Employee wellbeing has become a hot topic in the workplace. More and more employers are making wellbeing a priority as they seek to improve their employees’ wellness and positively affect business results.
Learn why employee wellbeing is important, which health and wellness initiatives you can start to improve employee wellbeing, and how to get started building your own wellbeing program.
What Is Employee Wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing encompasses an employees’ expectations, stress levels, duties, and working environment, as well as how these things affect their overall health and satisfaction. Employee wellbeing includes physical health, but it is more about intangible factors such as cognition and mood.
There is a famous methodology for classifying the seven major components of employee wellbeing created by Prowell. Here are the seven major components of employee wellbeing in the workplace categorized by their subdomains:
- Physical comfort
- Physical nourishment
- Environmental wellbeing
- Physical fitness
- Cognitive wellbeing
- Emotional wellbeing
- Social wellbeing
Why Your Company Should Invest in Workplace Wellness
It’s no secret that the modern workforce has high levels of employee stress and burnout. About 94 percent of American’s in the workforce experienced workplace stress in 2019, and a staggering 50 percent of millennials and 75 percent of Gen Zs have quit jobs because of mental stress.
An overwhelming number of employees feel that the pressures of the office continue long after they clock out for the day. This may cause conflict with family members and partners, which makes it difficult for them to find time to focus on self-care and wellbeing.
There is a clear need for health and wellness initiatives in the workplace. There are numerous reasons why investing in employee wellbeing is a good idea for your employees and for your company’s bottom line.
A few of these reasons include:
Reduced Absenteeism and Employee Healthcare Costs
Employees who feel good are more likely to come into work and are less likely to experience stress-related mental or physical health problems.
Increased Employee Engagement
Employee wellness aligns employee and employer goals more closely, which increases employee engagement with the company’s mission and goals. They are also more likely to see their wellness goals as directly related to their professional success.
Improved Employee Productivity
Implementing a wellness program saves your company money in lost productivity. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who focused on wellness saved their companies about $353 per person per year in recovered productivity.
Better Employee Attraction
Top talent in the job marketplace search for companies that can offer them new and unique benefits like employee wellness programs. Recent data reveals that about 59.4 percent of employees think that employers should provide options that help improve the health of their workers.
Wellness programs are an attractive option for job candidates that already take an active role in their health. This means you’ll attract new employees who are already in-line with the wellness culture you’ve created in your workplace.
10 Initiatives That Can Promote Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace
Here are 10 easy ways to promote employee wellbeing in the workplace.
Invest in Virtual Wellbeing
There may be times when your staff is not able to participate in in-person employee wellbeing classes. For instance, a good portion of the workforce shifted to remote working last year due to COVID-19.
To emphasize the importance of employee wellbeing even when you aren’t in the office, offer live virtual wellbeing classes like team building, yoga, fitness, or meditation. This helps keep your employees connected and mindful even when they are working from home.
Provide Flexible Working Arrangements
Every employee has different demands outside of the office. Some may have health requirements, while others have family duties to take care of. Offer flexible working arrangements to help reduce employee stress and burnout.
Allowing them to work when they can accomplish the most will benefit both the company and their wellbeing.
Offer Mindfulness Training
Mindfulness may seem simple, but it is often misunderstood. Set up a training to teach your employees about mindfulness and its benefits. Studies have shown that mindfulness fosters positive emotions and helps to reduce stress.
Purchase Plants for Your Office
If your team works primarily from the office, try incorporating plants into your office design. Plants have numerous health benefits, such as improved emotional state, fresher air, and reduced illness in the office.
Encourage Employees to Develop Friendships
Building lasting friendships is a fulfilling aspect of most people’s lives and it boosts employee wellbeing in the workplace. Employees spend most of their time at work, and one way to get employees to care more about their job is to encourage them to build friendships.
Research proves that friends outperform strangers when they work in a team because they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better than strangers. This means they can split tasks in the most efficient way, while having fun and enjoying their work together.
Develop some healthy competition among your team members by creating a fun fitness challenge. For instance, you can create a running or walking challenge, a daily burpee challenge, or walking meetings.
Find a way to get your employees up and moving by offering them prizes or other incentives for meeting the fitness challenge goals you set.
Balanced work days make for more productive days. Encourage your staff to focus on single tasks instead of multitasking. When employees are constantly checking email, picking up their phones, or jumping from task to task, they become less productive.
Set workplace rules about taking breaks away from desks to make sure they come back refreshed and ready to refocus.
Publish a Workplace Wellness Newsletter
Highlight the best nutrition, fitness, and wellness education content from around the web to introduce new health and wellness ideas into your workplace. This may encourage your employees to try new health and wellness initiatives they enjoy, so they don’t lose interest in the wellness program.
Take a Holistic Approach to Employee Wellbeing
Taking a holistic approach to wellbeing means that you are including health and wellness initiatives for your employee wellbeing that account for their minds, bodies, and moods.
Some of these holistic initiatives may include things like stress management, financial wellness, smoking cessation, nutrition planning, and mental health support resources.
Support and Prioritize Mental Health
Over 264 million people are coping with depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. People often let depression and other mental health problems go untreated because of social stigmas related to them.
Provide resources for your employees to use to support their mental health. You can also broadcast the resources and take pulse checks on the mental health aspects of your employees’ wellbeing. Even small mentions of mental health options may be enough to encourage someone to seek help.
There are many great options when it comes to supporting employee wellbeing in the workplace. When you combine various health and wellness initiatives, you are on your way to creating and launching your own employee wellbeing program.
How to Launch Your Own Employee Wellbeing Program Today
Find Out What Your People Want
Ask your employees what health and wellness initiatives they are interested in having for their employee wellbeing program.
The easiest way to do this is to send out a survey to see how they feel about their wellbeing currently, what they feel they need help with, and what initiatives they believe would help them.
Make sure to cover the three main areas of wellbeing – physical, emotional, and social.
If you tailor your wellbeing program to what your employees want, they are more likely to participate.
Make a Plan and Set Goals
Based on your own research and workplace analysis, build a list or roadmap of actions to take. This way, you’ll have a better idea of your goals and the direction you’d like your wellness initiatives to lead your employees.
Gather data about absenteeism, turnover, and how your employees respond in their employee wellbeing surveys.
Choose What to Include
Consider some of the elements that are most important to your employees, and select ones that address various aspects of wellness.
For instance, you may choose initiatives that connect to your goals such as:
- Improve employee mental health
- Reduce stress: workplace meditation sessions
- Promote mindfulness: online or in-person yoga classes
Recruit the Help of a Wellbeing Partner
Offering holistic wellness initiatives is easier and more cost-effective with the help of a wellbeing partner like Gympass. With Gympass, you can ensure your employees’ wellbeing will be taken care of – mind, body, and mood.
They offer over 700+ activities from physical fitness classes and personal training to meditation and nutrition.
A wellbeing partner provides you with something for each of your employees’ wellness needs, creating a well-rounded wellness program your employees will love.
Embedding wellness into the fabric of your corporate culture is imperative as employees’ work and home lives become increasingly intertwined. Start optimizing the health of all of your employees today by partnering with Gympass to build a healthy employee wellbeing culture at your company.