Keeping a handle on how your employees function at work is becoming an increasingly difficult task. With the rise in technology, there are more distractions than ever before and employees can quickly become bogged down and stressed.
If we take a look at the state of work today, many employees are working from home permanently. As a result, they can feel isolated and detached from the workplace.
This is where workplace wellbeing comes in; it’s a way of ensuring that your employees are productive and content in their respective roles.
In this article, we will discuss workplace wellbeing in further detail, and take a deeper dive into different workplace wellbeing initiatives and programmes you could implement at your firm.
Let’s get everyone at the offices feeling great again!
Workplace Wellbeing Definition
So, what is workplace wellbeing?
Simply put, workplace wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy in your work environment. When employees feel good about their work life, they are more likely to be productive and work more efficiently on the whole.
There are many factors that contribute to workplace wellbeing such as job satisfaction, work/life balance, company culture, social interaction and physical environment.
It’s important to create a workplace where employees feel valued and appreciated. When employees feel like they belong somewhere, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
5 Initiatives to Improve Workplace Wellbeing
There are a number of initiatives you can put in place to improve workplace wellbeing. Below we will discuss 5 of the most popular workplace wellbeing initiatives in further detail.
1. Flexible working hours
Flexible working hours are a great way to promote a healthy work/life balance for your employees. It allows employees to work around their commitments outside of work and still get their work done.
Implementing this initiative can also help to reduce stress levels and improve the quality of work as employees won’t feel the need to rush or cram their work to hit deadlines.
This initiative is especially relevant to firms with employees working across borders.
It allows employees dotted around the world to work according to their local times — and ensures they don’t need to wake up at ungodly hours to work in someone else’s time zone.
2. Encourage social interaction
Social interaction is important for workplace wellbeing as it helps to build a sense of community and belonging. Employees who feel like they are part of a community are more likely to be motivated at work.
Initiatives to encourage social interaction can include:
- Team building days: book an interactive activity that encourages employees to communicate with each other.
- Hosting regular social events: this could be an after-work drinks event or a company picnic.
- Company outings: create opportunities for employees to bond with each other such as through volunteering days or organising group outings.
Whatever the activity, it’s important to find something that everyone can enjoy and that will promote team bonding.
3. Promote physical activity
Physical activity is not only good for employees’ physical health but also their mental health. When employees are physically active, they are more likely to feel happier and less stressed.
There are a number of ways you can promote physical activity in the workplace such as:
- Having a gym on site: this can be a pricey investment but is sure to pay itself off in the long run. Start small with a few machines and gym gadgets — and grow from there.
- Encouraging employees to take part in lunchtime or after-work sporting activities: having team fitness classes or holding company sports day are some great ways to get employees interacting with each other and build team morale.
- Making it easy for employees to be active during their workday: for example, by having standing desks or providing pedometers.
- Encouraging employees to take the stairs: this is a simple way to get employees moving and can be done without any investment. Simply putting up a sign can subconsciously change your employee’s decision.
- Having walking or running meetings: instead of sitting in a stuffy boardroom, take your meetings outside for a change of scenery. This will also help improve your team’s creative thinking.
4. Improve communication
Communication is key to a happy and productive workplace. When communication is poor, it can lead to misunderstandings, conflict and stress.
In order to improve communication within the workplace, you can try the following:
- Hold regular team meetings: aim for weekly catch-ups to stay up to date with your team. This ensures status updates are regular and your project stays on track.
- Encourage open communication: create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up and voicing their opinions. Make it clear to employees that speaking up is encouraged.
- Use technology to your advantage: use software tools like Slack or Zoom to stay connected with remote employees, as is the status quo in the working world today.
- Have a clear communication policy: this ensures all employees are on the same page when it comes to communication channels and etiquette.
5. Create a positive company culture
Company culture plays a big role in workplace wellbeing. Employees who feel like they fit in with their company are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Use the methods below to create a positive company culture:
- Having a clear vision and values: a company mission statement highlights the company’s vision and gives everyone an idea as to what is expected from them — no matter how junior or senior they are.
- Investing in employee development: employees who feel like they are developing and progressing in their career are likely to feel much better while at work. Offer training and development opportunities to help employees reach their full potential.
- Showing appreciation: employees that are appreciated are more positive and happy to be around. Show your appreciation through things like verbal thanks, awards, bonuses and company socials.
- Be friendly and approachable: Encourage an open-door policy and make yourself available to employees when they need you. Employees who can approach their managers with any issues are more likely to be content in the workplace.
Effects of Improving Workplace Wellbeing
When an organisation takes the time to improve workplace wellbeing, they will soon reap the benefits.
Some of the effects of improved workplace wellbeing include:
- Increased employee productivity: leads to employees being more efficient in their work and hence improves their company’s bottom line.
- Improved employee retention: happy employees are less likely to leave an organisation.
- Reduced absenteeism: fewer sick days taken as employees are physically and mentally healthier.
- Increased employee engagement: employees feel more connected to their work and are more likely to go the extra mile.
- Improved company culture: a more positive workplace culture attracts top talent and creates a better working environment for everyone.
Examples of Companies Improving Workplace Wellbeing
Some modern companies have improved their workplace wellbeing drastically through a number of initiatives. Let’s take a look at some example of these companies and how they did it.
Google is a company that takes workplace wellbeing seriously. They have a team of over 200 people who work on improving the wellbeing of their employees.
One way they do this is by providing free food. All Google employees have access to free breakfast, lunch and dinner, so they don’t have to worry about food and can rest assured that their company really does care about them.
They also have on-site medical staff and health services so employees can get the help they need quickly.
Finally, they offer a number of perks and benefits such as free massages, dry cleaning and gym memberships — all very attractive perks for any employee!
Amazon is another company that understands the importance of workplace wellbeing. They have a number of programmes in place to help their employees.
They offer benefits such as on-site childcare, health insurance and paid time off.
One particular programme that stands out is called ‘Pantry’ which provides free food and snacks for employees. They also have ‘Kindle’ which gives each employee a free Kindle e-reader loaded with books to help them relax.
Nike is a company that, understandably (!), appreciates the importance of employee fitness. They have a programme called ‘NikeFuel’ which tracks the physical activity of employees and gives them points they can use to redeem prizes.
They also have a number of on-site fitness facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and basketball courts. Employees can use these facilities for free during their lunch break or after work.
Additionally, Nike offers a number of perks such as health insurance, paid time off and tuition reimbursement.
The Bottom Line
Each organisation is different and will have unique workplace wellbeing needs. It’s important to assess your own workplace and decide which initiatives and programmes will work best for you and your employees.
Have a browse of the wellbeing initiatives employed by some of the industry leaders in the world, and use this as inspiration for improve your own companies wellbeing as much as possible.
Best of luck!