Employee Wellness In The Workplace

 In Culture, Recruiting & Hiring

Employee wellness has become an important part of the workplace. Employers have identified that placing importance on keeping their employees healthy and happy will help boost engagement, build a strong employer brand and increase productivity.

When first introduced, employee wellness schemes were primarily focused on physical wellbeing. This included things like nutrition counselling, smoking cessation programs and office gyms. However, employee wellness goes far beyond physical health, mental health is moving out of the ‘taboo’ box and squarely into the limelight. Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses seriously affect individuals. The increased awareness around mental health is shifting the workforce mind-set, workers are more aware of the impacts and are now placing more importance on keeping mentally healthy.

As an employer, it’s important to create a positive environment that places a high importance on employee mental wellbeing. Not only does this create an environment that can really help make a difference in the lives of your workers, but it boosts productivity and engagement.

Here are some ideas to help boost employee wellness in your workplace.

Focus on human interaction in the workplace.

It’s important as an employer that you look to hire individuals that can function as part of a team. It’s also important to create an workplace environment that encourages these interactions. Even if someone’s job description doesn’t require them to work in a team, it’s crucial to put them in a setting that allows and them to interact with others.

According to Forbes, Human interactions are one of the biggest employee wellness trends of 2018. Interactions lead to relationships, and relationships can lead to friendships, and according to a health and wellbeing study, 76% of employees who have a close friend at work are more satisfied with their job.

Offering Mental Health Days

A Deloitte report found that 84% of employees experience physical, psychological, or behavioural symptoms of poor mental health…

With the topic of mental health in the workplace becoming less taboo, employers have started to offer mental health days as well as regular sick days. This is a positive move showing that employers are increasingly recognising mental health as a serious issue in the workplace. Offering these mental health days is also another way to help attract top talent.

Although it is feared that offering extra days off to employees will have a negative impact on productivity, the opposite has been found to be true. In the US, it’s been found that depression can lead to five missed work days and almost 12 days of reduced productivity every three months per individual.

Financial counselling for employees

Productivity can be directly affected by stress and it’s important to address the root causes of this stress. Nutrition counselling and gym coaching have produced a positive impact on employees, and so financial counselling has becoming increasingly prominent. PWC found that 53% of employees list finances as a leading cause of stress. Helping employees manage this financial stress can help them remain engaged and focused on their work.

Wellness Technology

Wellness programs have incorporated technology for years and this is only becoming more prominent. The use of fitness trackers encourages workers to remain active. And with software like wellness portals, employers are encouraging, facilitating and tracking their employee wellness. By offering rewards in exchange for reaching health goals or engagement goals, employees are incentivised to remain active and engaged. When looking at using online tools for your employee wellness, the most important thing is participation. This is achieved through discovering what software is most relevant to the business, and discovering the right way to incentivise employees to engage with it.

Wellness in the workplace is important. Plain and simple. The people are what make your business, and it’s important to take care of them. It is your duty of care to create an environment that promotes employee wellness. The business benefits of an engaged, positive and healthy workforce are also well documented. If you don’t currently have a focus on this, it’s imperative you start. It could be as simple as starting by simply talking with your staff.

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