The world of work has changed greatly over the last few decades, there has been a complete transformation in the relationship between employees and employers. Employees expect, and indeed deserve, fair and equal treatment in the workplace. Their role must not only meet their financial needs but also satisfy their professional development and personal wellbeing.
Organizations are adapting to this shift in the balance of power, recognizing that to recruit and retain the best talent on the market, they need to provide a working environment that is stimulating, supportive, and motivating. The so-called “war for talent” is real and businesses in many sectors have found themselves increasingly competing with rival organizations to hire and subsequently keep the best-skilled employees. Workplace wellbeing is a big part of this.
Not only is workplace wellbeing critical to attract and retain the best talent, but it also has the potential to make measurable improvements in organizational success in many areas. Employees who feel well rewarded, cared for, and supported by their manager and wider company are much more likely to work with energy, positivity, and motivation. They will go the extra mile within their roles, and the link to improved business results isn’t hard to see.
Practical tips to ensure workplace wellbeing
There’s really no argument against implementing an employee wellbeing strategy, with benefits for both employees and the wider organization. But, naturally, putting good intentions into practice isn’t always as straightforward, for many reasons. With that in mind, here are our top tips for success:
Conduct emotional wellbeing check-ins
Most employees have the inherent drive to grow, develop, and fulfill a greater purpose in life. However, most often than not their complex internal world and personal wellbeing gets in the way of living to their fullest potential. Employees tend to perform better when their organization supports their emotional wellness.
The first obvious step is to look for changes in an employee’s usual behavior and realize the signs early. While it can be hard to do it on an individual basis, doing it as a part of the regular performance check-in can make it considerably easy. The next step can be tricky since most managers are concerned about overstepping personal boundaries or invading an employee’s privacy.
Offer healthy living initiatives
There is a range of options here, from offering “perks” such as subsidized gym memberships or leisure days to free fruit in the office and employee health plans. It’s worth doing some research in this area, such as via a staff survey, to understand what your own employees would value the most.
Organize team-building activities
An inclusive work culture plays a critical role in enabling workplace wellbeing. By aligning the work environment with healthy behaviors like monthly town halls, learning sessions, frequent team outings, and community engagement initiatives, organizations can enable workplace wellbeing to flourish.
Recognize and reward success
Often, the biggest factor determining an individual’s feelings of job satisfaction is their relationship with their direct line manager. While this can be a complex and multi-faceted area, line managers have a massive opportunity to improve their relationship with their team members by simply recognizing their achievements, big or small, and rewarding them, even with a smile and a “thank you.”
Not only does this help your team members to feel valued and proud, but it encourages them to strive to further achieve in the future. Too many managers see the bi-annual appraisal meeting as the sole opportunity to talk face-to-face with their team members about their strengths, achievements, and plans for the future. Don’t be one of them.
Embrace work-life balance
Individuals with a healthy balance of their work and home lives are often more productive, energized, and effective. Why? Allowing them the chance to “switch off” and focus on things that they enjoy outside of the workplace gives them renewed energy for their roles. Consider how flexible working, home working, or job sharing could work in your organization and how individuals could benefit.
Make workplace wellbeing part of the fabric of your organization
Too many companies look upon workplace wellbeing as another well-intentioned initiative to put in place alongside other competing strategies and quickly abandoned and forgotten.
Most successful organizations understand that workplace wellbeing must lie at the very heart of your business and be integrated fully in your people strategy year after year to create a workplace where employees are supported and valued. This will allow them to contribute in the most positive way toward organizational success.