Employee Well-being: How and Why to Embrace It
Learn how you and your colleagues can promote and practice health and well-being.
As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, well-being is the state of being happy, healthy, and/or prosperous. A state of well-being can apply to any aspect of our lives, including professional, personal, spiritual, physical, and mental. As it applies specifically to employee well-being, we’re talking about how happy and satisfied you are with your job situation. This can include your workplace environment, the company, your schedule and compensation, work-life balance, and more.
These days, many employers are assuming a role in helping employees feel satisfied, fulfilled, and appreciated in their positions. Here we’ll discuss employee well-being and how you and your colleagues can embrace this aspect of overall health and wellness.
What is employee well-being?
Employee well-being occurs when employees are physically, mentally, and emotionally well-adjusted and healthy. They have positive attitudes and generally feel content at work. They also develop supportive relationships with their coworkers and are optimistic about their work lives and professional growth. These employees are dedicated and motivated and contribute to a healthy workplace culture.
By contrast, employees whose health and well-being are suffering may have negative attitudes and feel unfulfilled in their jobs. Often they will exhibit signs of stress or burnout. The good news: You can help support one another’s well-being and job satisfaction by participating in elements of an employee well-being strategy.
Why employee well-being matters
Employee well-being encompasses your mental health, physical health, and how satisfied you are with your professional and personal development. It also relates to your sense of emotional and financial well-being and security. When all of these needs are met, you’re likely to be more happy and well-adjusted. You contribute to a positive company culture and you are productive, which behooves everyone. Benefits of participating in strategies that improve employee well-being include:
- Improved attitude, engagement, and morale. Employees who feel well, happy, and satisfied with their own lives display increased cooperation with their coworkers and the business. They tend to be more mindful, attentive, kind, professional, and eager to help. This higher employee morale helps shape a positive working environment.
- Increased attendance. When employees’ health needs are met, they typically take fewer sick days. Hence, others aren’t overworked in an attempt to pick up the slack. This contributes to refined workflow and increased overall workplace well-being.
- Better stamina and productivity.
- Increased profit margins. Optimal productivity often translates to increased company revenue and reduced costs. Profits can then lead to higher employee compensation.
- Positive workplace culture. As health and wellness improve and workplace stress decreases, a more relaxed and engaging workplace culture may unfold. Better understanding, communication, respect, and cooperation all support employees and teams in achieving mutual goals.
- Improved employee retention. Don’t underestimate the appeal of a positive workplace culture that puts employee well-being at the top of the benefits list. It can help the company attract and retain quality talent and spend fewer resources on repeat cycles of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. In the absence of ongoing upheaval, chaos gives way to a more calm, cohesive, secure, and thriving workforce.
Employee well-being encompasses your mental health, physical health, and how satisfied you are with your professional and personal development. It also relates to your sense of emotional and financial well-being and security.
Ways you can help promote an employee health and well-being strategy
You can easily help support positive relationships and overall health and well-being at your job. Consider ways you can help promote new or existing initiatives for total well-being and more balanced lifestyle. For example:
Share company newsletters that feature relevant content. You might even consider contributing to it. Include graphics, words of encouragement, and links to relevant articles, videos, and other information that employees can actually use. Promote information and reminders about your company’s employee wellness program if you have one. Share health tips you receive from company health insurance plans, and tips for economic health from financial institutions, as well.
Promote well-being days and weeks
If you’ve ever researched mental health or taken part in therapy, you’ve probably heard about group therapy. There, a group of people get together to share experiences, ideas, and feedback. You can encourage this same concept in your workplace, unofficially dedicating certain days or weeks to wellness and health topics. During breaks, coworkers can share a recent challenge and how they overcame it. Or they can tell of current unsolved challenges, concerns, or questions and get feedback.
Attend guest speaker presentations
These could include professionals who come to your workplace, online presentations, or other forums for sharing ideas, tips, and insights on topics of interest.
Create a well-being space
Consider encouraging employees to co-create an informational space dedicated to health and well-being. Perhaps a small library of sorts. Encourage colleagues to share books on physical health, mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, stress reduction, and spiritual, professional, emotional, and mental health.
Inject fun. You’re likely familiar with cautionary remarks about “all work and no play.” Even schools have recesses to break up the day. Add bouts of reprieve to the workday with a few lighthearted incentives, accolades, or rewarding initiatives. Inject appropriate humor, levity, and encouragement with an occasional tasteful sign, quote or meme.
Be a model of health, wellness, and encouragement
Lead by example, modeling for others how they can combat burnout, restlessness, worry, and stress. As applicable, take advantage of perks like flexible work hours. Go out of your way to nurture supportive relationships and help fellow employees feel valued. Openly participate in company-sponsored employee well-being initiatives. Good leadership is contagious. Yours in this area may inspire or encourage managers and other team leaders to follow suit.
By promoting employee well-being, you can help increase employee engagement in the concept and support your teammates in their personal and professional lives. The company may benefit further if it adds specific wellness initiatives. Company-wide, results often include increasingly engaged employees, better work-life balance, lower stress levels, and improved attendance, job performance, and employee happiness. To make the most of well-being initiatives, offer to help human resources develop and execute a comprehensive employee well-being program.
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