Wellbeing is essentially how someone feels about various aspects of their life – their home life, their work situation, their health, their relationships both personal and professional and other activities. It’s about whether they feel well and happy across all these aspects.
Employee wellbeing used to be about health and safety in the workplace, it was all to do with whether the employer provided a working environment where the employee felt safe and had no concerns related to injuries or health problems caused by the workplace.
Wellbeing in the workplace has now become a much broader issue. In both health terms and work-related health and safety. Employee wellbeing is about more than just physiological or mental ill health, it’s about optimising the health of all your employees.
What can impact employee wellbeing
There are of course plenty of factors outside the employer’s control which can have an impact, such as family circumstances, changes at home, changes in their financial situation. But there are also many factors affecting employees’ wellbeing which can be influenced by the employer. Many of these factors centre around their actual job. Does the employee have a degree of autonomy over their work? Do they have clarity about their responsibilities, variety of tasks, training and support? Do their working hours optimise their work/life balance? Other employer-controlled factors include the workplace environment, HR policies and relationships with colleagues.
People spend a significant part of their life at work, and employers have the potential to have a big impact on their employees’ wellbeing with the factors above, but employers can also influence the wellbeing of their employees outside those workplace-controlled factors. In forward-thinking workplaces, focusing on employee wellbeing involves initiatives to improve the health and overall happiness of employees even outside the workplace, such as flexible working, providing financial advice and continued professional development.
It’s crucial to understand that a focus on employee wellbeing involves a holistic approach, considering the numerous factors shaping how employees feel about their work situation, and considering how as an employer you can influence these factors for the better.
How can you as an employer help improve employee wellbeing?
The concept of financial wellbeing in the workplace has established itself as a well-recognised term. Money concerns can be one of the greatest contributors to overall stress for your employees. For many, the worry of their financial situation can be based on reading little financial literacy or not having a basic understanding of financial concepts.
A great employee wellbeing initiative would be to provide financial education that is based on different stages of your employee’s life and career, as well as common situations that are faced at those stages. Money can be a huge burden that isn’t fully addressed beyond retirement planning.
Not everyone can work from home effectively. But for those who can, it can lead to a huge boost in productivity and provide a mental and emotional break from a long commute and being in the office. If it’s appropriate for your work environment, give employees the option to work from home a day a week, and you have the potential to see a boost in productivity and morale.
Continued learning throughout life can help improve and maintain employee wellbeing. Learning can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose, and help us connect with others. There are also benefits for the employer, they will have a productive employee with high morale.
Every one of your employees learning goals will be different, it is important to understand this and understand what each employee wants to achieve. As an initiative, you could develop a personal development programme for each of your employees, but don’t just leave it there after that, monitor their progression, help keep them accountable for their own development.
Provision of healthy food options
Eating healthier can have a positive effect on your employee’s wellbeing whilst at work by improving their sleep quality, mood and mental wellbeing. Your business should provide access to healthier food options, this could be done by developing a relationship with a healthy food provider, if you have your own canteen, ensure there are plenty of healthy options available. To create a fully integrated wellness program, you could provide education to your employees about healthy eating and exercise.
Rewards and incentives in the workplace have benefits for both employees and employers. When recognized for their performance and productivity, employees have increased morale, job satisfaction and involvement in your company. As a result, employers experience greater productivity and an increase in activity. Through workplace rewards and incentives, employers and workers enjoy a positive and productive work environment.
Nothing is better for life balance, joy, longevity, health, and work productivity than physical activity. Any workplace can incorporate this with initiatives such as sit-stand desks, yoga classes, stress management seminars, or full-scale on-site fitness centres.
Boost team relationships
Sometimes the key to a happy team comes down to whether they get along. To encourage good working relationships, you could implement more team building exercises, informal meetings, and lunches/evenings out to bring the group together.
Not only will this support a more fun and sociable atmosphere, but it’ll also mean everyone is able to get their ideas and opinions heard. After all, there may be some members of the team that wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to properly interact beyond brief small talk in the lift.
Recognise good work
Encouraging and supporting employees’ goals and aspirations (even the small ones) is vital to ensuring they stay motivated. It could be as easy as introducing a reward system for value-adding ideas or identifying people that go the extra mile.
It could be done by providing incentives for employees to work towards, or simply recognising when people have done a good job.
Provide support for mental health
There are several different steps that employers can take to provide support around mental health. It’s important for employers to provide their staff with the right training and education around mental health issues to provide team members with the tools to deal with it. This can range from simple awareness raising initiatives to teaching managers how to spot symptoms and knowing how to deal with them.
How Recruit Mint can help build a workforce with high employee wellbeing
Developing a workforce for your business with high employee wellbeing starts from the beginning, through the recruitment process. You don’t just want an employee who can do the job, you should be recruiting an employee who wants to do the job, wants to work for your company and fits into your company culture and ethos.
This is where we operate differently to other agencies, through our 17-Step process we meet all clients and candidates face-to-face, this allows us to develop a complete picture of the working environment, what type of work they will be doing, what kind of company culture is in the business. Whilst also getting a complete understanding of the candidate’s experience, their characteristics, their personality and what their career goals are. It is only through this process that we can find the perfect candidate for your business, who will be highly motivated and driven.