How to support employee well-being in the workplace

How to support employee well-being in the workplace

Although it can be beneficial to have a separation between work and home, it's unrealistic for many employees in today's society. This is due to increased remote work capabilities and technology that allows workers to check emails and complete tasks during nonworking hours or outside the workplace. Because of this, employers need to understand how to support employee well-being in the workplace to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The first step in supporting employee well-being is understanding what it means and why it's important. Here, we'll go over the aspects of employee well-being, the advantages of investing in it, and how to create an employee well-being plan that helps you promote a healthy work environment that extends into other parts of an employee's life.

Why is employee well-being important?

Employee well-being is important because employees want stability in the workplace, and ensuring your company prioritizes this can help you give them exactly what they desire. When employees feel their company cares about them not just as an employee but as an individual, they tend to stay longer with that organization and be more productive. Workers doing their job with a positive attitude can have an uplifting effect on the entire company. If people feel good about coming to work, there's less absenteeism and less employee turnover. This can result in higher productivity and an increase in growth.

What aspects does employee well-being cover?

Employee well-being encompasses various aspects of a person's life. The work environment plays a significant role because a person's job is a major part of their everyday life. It affects their mental, physical, and financial well-being. Let's explore the details of what each area of overall employee well-being covers and how you can support these factors in the workplace:

Physical health

Physical health means taking care of your body by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating right. Employees in good physical health tend to feel better, leading to higher efficiency at work. They also show up to work more often, further helping with productivity. 

At your workplace, you can implement exercise breaks, provide gym memberships, or form groups that do physical activities, such as hiking or biking. Promoting good eating and sleeping habits is another part of physical health, and a company that educates on and encourages healthy eating habits can see an improvement in the health of its staff.

Mental health

An employee's mental health is important because it affects how they handle issues with other employees, managers, and customers and how well they complete job-related tasks. A manager can't control what happens in a person's life outside the workplace, but they can directly impact employees' mental health

Creating a workplace where employees feel safe and understand their value improves mental health because it demonstrates you care about the people who work for your company.

Emotional health

Emotional health means feeling happy and satisfied at work and in life. With depression and anxiety rising, emotional health is becoming the focus at many organizations. 

Having a counselor or someone in your HR department who can help employees struggling emotionally shows you care and gives your employees a way to vent frustrations and discuss issues they may have. Working through problems leads to a stronger, more capable employee better prepared to handle similar situations independently.

"When employees feel their company cares about them not just as an employee but as an individual, they tend to stay longer with that organization and be more productive."

Financial health

Your company provides a paycheck for its employees, which directly contributes to their financial health. A person who struggles to pay their bills will have a harder time focusing on work than someone who lives comfortably on their salary. 

You can help alleviate employees' financial stresses by giving them a competitive salary. Providing a fair benefits package that includes dental and vision coverage can also help with financial stability for your employees. Try offering vacation time and sick leave so employees can take time off to relax or recover without financial worry.

Career health

Career health involves challenging an employee so they retain an interest in their role, offering training and advancement opportunities, and ensuring they understand their options for personal growth within the company. 

Giving your employees a chance for internal promotion and advancement and the guidance they need to reach their career goals can increase worker satisfaction and improve long-term staff retention, reducing the need to recruit, hire, and onboard new employees. Good career prospects can improve health in other aspects of your employees' lives.

Social health

Having a healthy social life is important to overall well-being. Talking with others and sharing ideas and opinions can improve how you feel about your own life. Listening to the struggles and accomplishments of others can help you overcome your challenges to succeed. 

Provide your employees with opportunities to socialize outside of the workplace as well as at work. Ensure the social time is separate from their jobs, meaning collaborating on a project doesn't count. Have a potluck, for instance, where everyone brings a dish and all employees take a break to eat together at once. You could also organize a company bowling league or baseball team. When your employees become acquainted outside of work, they may have a better relationship at work.

Community health

Like social health, community health plays a role in a person's well-being. People want to live in safe neighborhoods with good schools. They prefer areas with low crime rates and plenty of entertainment. Employees who leave work feeling just as positive about where they're going as they do about their workplace are more likely to demonstrate stability and a desire to grow. 

Do things at your company to promote a healthy community, such as hosting a trash cleanup day or raising money for a local charity. These things show you care about the place your employees call home.

What are the benefits of focusing on employee well-being?

When your company focuses on employee well-being, it could experience many benefits. Some of the advantages of putting employee well-being first include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Higher employee morale
  • Less absenteeism
  • Lower use of mental health services
  • Better company reputation

How to create and implement an employee well-being plan

Every company is different, and so are the people who work there. That's why you should tailor your employee well-being plan to meet the needs of your business and employees. Of course, you could start with a broad framework that covers the basics and adjust it to meet the requirements of your unique employees and business model. Here's an example:

  • Start by taking a survey to determine where your employees stand with their well-being and where they may need help. 
  • Once you know your employees' needs, you can use the survey answers as a guide to implementing strategies that meet them, such as offering a personal day in addition to other days off. 
  • Finally, ensure your employees know the services and options you provide and how they can take advantage of them when required.

Recruiting and hiring the right people for your team is part of running a successful business. You also need to consider how to support employee well-being in the workplace for the people you bring to the team. When you have the right people in the right frame of mind, there's no limit to the growth your company can achieve. Let CareerBuilder help you make your business soar.

Learn more about creating a healthy workplace for your employees:

Keep your employees engaged by asking the right questions on your employee engagement surveys

Use these 10 ideas during interviews and with employees to support good mental health.

Consider using work quality examples to gauge an employee's performance.

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