Wellbeing is a relatively new concept in the workplace. For too long, employers have prioritized productivity over employee happiness.
While this continues to be a problem, more companies are starting to understand that productivity and wellbeing go handinhand. People who cultivate a positive mindset think more clearly and make smarter choices. Companies that help people cultivate a positive mindset get employees who perform better in challenging situations, make smarter business decisions, and come up with creative solutions.
Still need convincing? Here’s why improving employee health and wellbeing is good for your brand:
Strengthens your employer brand
Creating a brand identity has got a lot easier, you can do it with a few clicks, however, this is very different to creating your employer brand.
Employer brand refers to the value you, as an employer, can provide to potential candidates and current employees. Lead by example with your company values; the way you treat employees serves as an example for how employees should interact with both customers and each other.
If you talk about treating your customers with empathy and respect, treat your employees the same way. Showing commitment to your company values helps employees believe in your company’s mission and purpose.
When kindness and good feelings are shown toward employees, it becomes contagious, creating an uplifting company atmosphere and ensuring that everyone—customers and employees alike—is treated with mutual respect.
Stress, depression, and anxiety can result in lack of sleep, physical illness, and even suicidal thoughts, causing employees to miss multiple days of work.
Why is that relevant? Because areport from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK reveals that between 2017-2018, 15.4 million working days were lost in Great Britain due to work-related stress, depression, and anxiety. In the US, depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year, costing employers $17 to $44 billion.
Rather than allow employees to struggle with excessive workloads, harsh bosses, and unruly clients, motivate employees to show up by offering them support. Train managers and team leaders on how to properly delegate tasks and how to manage a productive team without causing undue stress or anxiety.
Keeps people motivated and engaged
Yes, it’s true—happy people perform better at work. When people are happy, they’re more likely to believe in their company and their work, open up to productive collaborations with colleagues, operate more efficiently, and make fewer mistakes.
According to the Harvard Business Review, not only are just 30% of people engaged at work, but 20% of employees are actually disengaged. These employees are detrimental for their companies and coworkers, bringing down others’ performance with their own cynicism and even actively sabotaging company products.
Wellbeing strategies are essential for keeping employees motivated and engaged. They help employees process information more clearly and make smarter decisions. And, of course, happiness is contagious (having some happy employees means even more happy employees), not to mention an overwhelmingly positive workplace culture.
Attracts and retains top-performing employees
Adopting organizational wellbeing strategies helps attract and retain quality people within the workplace. First, you have a better chance of attracting the very best candidates if you offer a well-demonstrated health and wellbeing strategy. Prospective employees often care about the “extras” your company can offer—especially those that show you care about them on an individual level.
Having a company wellbeing strategy also helps you retain top-performing workers. If people aren’t satisfied with your company’s mental health agenda (or lack thereof), they’ll ditch you for someplace better. On the other hand, if you can prove to employees that you care— that they’re important enough to deserve to feel happy while at work—they’ll remain loyal, enthusiastic employees for years to come.
Wellbeing strategies you can implement in your business
Now that you know why employee happiness is so critical to company performance and success, here are some specific ideas for how to promote wellbeing in your company:
–Provide free healthy snacks: Stock up on healthy, protein-rich snacks in the kitchen to keep employees energized and feeling good.
–Celebrate with end-of-week “happy hours”: Show your appreciation at the end of the week and bond with employees over happy hour snacks and drinks.
–Create rest areas and de-stress zones: Provide employees with a space to recharge when they’re exhausted and cool down if they’re feeling stressed or sad.
–Allow flexible work schedules: Give employees occasional opportunities to work from home, and provide them with flexible hours when they need to pick up the kids.
–Partner with an Employee Assistance Program: Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide free-of-charge, third-party mental health counseling to employees.
–Offer wellness workshops: Host events in which wellness and health practitioners visit the office.
-Allow pets: Dogs are therapeutic and tend to improve the workplaceatmosphere, and letting people bring in pets saves them the headache of arranging alternative ways to care for them while at work.
-Lighten up on the dress code: Employees feel better when they can express themselves and wear what feels comfortable.
These are just some ideas for improving employee wellbeing, but I can think of dozens (even hundreds?) more.
Remember, uplifting your employees is one of the most important tools for making both your business and brand thrive. Challenge yourself to implement some of the wellbeing strategies mentioned above, and continue to educate yourself, your colleagues, and your employees on why wellbeing is so critical to workplace success.