Employee Health and Wellbeing at the Workplace
A company’s success is strongly correlated with the contribution of its employees and their wellbeing. It is critical to prioritise employee well-being and establish a positive work culture to achieve and safeguard success. In this article, we will walk through the significance of maintaining optimal well-being levels for employees. One may also learn how to improve employees’ well-being for the best results in the immediate as well as long run.
What Is Employee Well-being?
When it comes to promoting satisfaction and delight among employees, employers tend to focus on the physical health benefits. Employee well-being was generally perceived as the mere absence of illness among employees. However, there is a broader perspective to it.
Employee well-being refers to the physical and mental state of employees because of the workplace environment. In other words, the term “employee well-being” has evolved beyond the traditional perspective of providing medical care to employees. Employers are now aware of several factors that influence employee happiness and are working to make their workers happier and healthier.
Importance Of Employee Well-being
With the outbreak of the pandemic, employers worldwide have come to realise how much employee happiness affects company performance and how much empathy matters to the workforce.
Reduced Absenteeism and Healthcare Costs
The sedentary lifestyle of employees stemming from work from home scenarios has raised the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments. Companies, especially in the IT services industry, are taking proactive measures to guard against these challenges and address employee stress and burnout.
Employees who claim they are frequently or always burned out at work are also 63 per cent more likely to take sick days. The negative correlation between employee happiness and absenteeism is a significant cost to employers and their reputation in the market. Recognising this, companies have been proactively organising wellness initiatives that make employees feel engaged and part of a larger community and providing employees emotional and mental security.
Increased Employee Engagement
When wellness initiatives are implemented in an effective manner, employees feel more connected, and consequently, their health improves, and their happiness rises. Companies also use employee rewards and recognition programs to boost employee engagement. Sometimes, HR will need to be careful to neutralise any perceived bias. Consistent, transparent communication about the process of selection or feedback mechanisms need to be in place so that such engagements can be effective in the long term.
Improved Employee Productivity
It is observed that smokers are twice as likely to miss work, while obese workers miss three to six sick days per year more than those of normal weight. Employees who manage their health and nutrition tend to manage stress effectively, on the other hand, are less susceptible to burnout. Such employees are more focused on their work, and their productivity increases when they make conscious efforts towards their health and well-being.
Improved Employee Morale
The entire corporate world witnessed how critical it is to maintain employee morale throughout the pandemic. Employee morale can be improved by implementing well-being activities such as mental health workshops or a fitness competition across departments or teams. This fosters a healthy atmosphere while adding a bit of fun and competition into the equation.
Challenges in Implementing Wellness Initiatives in the Workplace
Following are the typical challenges faced by the companies in executing the well-being initiatives for their team.
Setting And Measuring Goals
Setting and monitoring goals are one of the most difficult aspects of workplace wellness initiatives. It can be difficult to get a clear picture of your present employees’ well-being. It may be quite a challenge to set KPIs at the organizational level. Not only are such KPIs subjective, but also inaccurate at times. Some employees may be hesitant to react or report honestly for fear of their concerns coming back to bite them. As a result, even anonymous surveys may not provide a whole picture. Creating the right atmosphere where such insecurities are addressed by highlighting the importance of wellness initiatives and their benefits, may be key in overcoming these challenges.
Another concern is the execution. Some businesses may be unable to deliver the programs that they promised. If they do act, the resources, and policies they support may not be widely implemented. Seeking feedback and acting on recorded feedback may help better execution.
Ways to Improve Employee Well-being
While employees have a responsibility to the growth and success of any company, employers have also risen to the call taking active responsibility for their employees overall wellbeing. Here’s some examples:
- Health Screening
- Flexible Work Options (Hybrid Working Model)
- Psychological Counselling Services
- Encourage Volunteer Opportunities
When business leaders invest in developing effective well-being initiatives, most issues that impede employee happiness and performance vanish. Understanding and respecting employees’ boundaries, working habits, requirements and motivations will enable employers to present them with the finest yet personalised opportunities for growth. Communication is a key enabler to establishing this type of a positive work culture. Collaboration and team productivity improvements are automatic when employees feel secure in their work environment.
It is also necessary for an employer to reward and recognise employees for their achievements, as such milestones are critical to a company’s success. However, relying primarily on outcomes can be tricky. It is easy to overlook the ideals of respect, personal development, individual effort, and well-being in a target-driven and competitive setting. In addition to recognising staff for their accomplishments the way the organization sees them, requesting the customer and their personnel to commend employees for their effort, patience, and perseverance adds significant value towards employee happiness and satisfaction. Demonstrating people development is a top priority for successful organizations. When employees see that they are first appreciated as people and then as performers, remarkable things happen for their organizations.