Wellbeing at work is at an all-time high. The benefits (to the business too) are endless and it’s much more than the latest trend – it’s an excellent business strategy. This bandwagon is definitely worth jumping onto.
In fact, various research over the years has concluded that a healthy workforce is a happy workforce and that wellbeing at work has a direct impact on staff turnover, employee absenteeism and productivity.
So what is it that improves employee wellbeing at work? Is it the colourful beanbags in the reception area? The snooker table in the boardroom, perhaps? The baskets teeming with fresh fruit every morning? Sure! All this helps, but to achieve true employee wellbeing, you need to dig a little deeper. Here are 6 ways which can help your organisation boost wellbeing at work:
1. Praise and Recognition
Say ‘Thank you’ and ‘Well done’ more often! Perhaps this is obvious, and yet still so underestimated. It’s easy to integrate it into the company culture and contributes to employee satisfaction, engagement and a general positive working environment. Appreciation goes a long way!
We spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families, and a friend at work makes it a happier place to be. Having friends at work means you can have a laugh or vent or even find it easier to ask for help, decreasing stress and anxiety. On the other hand, many of us know how toxic it can be to have an enemy amongst colleagues. If your employees are friends, collaboration and communication are improved, making the team work to the best of its ability and also contributing to employee retention.
3. Personal Development
Naturally, people want to progress in life and the feeling of being stuck in a dead-end job is hardly conducive to productivity. Promoting personal and professional development is a great way to keep employees engaged and more fulfilled at work. Encourage them to write out their own development plan and have regular appraisals to help them keep on track. As a result, they feel that they are following their path and that their workplace supports their growth.
This increases employee wellbeing in so many ways. In fact, giving employees the flexibility to work from home means that they can have a better work-life balance, leaving time for exercise and family, which is key to stress reduction. Furthermore, allowing employees to manage their time without being micro-managed helps them to feel supported in their personal lives, adding to job satisfaction.
This ties in somewhat with flexibility. Trusting employees increases their confidence in their own work, thus increasing motivation and also encouraging accountability at the same time. Trust employees to take part in decision making, to speak up in important meetings and to have control over the way they work and you can be sure that they will feel connected and engaged.
6. Office Design
As mentioned above, visually appealing offices are great to work in and do help, but the novelty can wear off pretty quickly. However, this is not to say that office design has no place in the world of wellbeing. Various research has shown that greener offices have happier employees and many larger organisations are redesigning offices with employee health at the heart of it. Things like natural light, ventilation, acoustics and greenery (whether indoor plants or a view of nature) all affect employee concentration and production levels.
Besides all this, possibly the most important factor to help boost wellbeing at work is: Know your People. See who they are and learn what they need. Yes, it may take time but ultimately, they are at the heart of your company and can help give that competitive advantage. It may be an investment well worth making!