Most people spend the vast majority of their time in the following two places: their home and their workplace. Whilst employees must put extra effort and time into the workplace and ensure they bring value to their job and employer, the company is also responsible for each employee’s well-being as well as supporting the employee experience.
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is a term used to describe a worker’s physical, emotional and mental health in the workplace. Employee wellbeing can be achieved through initiatives that focus on the physical workplace, ergonomics, work-life balance, and mental health.
Employers must recognize that workplace well-being is a crucial aspect to maintain productivity in the workforce. Employees work harder when they are happy and feel productive in the workplace. The benefits go beyond improved performance. Happier employees tend to be healthier as well.
Three key factors that make up overall wellbeing:
1) Physical health – includes activity, nutrition and sleep;
2) Emotional health – includes stress management and happiness;
3) Workplace environment – includes manager effectiveness, supervisor support as well as trusting relationships among colleagues, and employment status
What is workplace productivity?
Workplace productivity is defined as the efficiency and effectiveness in which employees accomplish specific goals in the workplace. This is not only achieved through the work that they do, but also their general performance, efficiency and impact on business activities.
Increasing employee productivity is critical to the success of any business operation. Here is how:
How are productivity and wellbeing related?
Employee productivity is directly correlated with employee wellbeing. For instance, take this statistic from GoRemotely, which notes that employees who eat healthier are 25% more productive.
And it is not just nutrition, but activity as well. With 2.5 hours a week devoted to exercise, employee time management skills can rise by 72%. Employees who take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally are much more likely to perform at their best in the workplace, resulting in increased success for their managers and employers.
What can employers do?
As an employer, it is important to promote a healthy lifestyle among employees. Here are some ways to improve workplace wellbeing to increase productivity:
1) Manage Workplace Stress
Stress is one of the most significant contributors to decreased physical and mental well-being. For a business requiring high productivity levels which often results in elevated stress levels, clear guidelines must be created for each employee. These guidelines should emphasize expectations, set goals for performance, and project management. Expectations for each role ensures that jobs are completed in a timely manner and helps reduce and manage stress among employees.
Workplace stress should first be tracked. Employees should know their triggers and what sets them off. Beyond that, employees should develop healthy responses, healthy boundaries, and time off to recharge. Each employee’s supervisor should know they are dealing with stress and they should work with the employee to best handle it. If basic coping mechanisms aren’t working, then the employee needs to talk to a professional about their stress in the workplace.
2) Offer A Healthy Work Environment
Ensure a healthy and productive workplace by providing ergonomic equipment to keep aches and pains away. Provide regular workplace safety training for employees, so everyone is up-to-date with company policies, health and safety regulations and emergency response procedures.
3) Communicate Effectively
Meet with managers regularly for updates on progress, offer support where needed and be open to criticism as this helps to maintain positive relationships within the team. Managers should also encourage their teams to report problems such as bullying or harassment in the workplace.
4) Reward Excellent Performance
Positive reinforcements encourage workers to continue performing well. Rewards could be in the form of a pay rise, promotion or bonus. You can even include a personalized business thank you card. Plan out incentive programs in advance. Ensure there is a consistent system discussing performance in place, so that each employee knows how they are doing in their role. A consistent system should consist of regular employee reviews, frequent interactions between employees and their supervisors, and casual but consistent “check-ins”. All of these will help employees and their supervisors maintain a healthy system that rewards excellent performance.
5) Invest in Employees’ Health
Invest in health and well-being initiatives such as onsite activities like company gyms and sports clubs for fitness and fun. Ensure that vending machines are well-stocked with healthy snacks rather than sugary ones.
6) Encourage Social Interactions In Moderation
A collaborative team is a connected team. But a Hubspot study also notes that 89% of employees prefer to work alone to be more productive. Allow workers to work from home on occasion so they can get more work completed. During work hours in the office, ensure people who need to chat can do so in areas where they will not disturb others. At the same time, nurture relationships among employees through company-wide social events like summer parties, sports festivals and team offsites. Through these efforts, companies can proactively reduce workplace stress, foster trust, and help employees work together more efficiently.
7) Encourage Employee Growth
Helping employees develop is a great way to boost morale and encourage strong mental wellbeing. Implementing effective training and development programs for different skill sets and roles provides opportunities for staff members to learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities, making them feel valued within a business.
8) Utilize Technology
Technological advances help businesses evolve and grow. Technology, such as smartphones and tablets have made lives more efficient with the ability to communicate instantly without being tied down to an office desk. Today, thanks to technological advances, employees can work from home where they can actually reach a 14% increase in productivity, according to a recent study from Stanford University.
With the rise of virtual meetings, employees can meet anywhere at any time. Thanks to a variety of communication platforms, communication is always open and employees can be reached at nearly any time of the day or night. Businesses should use technology in ways that help them grow as a business and encourage employees to grow as individuals.
9) Ask Employees What they Need
It is important to gain the perspective of employees. Ask them what changes they would like to see in the workplace. Listen to their requests and suggestions for improvement and take on constructive criticism as this will help strengthen employee relationships and boost morale.
Workplace surveys offer employers an opportunity to better understand their employees and ensure that they’re getting the assistance they require in their roles.
10) Train Managers and Supervisors
The attitude of the management team greatly impacts employees’ stress levels. It is essential to train managers and supervisors as they are the first point of contact for employees. They should be fully trained on managing their team, supporting staff, and resolving conflicts in the workplace. Ensure that all managers are up-to-date with company policies, rules and regulations, and their responsibilities as a manager.
Workplace well-being is an increasingly important topic, particularly as work-related stress has become the primary cause of decreased productivity and absenteeism. Implementing positive changes, such as those mentioned above, to improve workplace well-being will benefit both the business and its employees, leading to increased productivity and building a stronger workforce.
Employers need to pay attention to their employees’ needs if they are going to maintain a happy and engaged workforce. Boosting employees’ mental health and wellbeing is vital to ensure business productivity. Companies that fail to prioritize this may soon feel the effects in their profits and turnover rate. Promoting a work environment where staff members feel valued, productive and happy can lead to better results across all aspects of the business.
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