Consider the fact that many of us spend more than 40 hours a week at the office. What happens if your company doesn’t take care of employee health and wellbeing? The result can be sick, unhappy employees with low focus and productivity.
Wellbeing in the workplace needs to be a strategy that a business follows to help care for their employees. While a company’s success is extremely important, it’s even more important to ensure employees are happy and healthy. A company’s success is based on how it cares for its employees.
What is Wellbeing at Work?
Wellbeing in the workplace is put together through policies, activities, and best practices that are aimed at improving employee health, both physical and mental. This means ensuring that employees have access to medical care, as well as programs that foster mental health.
The business provides access to mental health programs, wellness activities, supportive HR policies, combined with positive leadership. Employee Assistance Programs may include various programs, such as yoga and meditation classes, exercise groups, flexible work schedules, resilience training, and more.
What are the Benefits of a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy?
There are many benefits that come from implementing a workplace welling strategy, including:
- Employees who are physically and mentally healthy
- Increased job satisfaction
- More positive outlook & better morale
- Reduction of stress
- Improved focus on the job
- Better relationships with colleagues
What’s more, the business as an organisation also experiences benefits that go along with an employee wellbeing strategy, including:
- Increased productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
- Reduced employee turnover rates
- Attracting (and retaining) top talent
- Have the reputation of being a great place to work
- Less sickness
- A workforce built on resilience
- Stronger employer branding
- And many more
When a business works to improve employee wellbeing, they also receive the benefits of happier and healthier employees. Employees who are happy and healthy tend to be engaged and motivated to work, which means great overall success for them and the business.
It’s important to understand that the benefits of an employee wellbeing program must be integrated at all levels of the organisation. This means the wellbeing strategy must be integrated with the culture, leadership, and managers. Otherwise, the plan will fail.
The Challenges of Wellbeing in the Workplace
Unfortunately, there are many companies that still don’t understand the importance and benefits of wellbeing in the workplace. While some businesses have made this a priority, many more still have not embraced the concept.
One of the reasons for companies not implementing a wellbeing strategy is that they are simply not able to see the value in providing such programs. These businesses also struggle to see any quantifiable advantages to their business. Then there are others who are simply not sure how to build employee well-being in their organisation.
However, when a wellbeing program is put in place, employees tend to benefit greatly. They learn how to create and maintain healthier behaviours, which means the workplace becomes a better place for everyone.
The Keys of Wellbeing in the Workplace
There are several aspects that are crucial to wellbeing programs in the workplace, including:
Physical: here, the goal is to promote a healthier lifestyle through eating right and exercise. It’s possible to set up a healthy lunch, where employees bring something healthy to share with others. A business may also choose to include activity days and team building days that are centred on a particular activity.
Employees can also be enticed to participate in these programs through bonuses and benefits that are valuable to them. This may include a gym membership, healthier food in the company cafeteria, and more.
Personal: many employees look for personal development programs where they work. They want to develop and progress in their career, which can lead to better jobs and pay. Career development is another important aspect of employee wellbeing that should be included in a company’s wellbeing plan.
Personal development can include classes to hone skills, courses and activities that teach wellbeing, and more. Rewarding employees for their efforts can also mean happier, motivated employees.
Social: being social in the workplace is also essential to employee wellbeing, which means a business needs to encourage employee interaction. Doing so can work to make a friendlier workplace, where friendships even are enjoyed outside of the office. Not only that, but collaboration also improves when being social at work is encouraged.
There are different ways to promote being more social, such as activity days or even an internal social network. Social events can also be promoted away from the office, such as a game night on the weekend and more.
Practical: there’s also a practical element to creating a wellbeing strategy in the workplace. It’s helpful to have a wellbeing guide and practices that employees can implement. When employees are only lectured on wellbeing, they’re not very motivated to do anything about it. However, when they have a guide to follow, they may be more motivated to start taking care of their wellbeing at work.
A wellbeing guide needs to include information on the importance of wellbeing at work, as well as the benefits of participating in the company’s wellbeing program. The information needs to be specific and include any benefits or bonuses that employees earn when taking part in the program. And remember to include information on how to stay healthy as they work. This means including information on ergonomics and how employees can implement these practices at their workstations.
Everyone Needs to Be Involved
Everyone in the company needs to be involved in the wellbeing program. This means an organisational approach is needed, which includes top professionals, managers, and employees. It can also be helpful to hire an occupational health specialist to ensure the workplace is healthy for employees.
The ultimate goal is to ensure that employees take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. They will only benefit from the program by participating at work and then following the same goals outside of their office hours. This can be accomplished when companies provide the right strategy for employee wellbeing and ensuring employees know the benefits of taking part in the program.