More and more organizations take into account workplace wellbeing. It's no secret that a healthy and productive workplace is key to a successful business. But what are the best ways to achieve this? Check out our tips in this article.
What Is Workplace Wellbeing?
Workplace wellbeing relates to the behavior of an organization that focuses on the safety, quality of work, satisfaction, and wellness of its employees. It encompasses all aspects of work, from the physical environment to the relationships between employees.
Promoting workplace wellbeing can help to improve work-life balance, increase job satisfaction, and result in better health outcomes for the employees.
Why Is Wellbeing Important in the Workplace?
As a manager, you know that employee wellbeing is important for your team's success. But what specifically does wellbeing mean in the workplace, and why is it worth investing in? Here we list some reasons why wellbeing in the workplace is important:
- Increased resilience. Employee wellbeing leads to being more engaged in your work, having a positive outlook, and being able to adapt to change. Satisfied employees are also more likely to have a strong social support network within the office. Both of these factors contribute to increased resilience in the face of adversity.
- Better employee engagement. When employees feel good physically and mentally, they are more likely to be productive and engaged in their work. Employee wellbeing results in increased loyalty and commitment to the organization. Finally, employees who have a positive outlook on life are more likely to bring positivity to the workplace.
- Reduced absence. Employee wellbeing leads to experiencing less stress and burnout, both of which can lead to physical health problems, and, eventually, sick leave. Healthy employees are simply more resilient and resistant to illness. In addition, employees who feel good about themselves are more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
- Higher performance and productivity. When employees feel good about themselves, they are also more likely to take pride in their work and go the extra mile to do a good job. Employee wellbeing results in being less stressed, which leads to better decision-making and improved focus. When employees feel good, they are more likely to be productive, creative, and efficient.
- Reduces employee turnover. Employees who feel supported and valued by their employer are more likely to be loyal to the company. Furthermore, employee wellbeing leads to lower chances of feeling burned out. Finally, employees who feel like they are part of positive workplace culture are more likely to stay with a company for the long haul. All of that helps to retain employees.
- Helps attract top talent. Prospective employees are increasingly looking for workplaces that offer a good work-life balance and opportunities for personal development. Furthermore, employees that are happy at work are more likely to recommend their workplace, which leads to more top talent in the workplace.
- Mental health benefits. Workplace wellbeing not only leads to better physical health but also can improve employee mental health by helping them to develop a positive outlook on life and to feel more in control of their lives. Employee wellbeing also relates to a sense of social support and belonging, which is essential for good mental health. Finally, it can help employees to cope with poor mental health and stress in a healthy way.
- Sense of purpose and meaning. Ensuring that employees feel valued and respected can also contribute to a sense of wellbeing. When employees feel that their work is meaningful and that they are valued members of the team, they are more likely to be committed to their company and have a strong sense of purpose.
- Positive company culture. Promoting wellbeing in the workplace can create a positive ripple effect, improving not only employee health but also morale and company culture. Employee wellbeing can lead to improved communication, collaboration, and creativity - all of which are essential for any business to succeed.
How to Improve Wellbeing in the Workplace
To improve employee wellbeing at work, try considering policies and practices that improve employee health holistically. Here are some areas to think about when improving employee wellbeing :
- Create an employee wellbeing strategy. As any business knows, employee wellbeing is essential to the success of the company. Consequently, businesses should think carefully about their employee wellbeing strategy. A good strategy will take into account the needs of the employees and the business, and it should be reviewed on a regular basis.
- Develop diversity and inclusion policies. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of their background or identity. Diversity and inclusion policies can help organizations attract and retain the best talent. A diverse workforce is a strength, and businesses that embrace diversity will be better positioned to compete in today’s global economy.
- Create an employee wellbeing program. Wellbeing programs can help organizations create a healthy workplace by providing support for employees through services such as health insurance, wellness training, and employee assistance programs. Such initiatives can also help organizations create a culture of respect and inclusion.
- Consider building positive relationships. A positive relationship can help to foster a sense of trust and cooperation, making it easier to resolve conflicts and build a cohesive team. Finally, when employees feel that their employer is invested in their well-being, they are more likely to be productive and motivated.
- Get everyone on board - from senior leaders and human resources professionals to executive vice president - everyone in the organization should be wellness-oriented. A key to success is creating a program that is accessible to all employees by offering a variety of activities and tailoring the program to meet the needs of each individual.
- Aim for positive company culture. Positive company culture is essential for any business that wants to thrive. It's important to communicate your values to your employees and make sure that they align with your team's goals. Show your employees that you care about them as people, not just workers.
- Consider a holistic perspective. Holistic means looking at the big picture. And when it comes to business, that means taking into account ALL of the factors that impact employee wellbeing. This includes everything from equal pay to the morale of its employees.
- Consider physical and mental health risks. Obviously, if you're working with heavy machinery or hazardous materials, there are potential physical employee health risks that need to be taken into account. But it's also important to consider the mental health risks of your job. If you're working in a high-stress environment, for example, that can take a toll on your mental health.
- Consider better work-life balance. First, it is important to consider opportunities for flexible scheduling. This could include allowing employees to telecommute or take advantage of shorter working days. Encouraging employees to step away from work will help them to return refreshed and ready to be productive.
- Think about employee happiness. Happy employees are more likely to stay with the organization for a longer period of time, saving the organization the costs associated with turnover. Additionally, happy employees tend to be better team players and have better relationships with customers and clients. All of these factors can lead to increased profits for the organization.
How to Implement Wellbeing in the Workplace
Once you have considered what constitutes workplace wellness and developed wellness strategies, it is time to implement them. Here are some ways you can do it:
- Offer flexible working arrangements. That can include flexible working hours or remote working. Flexible working arrangements can be a bit of a minefield, so it's important to have clear guidelines in place to avoid any misunderstandings or legal issues down the line. Finally, don't be afraid to pilot your new arrangement. Try it out with a small group of employees first to see how it works before rolling it out company-wide.
- Provide access to healthy food options. This includes ensuring that there are adequate facilities for eating and preparing meals, as well as providing access to healthy food options. One way to do this is to offer subsidies for healthier food choices at the workplace cafeteria or vending machines. You can also encourage employees to bring their own healthy meals from home by providing storage facilities and microwaves.
- Introduce employee wellbeing initiatives. Such wellness initiatives can take many forms, from yoga classes and mindfulness training to fitness programs and nutritional counseling. No matter what form they take, it's important to introduce these initiatives in a way that will maximize their effectiveness. One key consideration is timing. If possible, it's best to roll out wellbeing initiatives at a time when employees are likely to be receptive, such as during a slow period at work or after a particularly stressful project.
- Offer fitness classes or discounts on gym memberships. First, consider the needs and interests of your staff. If you have a diverse workforce, you may want to offer a variety of classes or discounts to cater to different interests. Second, make sure the classes or discounts are affordable and accessible for all employees. Third, consider the schedules of your employees and make sure the classes or discounts fit into their day-to-day lives.
- Create a cozy work environment. Start by considering the physical space. Make sure the office is clean and well-lit, with plenty of natural light if possible. The furniture should be comfortable and the layout should be conducive to collaboration.
- Provide stress-management resources. This can include an employee assistance program or a monthly wellness workshop. Engage mental health services, such as trained counselors. Provide online resources that can educate your staff on how to better deal with stress and provide them with tools and resources to do so.
- Foster open communication. This means creating an environment where people feel safe to express their opinions, ask questions, and give feedback. Second, encourage employees to share information openly and freely. Encourage them to use channels like email, instant messaging, and group chat to stay connected with each other and foster supportive relationships.
- Introduce volunteering programs. Volunteer programs are a great way to promote wellness and personal development in the workplace. Not only do they provide employees with a sense of purpose, but they also give them the chance to learn new skills and make new connections. Introducing volunteer programs at work can be as simple as partnering with local organizations to offer employees the opportunity to volunteer during work hours.
- Provide health insurance plans. There are a few different ways to provide health insurance plans for your employees, and the best option will depend on the size and needs of your business. If you have a large pool of staff, you may want to consider partnering with a health insurance provider. This will give you access to discounted rates and a wider range of coverage options. For smaller businesses, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a group health insurance policy.
- Offer digital solutions. With the rise of digital technologies, there are now more options than ever before when it comes to providing employees with wellness solutions. From apps that track fitness goals to mental health apps and mood trackers, there are a variety of digital solutions that can help employees stay healthy and productive.
How to Promote Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace?
Once the employee well-being practices and procedures are implemented, they need to be promoted to employees in a way that's encouraging and positive. Here's how you can do it:
- Encourage active breaks. Healthy living involves movement, so encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day to move around and stretch can improve employee wellbeing. It can provide an endorphin boost and give a much-needed break away from the screen.
- Encourage healthy eating. Suggest swapping out sugary drinks for water or adding an extra serving of fruits and vegetables to your employees' meals. Most importantly, show them that it's not just about weight loss, but also about improving energy levels, mood, and sleep.
- Encourage employees to take vacation days. Vacation days can boost employee wellbeing by reducing stress and promoting work-life balance, both of which are essential for maintaining a healthy and productive workforce. Offer flexible vacation policies that allow employees to tailor their time off to meet their needs. Provide various opportunities for employees to take paid or unpaid time off, such as sabbaticals or unpaid leave.
- Introduce wellbeing incentives. A successful employee wellbeing program can use an approach of offering incentives for healthy behavior. For example, you could provide a discount on health insurance premiums for employees who participate in a wellness program or who meet certain fitness goals.
- Educate about physical and mental wellness. Provide educational materials on various health topics, such as nutrition or stress management. This can help employees understand the importance and benefits of having good physical health and overall wellbeing in the workplace.
- Use clear communication. Be sure to clearly explain the benefits of wellness initiatives and how they help employees reach their goals. Finally, make sure there is buy-in from senior leadership. Having top executives on board will show employees that the initiative is supported throughout the organization.
- Ask for employee feedback. To determine how satisfied your employees are with wellness initiatives, ask them for their input during one-on-one meetings or team meetings. Another way is to send out a survey either electronically or in hard copy form. Surveys can be anonymous, which may encourage employees to be more honest in their feedback.
- Ask questions. When it comes to the health and well-being of your employees, there are a few key personal questions you can ask to get a better picture of their stress levels, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and overall health. For example, you might ask about their stress levels at work and at home, and their satisfaction with different aspects of their life.
What Do Companies Do for Employee Wellbeing?
Employee wellness programs are an increasingly popular benefit offered by employers. These programs are designed to promote healthy lifestyles, higher employee morale, and wellbeing. Here we list a few examples.
Google's campus offers healthcare services, including masseuses, physicians, and chiropractors on-site. In addition, the company offers access to gyms and classes. They also allow employees to improve their personal skills, such as cooking or guitar classes, to name a few.
Campus cafes at Google offer micro kitchens with nutritious meals and help with controlling portions by providing smaller sizes of plates. Google offers its employees access to financial planning services and provides flexible working hours and volunteering opportunities.
Microsoft focuses on employee wellbeing by offering them physical fitness programs, on-campus healthcare access, medical, dental and vision care, as well as access to social clubs and networks.
Microsoft even provide family support - adoption assistance, discounted childcare, and help with adult and elderly care.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson& Johnson are not so much "program" focused, but they rather aim to create a sustainable wellness culture. They do it by providing healthy meals in canteens and fitness centers.
Johnson & Johnson also provides telephone counseling and up to six mental health professional visits for employees and their families.
Whole Foods Market
With their Total Health Immersion Program, Whole Foods pick employees to go on a health getaway for a week. They pay all the travel costs and even 50% of their spouse's costs.
They also offer free service that provides employees and their families counseling with licensed and professional clinicians.
With Nike, employee wellbeing is all about physical fitness. On-campus, they provide yoga studios, a basketball court, weight-training rooms, a swimming pool, a climbing wall, and more.
Netflix provides unlimited time off and up to one year's parental leave to their employees. They take into account everyone's circumstances - be it an emergency or a family responsibility - at Netflix, you can take time off with not many questions asked.
At Expedia, employees receive an allowance for wellness. It can be spent on sports items, such as running shoes or a gym membership - employees can decide.
On top of that, they get a travel allowance of up to £10,000 if they stay with the company for more than a year.
Virgin focuses on the individual needs of its employees. Depending on what's important to them, they can choose to have private dental care and healthcare cover for them and their families, receive seasonal travel tickets or a bicycle to travel to work, and discounts across all the Virgin brands.
Facebook is known for making employee wellbeing a priority by offering flexible work hours on Wednesdays and providing high-quality free lunches.
In addition, Facebook covers infertility benefits and egg freezing for their employees who wish to have families. They offer a cover for newborn expenses and babysitter costs and offer extended pay time off to new parents.
At Twitter, employers don't even take note of employees' vacation days - they can take it in a very flexible manner.
They provide healthy meal options, an onsite gym, and paid maternity and paternity leave to their employees.
How to Measure Workplace Wellbeing
Workplace wellbeing is an important concept that encompasses factors like employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. While there is no single metric that can capture all of these elements, there are a few key indicators that can give organizations a good sense of how their employees are doing:
- Employee satisfaction surveys. By gauging employee satisfaction, organizations can identify areas where employees are struggling and create a work environment that is more conducive to employee wellbeing. Additionally, by measuring employee satisfaction over time, employers can identify trends and make changes accordingly.
- Mood trackers. A mood tracker is a tool that can be used to help identify and understand patterns in your employees' emotions. By tracking your mood on a regular basis, you can begin to see how different aspects of your employees' work-life impact their overall wellbeing. Yours app has introduced the Mood check-in feature that allows users to track their emotions, sensations, and thoughts, and provides them with insightful feedback and content recommendations.
- Employee engagement. Engaged employees are those who feel a sense of ownership in their work and are committed to their employer's success. They're also more likely to go above and beyond in their job duties, and they're less likely to look for other opportunities. There are a number of ways to measure employee engagement, but one of the most common is through surveys.
- Productivity. When employees feel well, they are able to do more and be more active. There are a number of different ways to measure productivity. One common method is to track output per hour worked. Alternatively, you can use a tracking app or website to record employee progress. Another way to measure productivity is through output measures such as sales numbers or the number of tasks completed.
- Safety incidents. In order to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, it is important to measure safety incidents and identify trends. By doing so, you can develop strategies to prevent future accidents and injuries. There are a number of different ways to measure safety incidents, but some of the most common methods include tracking injury rates, analyzing workers' compensation claims, and conducting safety audits.
- Absenteeism and turnover levels. Measuring absenteeism and turnover levels is important for understanding how well employees are coping with their work environment. One way to measure it is to track the number of days employees are absent from work by tracking employee sick days, personal days, and vacation days. You can also track the number of employees who leave the company each year by tracking the number of employees who resign, are fired, or are laid off.
Workplace Wellness vs Wellbeing
The confusion over the difference between “wellness” and "wellbeing" is thoroughly understandable. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there can actually be a distinction between them - a very important one in today's society if we want to live healthier lives.
Wellness relates mostly to our physical state, while wellbeing is a holistic state of being that involves more than just physical health, but also the mental and spiritual aspects of one's life.
So, they're closely related but not exactly the same thing. You need both in order to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Workplace Mental Wellbeing?
Workplace mental wellbeing is the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. It includes initiatives and strategies to support employees with mental health problems and to create a mentally healthy workplace environment.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to poor mental wellbeing at work, including job insecurity, long hours, work-related stress, and bullying. Employees who are struggling with their mental wellbeing are more likely to experience absenteeism, presenteeism, and reduced productivity.
How Do Offices Promote Wellbeing?
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees are mentally healthy and safe at work.
They can do this by implementing policies and procedures that promote mental wellbeing, such as workplace wellness programs, flexible working arrangements, and employee assistance programs.
In addition, employers should provide training on mental health and stress management for their employees.
What Is the Key to Wellbeing in the Workplace?
A UK-based survey from 2021 found that out of all wellbeing aspects, mental health was identified as the most important one in a workplace by HR professionals. Out of all organizations surveyed, substantially more and more are focussing on this area (57% up from 41% in 2020).
It was followed by good work-life balance, meaningful social relationships, values (such as inclusion and diversity policies), physical health, and personal growth opportunities.
However, nearly half of the professionals surveyed reported lacking a formal strategy for implementing wellbeing and tended to act on an ad hoc basis when it came to employee wellbeing.