A company may be doing well concerning revenue and other performance parameters but may be damaging the physical and mental wellbeing of its employees. Thus, employers must give adequate attention to employee wellbeing as well.
A Gallup survey found that 76% of the employees surveyed reported stress and burnout due to excessively high workloads, poor workplace conditions, and unfair treatment by their superiors. This is just one survey out of many that stress the importance of employee wellbeing.
Employee Wellbeing and It’s Importance
Employee wellbeing is how the work duties, workplace environment, and expectations of an employee affect his/her physical and mental health. Financial stability and social relationships also have a profound effect on the employee’s wellbeing, with both factors directly related to the professional life of the employees.
Why is employee wellbeing important and why should employees endeavor to improve employee health and wellbeing? Improving employee wellbeing translates into increased employee productivity, less absenteeism, and more efficient business operations, resulting in increased profits for the company and improved reputation.
Employee wellbeing is also an important part of employee engagement. This is because improved employee wellbeing plays an important role in reducing staff turnover and increasing employee retention rates because the employees become more loyal to the company.
There are a plethora of employee wellbeing initiatives that boost the physical and mental wellbeing of the employees. Some of them have been discussed here –
Control Over the Work
Research has indicated that a high workload with little to no control over the duties increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes among the employees. Thus, giving more autonomy to the employees Helps in improving employee wellbeing.
Micromanaging employees is detrimental to employee wellbeing. Employees should be allowed a considerable level of freedom to solve problems and make decisions at their discretion. This not only helps in boosting the confidence of the employees but also in improving the company’s performance.
Integrating regular fitness challenges into the company’s activity calendar is a good employee wellbeing strategy. Apart from improving the physical fitness levels of the employees, it also fosters a spirit of friendly competition and a spirit of participation.
There are many digital fitness platforms to create customized fitness challenges. Fitness trackers are easily available. The employees can also be divided into teams for competing in the fitness challenges with awards for the winning teams.
Fitness challenges also break the monotony of routine work and rejuvenate the mind.
Giving more control to the employees over their work schedules is an effective strategy for improving employee wellbeing. This is because flexible work schedules positively impact the employees’ mental health.
Flexible Schedules mean providing various time slots to the employees to start and stop their work. In the case of on-site work as in factories, the employees can be given choices to choose and change shifts as per their convenience.
Autonomy in terms of work timings directly translates into improved productivity because the employees work without mental stress.
Virtual Wellness Sessions
The employees can be brought together through a live virtual medium to participate in a wellness program once a week. It can be a live session of yoga, meditation, or team-building activities guided by an expert. The entire staff, including the company’s top management, should participate in such weekly wellness sessions.
Wellness sessions improve metabolism, sleep quality and reduce stress levels. Moreover, team building activities improve the relationships between the employees and instill team spirit in them.
Encourage Problem-Solving Skills
Employee wellbeing can be improved by making the employees party to solving problems affecting any aspect of the company. Participation in the efforts to identify and rectify problems boosts the employees’ confidence and positively affects their mental health. Working together to solve problems also strengthens the bonds between the employees, which results in job satisfaction.
Apart from improving employee wellbeing, it also improves employee engagement and reduces attrition.
Identify and Address Mental Issues
Employee wellbeing initiatives should focus on the employees’ mental health. The employees should be free to report mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. Employees may not detect signs and symptoms of mental issues on their own. To this end, mental health screening tools should be provided to them so that they can assess their risk factors. Managers and team leaders can also be trained to recognize signs and symptoms of mental issues and respond correctly.
Employees suffering from mental issues should not be stigmatized. Instead, they should be supported to seek help from psychologists or psychiatrists. Companies can also hire mental health professionals such as therapists to organize workshops on stress management and other methods to prevent mental problems.
Do Not Impose Excessive Workload
Excessive workload on the employees makes them susceptible to anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. Thus, employers must ensure that their establishments are adequately staffed to spread out the workload over many people. This helps in lessening the workload on individual employees.
Employees taking leave frequently due to burnout or poor health and even quitting imposes more costs on the employer than hiring more staff.
Support for Personal Needs of The Employees
The managers must be accommodative of the employees’ family needs working under them. Supportive behaviors from the managers help the employees balance their job and family duties well. This results in good employee wellbeing because the risk factors for developing stress and heart problems reduce significantly.
Allow Remote Working
Employers can allow the employees to work from home or any other off-site location at least once a week. The change in work settings helps in improving the mental wellbeing of the employees and improves their focus.
Caring for the employees’ wellbeing results in loyal, motivated, and hardworking staff. This ultimately results in the good health of the company as well. Thus, it is a win-win situation for both employers and employees.