Improving Health and Wellness in the workplace
“If we leave the human factor out of our business calculations, we shall be wrong every time.” – William H. Lever, founder of Lever Brothers
HR professionals are aware that people, or human capital, are the core of every successful business, particularly in difficult economic times. These intangible effects are hardly recognized in financial statements. Human capital, unlike structural capital, never truly belongs to the enterprise. People can leave at any time if organizations do not develop strategies to retain them. Human capital influences all area of an organization’s operations, including technology, product creation, distribution networks, and service delivery. Given the importance of human capital to a company’s capacity to compete in the global economy, HR experts are constantly searching for new methods to tap this potential. Improving the health and well-being of your employees is one method for gaining a competitive advantage for your firm. The most recent research indicates a connection between health, work behavior, and human capital worth. Simply put employee health state affects employee work behavior, attendance, and performance on the job. Therefore, promoting employee health will lead to a more productive workforce.
In the wake of the Great Resignation and a tight labor market, it has never been more important for employers to take a broader view of employee health. Companies who are able to align cross-functionally and implement a holistic wellbeing strategy that takes individual needs and preferences into consideration will have a competitive advantage over those that cannot. According to the Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment Survey, 68% of senior HR leaders believe that employee wellness and mental health are a major priority. Add to this tendency the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced individuals and companies to adopt a new way of working, and we see a growing need to consider stress and well-being in this new work environment.
Unfortunately, few firms have made the decision to emphasize employee health. Only 24% of employees believe their firm supports employee wellbeing, and only 33% of HR directors report having a budget for employee wellbeing programs. Only one out of every five employees in firms that fail to prioritize employee wellness report feeling physically and mentally healthy.
Why is Wellness in the Workplace Important?
It has been proved that healthy, content employees produce a more productive workforce, thus workplace wellness is crucial. Wellness programs in the workplace are intended to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction in order to boost productivity.
In addition to enhancing employees’ quality of life at work, workplace wellness has numerous business benefits. Employers can benefit from workplace wellness programs in a variety of business areas, including talent acquisition and brand reputation. Consequently, employee wellbeing is not merely an HR notion, but should be included into a broader business plan.
In this blog, we will discuss how we can improve employee health and wellness in the workplace.
How to improves Employees ‘Health and wellness in the workplace
Encourage preventative care
The reasoning is straightforward: healthy employees perform better and are less likely to experience health problems that necessitate time away from work. Additionally, healthy employees are content employees. Clearly, stress has a substantial effect on one’s health. To keep staff healthy, though, you must consider the big picture.
Organizations that include more than physical fitness in their health campaigns and instead emphasize positive behavior changes as a component of an employee’s overall well-being typically achieve higher success.
There are numerous approaches to encourage beneficial behavior changes among employees, such as:
- Organize employee field trips to farmers’ markets
- Provide options for quitting smoking
- Give access to counseling resources
Bringing preventative care to the workplace, such as flu vaccinations, is another method for increasing health and well-being. Although sending in employees to administer flu vaccines to every one of your coworkers is not inexpensive, it can significantly minimize the amount of sick days taken annually.
According to Alan Kohll’s Forbes article, “not only will an onsite flu vaccine clinic save the company money, but it will also reduce staff absenteeism and loss of productivity due to illness.”
The secret to creating a healthier workplace could lie in making preventative care available and simple for employees to utilize.
Air quality indoors
90% of corporate employees’ time is spent inside. This has a significant negative effect on their physical and mental health. Humans require an abundance of clean air and sunlight to live. Due to carbon dioxide buildup, air conditioning, humidity, toxic detergents and furnishing chemicals, etc., indoor air quality can be up to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. To promote a healthy and happier workplace:
- Wherever practical, incorporate balconies, open workplaces, movable windows, and plant life.
- Ensure the cleaning personnel use non-toxic, environmentally-friendly cleaning products
- Routine maintenance of air-conditioning and humidification systems, which should preferably have energy-star ratings
- Encourage staff to take a walk outside during lunch and break periods.
Human anatomy is not designed for prolonged sitting. We are designed for motion. We shall be healthier and happier the more active we are.
- Include a one-minute walk around the workplace every hour. It relieves overworked eyes, relaxes muscles, and improves circulation. Whenever feasible, take the stairs. Perform 20 squats whenever using the restroom. Consider inventive ways to move.
- Stretch typically
- Install table tennis and fitness areas in the workplace. This can also be a terrific stress reliever.
Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace
A firm that promotes healthy eating can dramatically improve the overall health of its employees. Workplaces have fewer soft drink vending machines as a result of recent public health campaigns regarding the dangers of sugar. Some businesses are taking the next step by offering employees with lectures, cooking workshops, and nutrition education.
People with limited time often choose less healthful lunch and dinner options. By educating employees on quick, healthy, and inexpensive foods they may prepare in advance, the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity may be reduced. Fruit snacks are quite inexpensive and likely to be loved by your employees.
Provide Managers with Training in Mental Health
In recent years, mental health has been a priority. People are more likely to seek assistance as a result of increased community awareness and decreased stigma.
By giving managers training, they can recognize whether an employee is experiencing a mental condition. It could be a personal or work-related issue, such as an excessive workload, bullying, or stress. All managers can benefit from understanding how to assist employees whose mental health is negatively impacting their careers. It could be very useful for HR and health and safety professionals.
Management of Stress and Mental Health
The concept of workplace wellness is insufficient without mental health. Every individual requires emotional support, and since people spend the majority of their time at work, mental health cannot be neglected.
- Make counselors accessible online or offline
- Conduct weekly team discussions about work-related stress and habits.
- Encourage the sharing of personal experiences so that coworkers can fully understand and encourage one another. Turning coworkers into friends can have a profound effect on the workplace atmosphere. Isolation creates sadness; therefore make every effort to engage in community activities.
- Encourage open one-on-one conversation amongst coworkers, regardless of authority, in order to reduce workplace depression.
- Schedule meditation classes, yoga sessions, and other creative workshops, such as art therapy, to boost employee engagement.
- Provide employees with access to resources such as on-site or off-site child care and life counseling to assist them structure their lives. More bonuses and greater access will make your employees happier.
- Participate in charitable endeavors as a group. Volunteering increases happiness.
These are essential strategies for boosting workplace wellbeing. Create a brighter future for every employee and the organization as a whole by addressing workplace wellness.
Providing adequate working conditions and additional incentives has become a crucial aspect of retaining a skilled team. The wellbeing of employees is no longer limited to physical or mental health, but rather requires a grasp of the different dimensions of wellness.
Due mostly to the Covid 19 pandemic, employees have adopted work-from-home practices. They will most likely embrace a sedentary lifestyle. These decisions will lower employee morale and undermine their health and wellbeing.
Therefore, firms must place a greater emphasis on employee wellbeing than in the past. Among the options are mentoring, establishing health programs, providing work flexibility, and supporting personal growth.
Finally, if you would like to learn more about how WorkCompass can help improve health and wellness in your workplace. Please get in touch today and request a demo of our performance management software.