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Wellbeing in the Workplace – How to Make it Happen?

18 January 2023

What is employee well-being?

A person's well-being depends upon how they feel about various areas of their life, including work, relationships, and health. These areas play a key role in determining if a person feels happy and satisfied with their life.

Employee well-being can therefore be defined as the influence that their work-related duties, responsibilities, relationships, and stress levels affect their happiness and health.

Employee Well-being in the Workplace:

Employee well-being has to do with every aspect of their work life, including the surroundings and environment that they work in. A poor work environment can lead to psychological and emotional problems which, in turn, can lead to lower motivation and productivity, along with higher rates of absenteeism.

Hence, ensuring well-being in the workplace is a crucial aspect of ensuring the overall well-being of your employees.

Importance of Employee Well-being:

Employees spend a major chunk of their lives in the workplace, and the way they feel during that period plays a major role in determining their overall happiness. Hence, organizations that do not proactively try to improve workplace well-being can end up with an unproductive, unmotivated, and unhappy workforce.

Your employees' well-being is at least as crucial to your business as having the right product, brand, and marketing strategy. The happier your employees are, the harder they are likely to work, and the larger your organization's bottom line will be – win-win. If that is not enough, an emphasis on health and well-being will make your company one of the most attractive prospects for top talents from every area.

How to Improve Well-being in the Workplace?



Encourage Self-Care:

According to a study conducted by Korn Ferry, approximately 73% of professionals in the US feel burned out, with the main causes being unmanageable workloads and a lack of work-life balance.

There is no problem with putting in some extra work every once in a while. However, once you get accustomed to doing more than you are supposed to, you start overlooking your health and well-being. Hence, unless we actively focus on prioritizing our health, we will just continue to ignore it.

As an employer, one way that you can emphasize self-care in the workplace is by improving office ergonomics. This means using chairs that promote optimal posture – such as the Drafting Chair Tall Office Mesh Chair. Other ways to create an ergonomic workplace include improving the lighting arrangements and creating dedicated no-noise zones for employees who want a bit of quiet and focus.

You could also hire a workplace psychologist and encourage employees to benefit from this facility whenever they feel the need to. Such encouragement and initiatives will make your employees considerably likelier to open up about their mental health and struggles.



Provide Flexible Schedules:

Giving your employees more control and flexibility regarding their working schedules can do wonders for their mental health. You could, for instance, reduce the rigidity around starting and ending times, increase the number of permissible breaks, or allow employees to work from home.

A Fortune 500 company redesigned its work to encourage its IT employees to work when and where they wanted but without compromising on collaboration and coordination. This redesign resulted in improved mental and physical health for the employees and reduced turnover for the organization itself.



Promote Social Interactions:

Loneliness and isolation are one of the most common precursors to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Unsurprisingly, then, people with better and stronger relationships with their colleagues, friends, and families are likely to be mentally healthier than people without these relationships.

You can use your company's intranet connection to create social platforms where like-minded employees can interact and share their experiences, thereby increasing a sense of belonging throughout the organization. Social tools allow us to unlock new connections, and every connection brings with it the potential for social interaction.



Allow Employees to take Part in Identifying and Solving Workplace Problems:

A unique way of enhancing employee well-being is letting them participate in highlighting and addressing problems in the workplace.

According to a study involving doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, employees who were encouraged to take part in a structured process of pinpointing and resolving workplace problems exhibited higher job satisfaction and lower levels of burnout.

In other words, employees that are encouraged to solve workplace problems are likelier to work harder, and less likely to want to quit their jobs – something that is vital for organizations looking to bring down the employee turnover ratio.



Encourage Teamwork:

A key aspect of promoting social interactions is encouraging strong working relationships. In order to help your employees bond together, you should conduct regular lunches/outings, informal meetings, and other team-building events.

Alongside creating a more sociable and informal work environment, such initiatives will also give everyone the chance to voice their ideas and opinions in an informal space.



Introduce Work Perquisites:

Perquisites (also referred to as "perks" or fringe benefits) are another excellent way to keep employee morale high and intact. There are many different types of perks that you could consider introducing, such as covering your employees' gym memberships, allowing them to take paid leaves on their birthdays, making the office premises pet-friendly, or condensing the working week to four or even three days. Even the team-building events that we mentioned above make for an excellent fringe benefit.

These perquisites make employees feel that their employer cares about them, and is willing to go above and beyond to make them feel valued and important. Fringe benefits also have a number of benefits for the organization itself, including:

Higher productivity

Greater brand awareness

Monetary savings

Higher employee loyalty

Greater ability to attract and retain top talent



Encourage Employees to Use their Perquisites:

While offering perquisites that promote health and benefit is a major step in the right direction, it may not be enough in some cases. Whether these benefits include yoga sessions, massage vouchers, discounted gym memberships, counseling sessions, or free medical screenings – there must be some sort of incentive for employees to utilize these offerings.

If you want to maximize the number of employees who use their perks, make the signing-up process as simple as possible. Unless it is something really critical, a complex registration process is likely to deter employees from using an available perquisite.

Also, make sure to communicate the perquisites regularly. Often, employees tend to completely forget about their perquisites except for during open enrollment or when they go through a life event. Hence, frequently reminding employees about the perquisites, their benefits, and how the perquisites can be used, is likely to boost adoption rates.



Conduct Performance Reviews:

Performance reviews are critical to the employees' growth and development. These appraisals provide employees with the chance to evaluate their overall performance, identify the areas where they have excelled, as well as learn about the aspects where there is room for improvement.

At the same time, a performance review creates the perfect opportunity for you to receive feedback from your employees – whether it is feedback about the performance review itself, the organizational leadership, or suggestions about operational changes. As a two-way process, a performance review encourages plenty of communication from both parties.

Also, being in the dark about their performance creates a sense of uncertainty and doubt, and regular reviews serve to alleviate this anxiety.



Recognize Your Employees:

Recognizing your employees means acknowledging their value and showing them that the work they do has a tremendous positive impact. Employee recognition increases motivation and engagement and boosts the overall employee experience being provided by your organization.

Here are a few ways to recognize your employees:

Setting up peer-recognition programs where every employee publicly acknowledges another employee on a weekly or monthly basis

Adding gift cards to the incentive program – these can either be attached to specific metrics or used as a way to acknowledge above-and-beyond efforts

Using social media for employee recognition (creating an "employee of the month" post on Facebook or LinkedIn, or taking to Twitter to show how an employee went the extra yard for a client, for example)

Making your employees feel heard (for instance, by giving them the chance to develop and present their ideas to upper management)

When recognizing your employees, make sure that you do your best to offer personalized perquisites so that each employee feels special and valued. This, of course, will require you to take a close interest in your employees' hobbies, passions, and interests.

Also, it is important to be proactive and fair while recognizing employees, explain the reason that certain employees are being recognized, and encourage other employees as well. Alongside individual recognition, do not forget to recognize the best-performing teams either.

The more public and fun-filled employee recognition is, the higher its impact will be on employee motivation and well-being.

Final Word:

Investing in your employees' well-being is just another way of investing in your company. A healthy and motivated workforce is undoubtedly your biggest asset, and you should take every step possible to nurture it.