It is true that when we think of wellbeing, we immediately lurch towards physical wellbeing as the source of achieving high levels of wellbeing. However research is increasingly showing that wellbeing is much more than just physical wellbeing.
77% of Australian workers said that ‘healthiness’ was a key feature of wellbeing, and 73% included ‘happiness’ in their expectations. From this response, we can see that physical programs are not viewed as paramount.
I have noted in the past, that for larger companies, it is easy to provide gym membership and fruit boxes and then say, ‘we are really good at wellbeing around here’. First and foremost, wellbeing starts with mental health, a strong sense of purpose and meaning along with relationships at work that are engaging and fulfilling.
Some solutions that you might like to consider that will add high value to your employees and their wellbeing are:
- Recognise poor or weak relationships that do not enhance a healthy mental state such as bullying, and address this.
- Often research has found leaving your desk for lunch increases wellbeing as workers get up and walk about or asks a colleague to join you for lunch.
- Set the expectation that it is better to speak with someone in the office than email them.
- If you are serious about standing out, try turning off the office server at 6:00 on Friday and on again on Monday morning. This is being trialled in Scandinavia countries and employees are raving about it as they no longer feel like they are always ‘on call’ A very positive work/life balance outcome.
- Put a good night’s sleep on your agenda, as a key indicator for a healthy workplace. Our research is clear, that high quality sleeping patterns lead to more productive and happier employees. It is no longer a badge of honour to sleep few hours.
Our research also indicated that 85% of employees believe employers should create an environment that proactively addresses stress at work. How are you proactively minimising stress at work?
Interesting, one company has engaged a choir leader to get employees together over lunch and sing which has led to amazing results.
In conclusion, while massage programs or nutritionists visiting the workplace are fads that have gripped some workplaces, what we know works every time is business leaders taking the time to recognise and value employees first. This involves giving them a clear sense of how they fit into the bigger story at work and provide them with realistic work expectations that encourages a healthy work/life balance. You will see a positive impact in employee retention and develop a healthier, productive workplace culture.