04.01.2024 11:00

5 Ways to Foster Employee Wellbeing and Why Companies Should Care

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Companies rely greatly on benefits to improve their employee retention rate. After all, it is more expensive to hire new employees often than offering more perks to existing staff.

Today, many firms focus primarily on employee health and wellbeing. Still, it seems like not all companies are implementing the benefits well.

According to a survey from human resources and people development consultancy firm CIPD, there was a 37 per cent increase in stress-related work absences in 2020. Eighty-nine per cent of the participants said that they’ve been going to work even while feeling unwell (also called “presenteeism”).

If employers don’t know this, they should. In fact, occupational health and medicine experts advise organisations to focus on these matters more carefully.

Look into what benefits you can offer your people and how to implement them to get the best possible results.

To get started, read on about the importance of employee wellbeing and five ways by which you can implement programs to achieve it in your company.

Advantages of Better Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing encompasses the state of your staff’s physical and mental fitness in a way that it affects the dynamics of the workplace. Below are several advantages a company can expect from ensuring the wellbeing of their people:

Enhanced productivity

When employees feel well cared for, their performance and productivity at work also improve. They also display healthier behaviours and make better decisions in the workplace.

Improved morale

Employee wellbeing also positively affects employees’ sense of value and competence in the company, especially when they feel that their needs are being met in all aspects: financial, physical, and mental.

Better customer relationships

Happy employees exert more effort to ensure customers are happy. Since they believe that they’re in a good place, your staff will serve as your best brand ambassadors who will pass on the positive energy to your customers.

Plus, employees who are motivated and understand the benefits of your products well can also provide the best possible service to your customers.

Access to top talent

Your employer reputation will determine the kind of talent you will attract during recruitment, which means you can gain access to a better pool if you implement employee wellbeing programs. Of course, you’ll also get to retain existing employees for longer if they are happy with the way you do things, human resource-wise.

5 Ways to Foster Employee Wellbeing

Whether it’s an all-expense paid wellness spa experience or flexible work arrangements, you can improve employee wellbeing by implementing a couple of improvements in your employee benefits offerings.

Below are five things you can try to boost employee wellbeing:

Flexible work arrangements

Countless research supports the mental wellness benefits of giving workers control over their work schedules. Even just allowing varied start and stop times and flexibility in swapping shifts will greatly affect how your employees perform at work.

Take the work redesigning conducted at a Fortune 500 company, for example. They gave their IT employees the freedom to choose where they work while still collaborating with teammates. As a result, their physical and mental wellbeing significantly improved – and there had been lower employee turnover rates for the business ever since.

Employee-acknowledging company culture

Establishing an acknowledging culture is one of the most desirable and easiest employee wellbeing programs to implement. It’s quite simple, really. You just need to come up with ways to recognise your employees’ achievements and efforts.

Based on a survey, 70 per cent of employees admit that they feel more emotionally connected with their peers when they get recognition at work.

This is particularly effective for employees in the millennial generation – also called the “self-esteem generation” – who crave being acknowledged for their hard work more than just receiving a raise in their salary.

There are many examples of rewards you can offer your employees to acknowledge their hard work.

You can write a handwritten note of gratitude for your hardworking employees, and give gifts to commemorate the recognition. You can also try to develop an incentive program for loyalty that incorporates self-care, hobby support, or workspace upgrades.

Personal support

Too often do employees leave a company because of “personal reasons.” While attending to their personal needs may not seem like your responsibility, it does help retain great talent if you provide as much support as you can in this aspect.

Since many employees also care for elderly parents or children, they benefit from having more supportive supervisors. When they feel that their situation is understood, they become better at balancing work and their personal lives.

Better peer-to-peer connection

Fostering connection among peers within the workplace also helps support employee wellbeing.

According to studies, having better relationships with co-workers lowers psychological distress, which signals poor mental health. Having a supportive relationship between co-workers is also an excellent strategy in ensuring that your employees are happy and, therefore, productive at work.

The best part is, it’s not difficult (or expensive even) to develop such a culture. You only need to find platforms where colleagues can connect or even create situations where they can support each other.

An excellent example of the latter is reflected in the study of 911 dispatchers. As the job is highly stressful, supervisors help reduce burnout by sending a weekly email to remind everyone to support each other by sharing affirming stories about work.

“The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin also once talked about using a workplace show that everyone watches to promote conversation among those who don’t typically participate in discussions. This will encourage communication and serve as a common ground for employees to connect.

Gratitude practices among peers

Another way to connect with peers and create a healthy work environment at the same time is to promote gratitude among co-workers.

Research shows that gratitude is directly linked to stronger relationships, happiness, and overall better mental health.

Several third-party apps can also help integrate expressing gratitude easier within the company, like Fond or 15Five.

Once a process of peer-to-peer recognition becomes an integral part of the company culture, you can enjoy at least one of two benefits:

  1. Winners’ attitude: Encouraging a colleague call-out for achievements and positive behaviour also fosters winners’ attitude among the employees. This preps them to pay closer attention to the positive side of things, effectively shifting the workplace mindset.
  2. Feeling of being appreciated: When employees receive appreciation, they feel better about themselves. It also helps that the appreciation comes from peers.

Foster Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is and should always be a priority for organisations looking to foster a healthier workplace. 

Remember: Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, so make sure that they are happy where they are.

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