During these difficult times for the whole world, it’s an even bigger struggle for organizations to keep their valuable employees happy and present. Better health insurance plans, various fun and engaging activities, new fancy benefits at the office, and more are done to improve the employee well-being in hopes of avoiding the issues that might arise from their burnout. After all, employee health and well-being are two critical factors for a successful business.
However, many organizations and their HR still need to learn about the importance of employee well-being and how to improve it. In this article, we’ll explore what employee well-being is, its importance for organizations and HR departments, and the best ways to improve it.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What is Employee Well-Being
Let’s start with the simple definition of employee well-being: Employee well-being is the state of mental and physical health, happiness, and satisfaction of your employees within the workplace.
It includes personal and organizational factors, each contributing to an employee’s well-being.
Personal factors include an employee’s physical and mental health, work-life balance, stress levels, and ability to cope with challenges. It involves aspects such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress effectively, and having a positive mindset.
On the other hand, organizational factors refer to the positive work culture, policies, and practices that promote employee well-being in the workplace. These include factors such as fair and respectful treatment, safety, opportunities for growth and development, work flexibility, a supportive work environment, and access to resources such as employee assistance programs or wellness initiatives.
You don’t need to be a genius to realize that all those factors are the root of high performance and engagement in the workplace. The positive outcome of those factors is more visible if we look at the basic employee-wellness statistics, according to which 70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs reported higher job satisfaction than those who did not.
Why Employee Well-Being Matters for HR
Employee health and well-being are the core of every business, whether it’s a huge organization or a small startup. The people at your company are the moving force behind every product, service, and project. Therefore their mental, physical, and economic state is directly linked to their performance at work.
If your employees are satisfied with those aspects, your organization will grow, if they are not, the chances of getting bigger are small for the organization: yes, it’s simple as that.
We’ve tried to make a list of the main aspects that are positively influenced by employee well-being, so you can have a clear understanding of how it impacts your business:
- Improved Productivity: Employees in good physical and mental health are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work. They experience fewer distractions, have higher energy levels, and can focus on tasks more effectively. By investing in employee well-being, businesses can create a work environment that boosts productivity and enables employees to perform at their best without worrying about other aspects of their life and workplace.
- Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism: With high stress levels comes more sick leaves or absentees, so by supporting employee well-being, businesses can help prevent health issues, manage stress, and create a culture that encourages employees to take time off when needed. This, in turn, reduces absenteeism and ensures that employees are present and engaged during working hours. Moreover, this way, employees will be more motivated to actually want to come to their workplace, thinking of it as a space where they not only work but have fun and forget their daily problems.
- Better Performance and Higher Job Satisfaction: Think of it this way, if a tree is taken care of, it gives the most delicious fruit. The same goes for employees; when they feel valued, supported, and cared for at their workplace, they are more likely to return the gesture and give their all. As a result, they will be more committed to their work, go the extra mile, and contribute positively to the organization’s success.
- Increased Income: The financial performance of a business is closely tied to employee well-being. It contributes to cost savings and greater efficiency. Investing in employee well-being can yield long-term economic benefits and add to the overall success and growth of the business.
- Employee Retention: Employee retention is a critical concern for businesses, and employee well-being plays a vital role in retaining top talent. High turnover can be costly in terms of recruitment, training, and loss of knowledge. By prioritizing employee well-being, businesses can create a culture that attracts and retains talented individuals, as well as reduce turnover rates in the workforce. Long story short, if you want the valued employees to stay, then, well, keep them!
- Brand Reputation: Last but not least, employee well-being also contributes to the brand reputation of a business. When organizations genuinely care about the well-being of their employees, it creates a positive image in the eyes of customers, partners, and the broader community. A strong reputation for prioritizing employee well-being can attract top talent, enhance customer trust, and differentiate the business from competitors.
How to Improve Employee Well-Being
To improve employee well-being, HR needs to create a healthy workplace culture. But how to do that in the most effective way? Here are some of the best steps every organization, especially HR departments, can take to get a brilliant result.
Provide Work-Life Balance: Employees have a life too, and coming to the office is not their only pursuit. A good work-life balance will help them breathe and not get overwhelmed in their workplace. It will also raise their responsibility level and motivate them to do their best during their working hours. You can improve this balance by offering your employees flexible working hours and compressed workweeks, encouraging them to take their allotted vacation time, providing additional leave options such as parental leave, personal days, or one day off for each employee every one or two months, and in short – building a culture that discourages a constant “workaholic mentality.”
Support Mental Health: Working in a tense environment is never to anyone’s advantage. In fact, it can fully destroy the employer-employee relationship, damage the mental health of your team, and result in irrevocable consequences. This is why improving the mental health of your employees is one of the most critical steps you should take without a second thought. You can do it by providing resources and information on mental health services available to them, such as confidential counseling services, promoting open communication, empathy, understanding, and equality regardless of gender, race, and other aspects, etc.
Support Physical Health: Especially when working at the office, sitting in front of the computer most of the day is about to mess up their physical health, and later the mental one too. To avoid this, you can offer wellness initiatives such as gym memberships, yoga sessions, and other activities to engage your employees in physical activities. You can also ensure they have adjustable and comfortable chairs, proper lighting not to damage their eyes, massage armchairs, and other equipment to reduce the risk of physical strain or injuries. Another way to support the physical health of your employees is by getting them access to regular check-ups, health screenings, and necessary vaccinations. An advanced health insurance plan is another way to show you care about your employees, besides it’s one of the main benefits almost all employees pay attention to when being hired.
Grant Career Development Opportunities: A place where you can grow is always a place you want to stay at. Offer career development and self-growth opportunities to your employees because it’s not only a way for them to grow but also to use it in your favor. You can help them enhance their skills through training programs, conferences, workshops, business trips, mentorship programs, or online courses.
Motivate Through Awards: Everyone needs help finding the motivation to do even the simplest tasks. Sometimes a person only needs a slight nudge from someone to go on, and you can definitely be that person for your employees. That nudge can be regular constructive employee feedback or recognition and appreciation for employees’ efforts and achievements through awards.
Many organizations motivate their employees and build a recognition culture by using employee engagement software like Lucky Carrot. With Lucky Carrot, peer-to-peer recognition and constant motivation are one click away. It helps organizations and individuals acknowledge their employees and teammates by sending them virtual carrots with an instant click. The carrots can later be redeemed into prizes of different kinds, such as gift cards, specific awards, etc. It’s not only an effective way to motivate your employees but also make the whole process fun for everyone.
You can learn more about building a strong and fun recognition culture through Lucky Carrot by clicking the button below!
As stated throughout our article, employee well-being should be of utmost importance for organizations and especially HR departments as it directly impacts the success and growth of a company. By prioritizing employee well-being, companies can create a positive work environment that leads to increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, better financial performance, employee retention, and a strong brand reputation.
There are various ways you can improve employee well-being, and by implementing the strategies mentioned above, HR departments and CEOs can create a supportive and thriving work environment that puts the well-being and success of their employees first. Remember that investing in employee well-being is a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization, so there’s nothing to lose.
Ready to improve your employee well-being and take it to new heights? Lucky Carrot is here to help you take the first step!