The 5 Essentials of Workplace Wellness
While the working world continues to change, it is more important than ever that employers support the wellness of their employees. It may be easier said than done with many still working from home or for those finding a new normal in their role. But that doesn't make it any less important.
It is widely accepted that employers who foster well-being among their employees see higher production and have workers who strive to bring their best to their jobs every day. Morale is high and the business sees a reduction in health-related costs, as well. Employees feel more confident and content, which brings positivity to the entire organization.
These five essentials of workplace wellness are key elements to support well-being and mental health for employees.
- Career Well-Being
Do you like what you do every day and look forward to work? Leaders need to ensure that people feel that they are making a difference and there is a clear track for advancement that employees can follow to give people purpose.
Make sure that the workplace is enjoyable, as well. Any place that feels physically, mentally or emotionally damaging will fail miserably when it comes to career well-being. Focus on building a culture that is inclusive and respectful that doesn't tolerate bullying, offers training in well-being and mental health, and encourages decision making at all levels of the company.
It's also important this starts at the top. If you are leading a team, make sure you are following your own path of career well-being and professional development and be a role model!
- Social Well-Being
Encouraging strong relationships is more important than ever in a post-pandemic world, where many employees have been cooped up in home offices for months now. As the world opens up, encourage people to work in co-working settings or give them the ability to work flexible hours. This ensures you aren't causing burnout and gives them the time they need to nurture relationships outside of work.
By doing this, you are setting your teams up to be happier and more productive when they are at work.
Ensure that you are maintaining effective and friendly communication through one-on-one meetings, team meetings or regular check-ins. Encourage your team to speak up and identify what they may be struggling with before it turns into a difficult situation.
You will also want to make sure that employees are not skipping breaks or lunch times. Consider locking everyone out at lunchtime occasionally, yet on a regular basis. This way everyone gets a small mandatory change of scenery, fresh air, or time to socialize with co-workers without the stress of feeling pressure to be at their desk. You can also set up random social times and areas for relaxation at work. This can be accomplished by team outings or games in the break room.
- Financial Well-Being
A poor financial situation leads to stress and spills into other areas of life, including work. Employees won't be as effective as they’re worrying about how to pay for food, housing, or other expenses, which could damage the business.
This can be managed by paying a fair wage and offering fair benefits to help relieve financial stress employees may feel to increase their security. You can also offer different programs, workshops and seminars to teach employees about financial well-being and to understand different financial choices that are available to them.
Help your employees make the most of their salaries and encourage good money management skills, which in turn, will help them be more happy, loyal and productive.
- Physical Well-Being
It's no surprise that physical health is an essential element of well-being in the workplace. When your employees are healthy, your whole company benefits from productivity and better ideas.
Some businesses offer gym memberships for employees, while others offer nutrition classes and healthy snacks as an option for everyone. Creating an on-site workout area can be effective, as well, where employees can easily work out during lunch hours or when it's convenient for them.
Simple things like understanding ergonomics is important, too. Look into different options for stand-up desks and comfortable office chairs for employees to feel valued and happy to be in the workplace. All of these are great ways to improve employee health and wellness.
- Community Well-Being
This final element of workplace wellness has to do with a connection to where you live. Are you helping your employees feel rooted in the community?
Find ways to encourage employees to get into the community and provide services. Many businesses offer paid time off for a specific number of hours a year to provide community service with the organization of their choosing. It's also beneficial to offer team service projects where everyone can work together. It's important, however, to prepare a formal policy and plan for employees to follow so requests are dealt with in a uniform manner.
Workplace wellness programs contribute significantly to the overall health and safety of the work environment. By ensuring employees are focusing on these five essentials for workplace wellness, you will realize lower healthcare costs, better productivity and better morale. Attract and retain talent by sending a strong message that your employees are valued and important!