HomeResourcesWork
Practical Proactive Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

Practical Proactive Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

Written by
Lewis Orr
Feb 9, 2021

Practical Proactive Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing includes physical and mental health and is a major concern for businesses. Research suggests healthier employees tend to be more productive employees[1]. Additionally, they also tend to turn up to work more often, often resulting in a lower rate of “absenteeism”. Ultimately, when employees are happier fewer will leave the business out of discontent, thus the flow on effects are lower costs of recruitment and training. On the flipside when workers are struggling with poor mental and physical wellbeing, harmful behaviours such as presenteeism can occur. Presenteeism refers to “sick workers who come to work and work at levels that are less than optimal”. Early research suggests that presenteeism may be a risk factor related to co-workers adopting less than optimal work attitudes, resulting in the infection of others with similar lacklustre working attitudes”[2]. These statistics are just some of the key reasons to address employee wellbeing before it becomes an issue in your workplace. Read on to learn more about how to implement proactive strategies in the workplace to improve your staff and colleagues long term wellbeing when at work.

1.    Build an environment of trust

There are many studies on trust in the workplace. It suffices to say that employees are more engaged and useful when they trust their boss. How can you introduce or affirm such a powerful human emotion? There are some ideas:

·       Avoid micromanaging by using software to allocate tasks and monitor progress

·       Be transparent by balancing constructive criticism with admitting vulnerability

·       Value employees as people and not production units. Make time for social engagement outside the workplace

 

2.    Flexible work arrangements

Flexibility is essential. When we are adaptable, we are in a good position to deal with unexpected, adverse events. Workplaces can be flexible; they can bend and change under pressure, not breaking, continuing to function. The wellbeing of employees will benefit from flexible work arrangements. In small businesses, a clear majority of employees consider flexible work arrangements more productive, more satisfying, and a significant criterion in their evaluation of future job opportunities[3]. There are several types of flexible work arrangements:

·       Remote work, which the online world has made more possible

·       Compressed work schedules[4]

·       Giving employees the freedom to structure their workdays and weeks

 

3.    A culture which values health

Businesses should signal and act on a belief that employee health is important. There are many examples:

·       Promote bike-to-work days

·       Incentivise preventive care, like flu-shots. It has been suggested to offer a small cash bonus, gift card, or giveaway to those who get the shot![5]

·       Organise stretching, yoga, or exercise as on-site breaks

·       Explore walking meetings and conversations

·       Contribute to gym memberships


[1]Jessica Pryce-Jones in her book “Happiness at Work” argues that happy employees are “180% more energized, 108% more engaged, and 50% more motivated”

[2]https://www.ohsrep.org.au/presenteeism#:~:text='Presenteeism'%20is%20the%20term%20given,can%20be%20a%20bigger%20problem.

[3] https://www.zenefits.com/workest/7-big-statistics-about-the-state-of-flexible-work-arrangements/

[4] https://hr.duke.edu/benefits/family-friendly/flexible-work-options/compressed-work-schedules#:~:text=A%20compressed%20work%20schedule%20allows,of%20five%208%2Dhour%20days.

[5] https://snacknation.com/blog/employee-wellbeing/#14_Encourage_Bike_to_Work_Days

Practical Proactive Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

February 9, 2021

Practical Proactive Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing includes physical and mental health and is a major concern for businesses. Research suggests healthier employees tend to be more productive employees[1]. Additionally, they also tend to turn up to work more often, often resulting in a lower rate of “absenteeism”. Ultimately, when employees are happier fewer will leave the business out of discontent, thus the flow on effects are lower costs of recruitment and training. On the flipside when workers are struggling with poor mental and physical wellbeing, harmful behaviours such as presenteeism can occur. Presenteeism refers to “sick workers who come to work and work at levels that are less than optimal”. Early research suggests that presenteeism may be a risk factor related to co-workers adopting less than optimal work attitudes, resulting in the infection of others with similar lacklustre working attitudes”[2]. These statistics are just some of the key reasons to address employee wellbeing before it becomes an issue in your workplace. Read on to learn more about how to implement proactive strategies in the workplace to improve your staff and colleagues long term wellbeing when at work.

1.    Build an environment of trust

There are many studies on trust in the workplace. It suffices to say that employees are more engaged and useful when they trust their boss. How can you introduce or affirm such a powerful human emotion? There are some ideas:

·       Avoid micromanaging by using software to allocate tasks and monitor progress

·       Be transparent by balancing constructive criticism with admitting vulnerability

·       Value employees as people and not production units. Make time for social engagement outside the workplace

 

2.    Flexible work arrangements

Flexibility is essential. When we are adaptable, we are in a good position to deal with unexpected, adverse events. Workplaces can be flexible; they can bend and change under pressure, not breaking, continuing to function. The wellbeing of employees will benefit from flexible work arrangements. In small businesses, a clear majority of employees consider flexible work arrangements more productive, more satisfying, and a significant criterion in their evaluation of future job opportunities[3]. There are several types of flexible work arrangements:

·       Remote work, which the online world has made more possible

·       Compressed work schedules[4]

·       Giving employees the freedom to structure their workdays and weeks

 

3.    A culture which values health

Businesses should signal and act on a belief that employee health is important. There are many examples:

·       Promote bike-to-work days

·       Incentivise preventive care, like flu-shots. It has been suggested to offer a small cash bonus, gift card, or giveaway to those who get the shot![5]

·       Organise stretching, yoga, or exercise as on-site breaks

·       Explore walking meetings and conversations

·       Contribute to gym memberships


[1]Jessica Pryce-Jones in her book “Happiness at Work” argues that happy employees are “180% more energized, 108% more engaged, and 50% more motivated”

[2]https://www.ohsrep.org.au/presenteeism#:~:text='Presenteeism'%20is%20the%20term%20given,can%20be%20a%20bigger%20problem.

[3] https://www.zenefits.com/workest/7-big-statistics-about-the-state-of-flexible-work-arrangements/

[4] https://hr.duke.edu/benefits/family-friendly/flexible-work-options/compressed-work-schedules#:~:text=A%20compressed%20work%20schedule%20allows,of%20five%208%2Dhour%20days.

[5] https://snacknation.com/blog/employee-wellbeing/#14_Encourage_Bike_to_Work_Days