How Companies Are Incorporating Wellness Into the Flow of Work
Employee wellbeing has climbed the priorities' list at most organizations around the country since the pandemic. The devastation caused by Covid-19 and the disruption it caused for businesses and individuals have created heightened awareness for the mental health of employees.
As leaders seek to continuously improve their employee experience to attract and retain talent, wellness has become a vital consideration for business success.
Here are some fresh ideas on what companies can do to better incorporate wellness into their workflow.
The Perks of Happiness
There's a lot riding on employee well-being. Happy, healthy employees take pleasure in their work and achieving milestones, which helps drive productivity and innovation. It also supports a stronger culture and team morale in general, which can boost the bottom line.
When employees feel that a management team cares about them, they feel energized and will do more to complete the work faster, said Ravi Swaminathan, CEO and co-founder of Palo Alto, Calif.-based TaskHuman. In addition, the work completed is often done at a higher value.
"Companies today must take a holistic approach to employee benefits," he said. By investing in employees' mental wellness, companies stand to gain in several other aspects of the business. For instance, Swaminathan said, organizations may experience reduced turnover costs because employees are less likely to leave when they feel safe and happy in their roles.
A wellness program is also an important part of any brand marketing strategy. How employers treat their employees has become a significant factor in a company's reputation, and those notorious for poor employee treatment are making headlines across the country.
In today's workplace, reputation often dictates the quality of the talent a company can recruit, which in turn affects sales and revenues, so leaders should put a premium on establishing valuable well-being benefits.
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4 Wellness Ideas to Improve Employee Experience
There are many ways to make wellness a key component of a company's benefits program, but here are four fresh takes to help get you started.
1. Four-Day Work Week
Many employers are participating in a four-day workweek trial in the US and UK, as well as in Japan and New Zealand. The results of these have so far shown significant benefits for companies. Microsoft Japan, for instance, reported increases of 40% in productivity levels, with 63% of participating firms who say they found it easier and cheaper to recruit talent.
Another benefit of a four-day working week is that it gives employees more time to recuperate from work and take part in various home tasks and family gatherings. Having a more balanced work-life schedule tends to make for happier employees who, in turn, are likely to be more loyal to the company.
2. Remote and Flexible Work
Many employees are enjoying the perks of working from home a few days a week, making them happier and more productive in most instances. Meanwhile, organizations are realizing significant savings by eliminating steep overhead costs.
Companies that aren't ready to go fully remote may find a great compromise in flexible work, where employees choose the days/times they come into the office. Flexible working is a great option that helps reduce stress.
"We've found that flexibility is key to promoting the mental well-being of employees," said Leslie Tarnacki, the SVP of human resources at Livonia, Mich.-based WorkForce Software. As a result, the company has implemented many initiatives to improve employee well-being, including flexible breaks and other times away from the desk.
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3. Two-Way Communication
Much has been written recently about the benefits of transparency and honesty in communications. Employees today want to feel like their opinions matter and that their experience is taken into consideration when leaders make decisions that impact their day-to-day.
To implement healthy, two-way communication systems, managers must create feedback loops. Simply listening to employees without taking action on their ideas is a poor strategy that is likely to backfire. Instead, leaders and managers should seek to give staff more purpose and involvement in their work.
4. Add Well-Being Goals
Adding well-being goals to performance reviews is another way to ensure wellness is considered by everyone at the company. Asking managers to review, with their direct reports, how employees are managing their time, are they looking after themselves at work, and do they have the resources to successfully manage their work in a healthy environment, for instance, are great ways to get the pulse on what may be developing.
These options are not just the manager's responsibility; they are also the staff's responsibility. Employees should feel comfortable talking with their managers about anything they may need to make them feel safer, healthier and happier in the workplace.
About the Author
Kaya Ismail is a business software journalist and commentator with years of experience in the CMS industry.