Simple corporate initiatives that address employee needs demonstrate a commitment to workplace wellbeing
The workplace has long been regarded as a tough, competitive space, where corporate profits and bottom lines are top considerations, with all other concerns further down the list of priorities. These days, as many workplaces slowly transition back to in-person work post-pandemic, it is business like never before. Creating a workplace that supports the well-being of employees is critical to attracting and retaining employees, and to the success of organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Increasingly, organizations are focusing on wellness initiatives that demonstrate employee wellbeing in an effort to create kinder, more compassionate corporate cultures and working environments that foster team cohesion over competitiveness, support employee engagement, and strive to keep employees healthy, happy, and whole.
Concerning statistics a call to action
In their State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report, Gallup Inc. shared the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of employees about their working lives from 116 countries around the world. And much of what the report reveals is cause for concern for US employers. An astounding 57 percent of American employees reported experiencing high levels of stress, a full 12 percent over the global average.
Long-term stress carries many serious health implications, and can negatively impact productivity, and job satisfaction. Further, as stress is linked to chronic fatigue, headaches, heart problems, gastrointestinal problems, and sleep disorders, it is widely regarded as one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace.
Further, the State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report cites employee engagement in the US at just 36 percent. As the stressors of uncertainty and anxiety around health and safety due to the global pandemic continue to play out in the workplace, there is clearly a great need for improvement in supporting employee wellbeing, boosting engagement, team cohesion, and employee retention in our working environments.
Start with simple employee wellness initiatives
Workplace wellness initiatives tailored to the needs of employees work in three ways. They:
- empower individuals to take control of their well-being, and
- provide valuable coping strategies for individuals who are stressed, suffering or need to refocus
- help build a workplace culture of caring and support that helps attract, engage and retain a company’s greatest asset, its employees
Supporting health and work-life balance
An increased focus on employee work/life balance, and well-being foster a culture where employees are engaged and supported ca begins with simple employee wellness initiatives.
Simple initiatives that address real employee concerns, like offering enhanced, healthier dietary choices, promoting and encouraging regular break times, and scheduling workloads with employee work/life balance in mind, go a long way to making employees feel less stressed and better cared for and help address many of the most common day-to-day stressors in the workplace.
Flexible hours & mental health supports
Initiatives aimed at helping employees achieve a better work/life balance, like offering flexible hours and one-on-one mental health supports, including accessibility to a mental health expert, demonstrate genuine care and concern. And creating clear, concise, and specific messaging around mental health resources in your company EAP — and ensuring that mental health offerings in your EAP meet your employees’ needs — provides a powerful defense against employee stress and burnout, two factors that lead to presenteeism and absenteeism.
Opportunities for advancement and growth
Offering employees tangible opportunities to learn and enhance their skillsets, and advancement and growth is an investment that pays off in greater employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Opportunities for training and advancement foster improved job satisfaction and commitment. Employees feel valued, more engaged, and more committed to their team and organization.
Customized wellness programs
Customized wellness programs offer life-enhancing self-care knowledge, psycho-education, and skills, like meditation, yoga, exercise, and counseling, and can help build and nurture employee wellness and support. They teach employees valuable interpersonal skills, like how to build solid, supportive teams, resolve conflicts, and balance career and family responsibilities. Wellness programs also open the channels of communication between management and staff, which leads to greater team cohesion, congeniality, and improved communication.
Investing in enhanced employee wellness is a great way to begin building a kinder, more supportive work environment and culture. Understanding the value of committing to and investing in a tailor-made wellness program can greatly assist in attracting, engaging, and supporting their employees, while positively impacting the bottom line.
Critical to success
Cohesive, engaged, and committed teams that can work together to meet goals are critical to the success of every organization. Offering supports that address employee stress, motivation, work/life balance, and physical and psychological wellbeing— will be a critical component of a workplace where employees, teams, and organizations as a whole can thrive.
Healthy, Happy and Whole … Simple steps to enhancing employee wellbeing
Providing compassionate and relevant support for employees through challenging times creates working environments where everyone feels safe, included, and appreciated.
Offer enhanced on-the-job wellness initiatives, like healthy dietary choices, regular breaks, flexible hours for people struggling with work/life balance, and access to one-on-one mental health supports.
Improve and enhance communications around accessing the features of your organization’s EAP. Make sure that every employee understands and feels comfortable taking advantage of available supports
Invest in a customized corporate wellness program for employees. A corporate wellness organization can create a wellness program tailored to your employee needs and your organization’s budget to provide valuable life-enhancing self-care knowledge, psycho-education, and communication skills, and greatly assist in attracting, engaging, and supporting employees, while positively impacting your organization’s bottom line
Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. Clinical Psychologist