The modern workplace has evolved to be a realm of mindfulness and creativity. With the advent of the digital age, the days of mundane activities and repetitive tasks have become extinct. The modern office has given rise to a clutter-free work experience which involves automated tools and efficiency-improving functions.
However, the modern workplace is not devoid of any shortcomings either. With the added pressure to remain innovative, companies might strain their employees more. Hence, having a robust employee wellbeing program is vital for modern companies.
Let us understand the concept of employee wellbeing and its relevance in the modern workplace.
What is Employee Wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing refers to the concept of taking care of the emotional and physical well-being of the employees by their organisation. It involves formulating a well-researched and thought-out employee wellbeing strategy and implementing it throughout the company to ensure that the employees remain content with their company.
Modern workspaces have changed a lot due to digitalisation. Personal computers and laptops have replaced the clunky files of yesteryears. Similarly, offices are replacing the small cubicles with open spaces in the workplace that allow employees to socialise and improve team bonding.
Employers have also become more aware of their employees’ needs. The employees can work to their full potential when they are at the peak of their physical and mental health. Organisations have realised this fact and have started multiple employee wellbeing programs to improve the wellbeing of their staff. It also helps the employees realise their value for their company and stay with them for longer.
Recent research by Gallup discusses the following five pillars of employee wellbeing:
- Career: Contentment with the daily responsibilities
- Community: Connecting with others in one’s community
- Financial: Being financially secure
- Physical: Being healthy to undertake daily activities
- Social: Connecting with colleagues, family and friends.
The Importance of Employee Well being
Employee wellbeing programs provide multiple benefits for both the company and the employees. Let us discuss a few of them below.
If your employees are at their peak mental and physical health, they can accomplish their tasks with better efficiency. It leads to expedited daily work as well as better decision-making. Hence, we can infer that a more productive workforce ultimately helps improve the company’s overall performance, which would also reflect in its profits.
With improved productivity, the time consumed on daily tasks would be reduced, resulting in increased savings. Consequently, there is bound to be a rise in business profits. Hence, we can see that having a robust employee wellbeing program in place would ultimately lead to a more productive workforce and increased revenue generation for the company.
The employees of your company would be more eager to complete their tasks on time if their needs are met by their company. Having a robust employee wellness program helps them understand that their company values them; hence, they would be more than happy to reciprocate the same.
The employees of any organization would have several physical, mental and financial needs. With the help of robust and well-thought-out wellbeing programs, the employer can identify these needs and ensure they are met on time. It would increase the trust and loyalty of the employees to their company and ensure that they remain with the company for longer.
A significant advantage of having a robust employee wellbeing program is improved employer branding. The employees enjoying the benefits of these programs would become promoters of your organisation. Having such supporters improves your company’s reputation as an excellent workplace. As a result, it will start attracting better talent.
Hiring better talent improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the workforce, thereby improving the workplace image further. Hence, it becomes a cycle of better employees leading to a better workplace and a better workplace leading to better employees. It also ensures that your existing employees stay longer with your company.
We have already established that a company with a healthy employee wellbeing strategy would have a comparatively more productive workforce. With the help of a productive workforce, you will be able to create better products and experiences for your clients and customers.
With better experiences, your customers are bound to become promoters of your brand. Since every company wishes to have loyal customers, it is evident that employee wellbeing programs are the best option to improve employer branding and customer branding simultaneously.
Employees who have undergone the wellbeing programs understand its importance as they have experienced the change themselves. Additionally, they would be the company’s promoters since they recognise that their company values them and are ready to implement wellbeing programs for them.
The employees who understand their value for the company are also bound to stay longer with their organisation. Thus, deploying employee wellbeing programs also help in retaining talented employees for longer.
Also Read: Tips to increase employee retention rate
Implementing Wellbeing for your Employees
Following are some of the most crucial steps that you need to take to ensure that a robust employee wellbeing program is in place for your employees:
The first step toward implementing a successful employee wellbeing plan is analysing your current workplace requirements. You need to understand your employees’ pain points and try to find creative solutions to resolve their issues. They could suffer from burnout, work-life imbalance, lack of support, etc.
You can conduct surveys to understand the issues that your employees are facing and implement strategies to tackle those problems. For example, with the help of surveys, you would be able to realise whether your employees require a gift card or a therapy session to reduce their stress. Hence, understanding the workplace needs is the most essential step that you should take before implementing a wellbeing program.
The next critical step toward employee wellbeing is constant motivation and encouragement. Your managers and supervisors play a significant role in this step as they are the ones who interact with your staff on a personal level. Understanding your employees, their work habits and ethics, their boundaries, and their goals help tailor your wellbeing plans to appeal to them.
You should also ensure that your employees are recognized for their achievements with adequate rewards. Even a simple ‘Good Job’ could go a long way in impacting their morale. Conducting 1-on-1 meetings and providing constructive feedback to employees will also help them understand their relevance to the company, thereby proving to be encouraging for them.
Maintaining a work-life balance is not an easy task. However, it is essential from the employee wellbeing standpoint. Hence, HRs and managers should ensure that their employees get enough time off and vacation time. Additionally, one should keep a close watch on the workaholics in the company as they would be under too much unnecessary stress.
HR managers and supervisors can have luncheons in the workplace and team outings to develop and strengthen team bonding. Such recreational activities also help the employees unwind and develop meaningful friendships with their colleagues. It can also help them reduce their awkwardness with their colleagues and open up, thereby ensuring an atmosphere of friendliness and companionship within the team.
Mental wellbeing is a crucial aspect of employee well being since most of the work that the staff undertake nowadays requires creative use of their skills. Due to automation and digitalization, physical stress has reduced drastically, especially in the last decade. Hence, it is essential to develop and maintain an atmosphere of mindfulness in the organization.
By remaining mindful of their surroundings and others’ emotions, your employees become more empathetic towards their colleagues. Combined with a strong sense of belonging to a team, empathy becomes crucial in ensuring that the group remains cohesive. Hence, mental wellbeing is an essential aspect of employee well being, and any strategies should involve active steps to improve it.
Gratitude is an essential part of human culture. Showing gratitude toward others goes a long way in improving their morale and boosting one’s self-esteem. Hence, cultivating a gratitude culture is vital to employee wellbeing programs. It ensures that your employees remain grateful for the multiple opportunities they get to better themselves in your company.
By developing a gratitude culture, you can also recognize your employees’ achievements and highlight how their simple tasks ensure the smooth functioning of the company as a whole. It makes their life meaningful and creates a sense of purpose for their work. When they understand their relevance in the big picture, they will be more eager to accomplish their tasks on time.
We discussed the relevance of mental well being above. The physical well being of the employees is also equally important. Hence, employee well being programs should include tasks to maintain the physical well being of the workforce. Your workforce must be in good physical health as it will ensure they can come to the workplace and connect with their teammates.
Hence, companies with robust employee well being programs also undertake fitness challenges to ensure that their employees are physically healthy. Companies can implement a yoga or a meditation session into their daily routine and ensure that the employees turn up for the same with incentives and rewards.
It is clear from this discussion that employee wellbeing is a crucial aspect of employee satisfaction. Hence, it is an essential part of the modern workplace. The relevance of employee wellbeing is increasing with the rising need to keep employees engaged and satisfied with their companies in this digital age. Hence, the HR and managers need to brainstorm, ideate and formulate effective employee wellbeing strategies to ensure that the workforce remains with them for longer.