What is employee wellbeing?
A lack of engagement with positive wellbeing initiatives at work has been linked with absenteeism, presenteeism, lack of productivity and low levels of performance. This also includes paying attention to mental health, which is a major factor in the present day, linked to stress in the workplace.
Some factors linked with positive employee engagement, include employee trust in management satisfaction with the work itself, satisfaction with involvement in decision-making, quality of relationships between staff and colleagues, the fairness of pay, and feeling a sense of achievement.
Employee wellbeing, is therefore, paramount in any workplace environment. It can be anything from allowing better access to natural daylight in the office, to adequate breakout and relaxation areas, or back to work schemes after a period of illness.
Elegant office design, including painting the walls bright colours, or bringing in live plants can have huge effects on staff morale, leaving them feeling happy and content with their place of work.
How does it improve workplace culture?
Employee wellbeing is a key issue that is being addressed today. Especially when it comes to mental health, which is a huge concern, for employers who are losing their employees over factors such as high levels of stress, social anxiety and depression leading to low productivity rates. The many triggers could be anything from large social situations, that make employees feel out of their comfort zone, to lack of exercise in the office, or lack of office space.
Workplace initiatives improve workplace culture by eliminating issues, in relation to poor health and wellbeing, or helping to make employees feel more comfortable, included, and respected.
Why invest in positive wellbeing initiatives?
- To increase staff satisfaction and retention rates
- Improve staff morale
- To reduce levels of absenteeism
- Foster better relationships between staff and management
- Lower your costs of hiring extra staff during absences
- Work towards a more sustainable workforce
- To improve staff productivity levels
How can you get involved?
1. Choose your wellbeing champion
Firstly, decide on your motivations for creating change in your workplace environment. Then, choose a wellbeing champion to represent all that you stand for as a brand. Consider, for example, a key influencer in your business, including the Managing Director, or HR Manager who may already have a varied interest in wellbeing initiatives and people management.
2. Communicate the changes
Wellbeing is something that spans your whole organisation, so you may want to involve everyone, send out surveys to your employees, find out what would help them. Marketing or communications are important for communicating the new initiative, and will play a huge role in its success. Communicate via email, newsletters, posters or regular team meetings, make it happen.
3. Evaluate the results
Ask your staff directly how they find, the new culture change. Find out how it better promotes or facilitates their individual wellbeing needs. Conduct interviews, to cover all possibilities, from taking lunch hour runs, to promoting healthy lunch alternatives, and offering all of your employees a mental health or wellness day, where they can be off work and not have to feel guilty for it.
Examples of practical changes in the working environment
Mental health awareness
Encourage your staff, and management team to go on mental health training courses to have a better understanding of triggers, stress related issues and work pressures, that could negatively impact your staff and ways to improve it.
Allow your employees to have full access to thermostats, and temperature regulation control devices, so they can regulate their own temperature, as well as air conditioning and the freedom to open windows.
Facilitate new ways of working with comprehensive WiFi coverage, and full access to a computer, monitor, desktop or laptop.
Move furniture around, be more creative. Bring in a bookcase, for a communal area for people to take some time out from their screens. Load it with some interesting reads. Move desks around, to break convention. Invest in comfy sofas, to make your staff feel at home.
Workout sessions during, before or after work can be an added bonus, especially if there is a company gym onsite. Convenience is key.
No matter where you are, your business should be investing in positive initiatives to encourage your staff to work harder, smarter and feel more comfortable and confident in themselves. Find out more about ways to keep your staff happy and improve workplace wellness here.