provide wellbeing resources such as healthy snacks and drinking water at the workplace. This can really help employees get some energy when they are taking a break from work.
6. Encourage breaks
Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day, such as a short walk around the block or taking a quick snack break in their cubicle. This is to help them relax and recharge their batteries so that they can be more productive in their work.
7. Be mindful of ergonomics in workstations
Create a more comfortable working environment by adding ergonomic furniture and standing desks, which will encourage workers to be more productive throughout the day as they would feel less tired.
8. Conduct psychological assessments
Conduct psychological assessments among your staff to determine their mental wellbeing. Be ready to handle any situations that may arise from this assessment, such as referring them for counseling or helping them cope with emotional issues so that they can better perform in their jobs.
9. Offer a flexible work schedule
Offer flexible work schedules where possible so they can complete tasks at a more convenient and easier time for them and show consideration to their personal commitments or family matters. Allow employees time for medical appointments to help employees achieve a healthier lifestyle in their personal time.
10. Help everyone connect with their colleagues and supervisors
Provide regular team-building activities for staff to participate in so they can bond with their colleagues and boost their morale. This will also help them feel more valued by the organization.
Promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging participation in company sports teams, social events, or even simple activities like outside-the-office meetings to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Bonus tip: Keep an eye on your employees’ workloads
Make sure your employees don’t bite more than they can chew on a day-to-day basis. Good resource management software can help you keep track of everyone’s workload and prevent burnout before it creeps in.
In summary, the importance of workplace wellbeing should never be underestimated by company managers as it directly impacts the workforce's productivity. By creating a workplace where employees are encouraged to take charge of their own health and provided regular opportunities for growth, you will be able to improve employees' mental state at work and increase staff commitment. This benefits both the organization and its workers.