Wellness in the workplace is something of a hot topic at the moment. More employers than ever are realising the importance of taking good care of their staff. With most people spending around a third of their lives at work, it’s paramount that employers take their employees’ wellness seriously.
However, it appears that employers still need to invest more in wellness in the workplace. According to Resume-Library research, an overwhelming 77.8% of professionals don’t believe that enough workplaces are supportive of mental health in particular.
Ultimately, ill-health costs companies, whether this is through sick days or a decrease in staff productivity. Although investing in wellness in the workplace might seem complicated, it will pay off in the long run. This guide aims to help you figure out where to begin.
Keep In Touch
Investing in wellness doesn’t have to be limited by a budget. As a manager, you’ll be a crucial point of contact for employees who are struggling. It’s your duty to lead by example and show support to those who need it.
You need to ask yourself if you’ve left lines of communication open. Adopt an ‘open-door policy’. Are you approachable and helpful? Can employees come to you if they’re under stress or can’t cope with their workload?
Investing your time in your employees can be more beneficial than any other wellness initiative. Keep an eye out for employees who might be going through a hard time. Regularly checking in with them to make sure they’re ok will go a long way.
If your staff feel that their employer fosters a culture of caring, they’re more likely to feel well-supported and have a positive attitude toward their workplace.
Do You Allow Mental Health Days?
Whilst sick days are considered standard practice, many employers are still dismissive of ‘mental health days’. Essentially, this means allowing employees to take a day off when they feel overwhelmed or stressed out by work.
Yet, many employers still hold a short-sighted view that taking days out for mental health will have a negative impact on company productivity. In reality, it’s actually counterproductive to have employees in the office who aren’t feeling up to the day ahead of them.
Allocating a certain number of mental health days a year will send a powerful message that you’re invested in employee wellbeing. It’ll also save your staff the panic of having to make up an alternative excuse to get the time that they need off work.
Mental health days won’t only benefit employees, but the quality of your company output. Members of staff will return to work feeling refreshed and far more productive.
Give your employees the tools to learn about their wellness like you would with any other subject. To do this, start by asking what they would like to learn about through an anonymous employee survey.
Then, proactively respond to their suggestions by arranging seminars on how to deal with the topics in question. This can be led by a management team, or other professionals. Popular topics might include how to deal with stress and pressure, as well as performance and resilience training.
Alternative topics could include meditation and mindfulness. Although meditation has become a bit of a buzzword in workplaces, it’s proven to be effective in reducing stress. It works toward promoting positivity, focus and clearer thoughts and emotions.
By providing a wide range of seminars and training sessions, you’ll demonstrate to employees the importance of taking wellness seriously. Developing the personal skills of employees as well as professional will create a well-rounded and healthy workforce.
Educate on Nutrition
We’ve all been told since we were children – ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Having a healthy diet will improve how you feel on the inside. This is something you should remind your employees of.
Especially if your team are struggling to meet a tough deadline, it’s easy to forget to eat properly. A bad diet can decrease energy levels, leaving employees feeling tired and lethargic. Small changes around the office, such as free fruit, will help employees to avoid illness and improve productivity levels.
Also, if you have a staff canteen, be sure to include healthy options (not just pasta and fries!) You can’t force employees to eat healthily, but you can definitely give them the option.
Americans only receive 10 vacation days on average a year, compared to their European counterparts (who receive between 20 and 30 on average). It’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees are taking these days off and not forfeiting them.
Vacation days are necessary for recuperating and rejuvenating. If employees feel pressurised to work 24/7, they’re likely to suffer from burn-out.
You can also encourage employee wellness in the workplace by creating initiatives that celebrate holidays. Whether you decide on pumpkin carving, Yankee Swap, or wreath decoration, temporary distractions from work will bring everyone together and boost morale.
Not everyone’s born to be an exercise fanatic and it can be hard to get into the swing of things. However, encouraging employees to work out and generally get moving might be one of the best initiatives you can push.
As well as its obvious physical health benefits, exercise is proven to get endorphins flowing and be a massive mood booster. You don’t even have to have a gym built into your building to push this initiative. Simply promoting walking meetings, team sports or group yoga at lunch time will get employees moving onto a healthier lifestyle.
If you’re feeling really eager about exercise in the workplace, you could even invest in ‘deskcise’, which would allow employees to pedal while working. The creator of this invention swears that the increased blood flow to the brain maximises productivity. However, if you follow our tips, hopefully this won’t be necessary!
Are You Investing Enough in Wellness in Your Workplace?
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a million and one ways to improve wellness in the workplace. The best methods, however, will resonate with employees and engage them.
If a wellness programme is successful, then your employees will gradually start to make healthier choices for themselves. The best thing you can do is to offer continual support and encouragement. Good luck!