Your organisation may take great pride in being a great place to work. However, even if your organisation has the best of intentions, the way you work may be detrimental to the health and well-being of your employees. Working conditions and the demands of the workplace are significant causes of stress for many Americans. Research has indicated that the workplace design can have considerable implications on employee well-being, health and healthcare costs and expenditures in general.
The good news for managers is that it is possible to reorganise work to promote well-being while also providing long-term advantages. Recent research, for example, suggests that strategically altering workplace conditions to promote worker well-being not only improves worker health but can also result in beneficial business outcomes such as improved job performance (including increased productivity) and lower levels of employee burnout as well.
How Can You Support Your Employees’ Health and Wellbeing At Work?
Encourage Preventative Care
The reasoning for this is straightforward: healthy employees perform better and are less likely to suffer from health conditions that necessitate time away from work. Furthermore, healthy employees are contented employees.
It is undeniable that stress harms a person’s overall health. However, to keep personnel healthy, it is necessary to consider the part the workplace plays in employees’ health.
When companies include positive behaviour changes as a component of an employee’s entire well-being rather than just physical fitness, they generally experience better outcomes.
Another method of bringing preventative care to your business is through in-office flu injections and vaccination clinics. There are no denying programs like this that require you to hire additional employees to administer flu vaccines to every one of your employees can be expensive. It has the potential to reduce the number of sick days taken each year significantly. It is possible that making preventative care available—and easy to access—for employees will be the solution to making your workplace more health-conscious and productive.
Access to HR and Involvement in the Company
Allowing employees to engage in workplace improvements can be a successful strategy for improving their overall well-being and productivity. Participants who have access to a structured procedure to identify and manage workplace problems were shown to have lower rates of burnout and higher levels of job satisfaction, this information is supported by evidence from the medical community. Staff who had the opportunity to problem-solve with their coworkers were also less likely to express a desire to leave their positions, which is a significant benefit for firms attempting to keep talented employees on board.
Make sure your HR department is up to date with whs training to assist employees in an empathetic and supportive manner that in turn fosters a healthy working environment that allows employees to feel heard and valued and have their concerns taken seriously.
Provide Healthy Food
Does your organisation provide a cafeteria for its employees? Less healthy food options can be replaced with healthier alternatives. While the food may initially be more expensive, the return on investment is well worth it.
Companies that do not have cafeterias may want to explore providing meals during the day as a perk for their hard-working team members as an alternative. In addition, you can provide discounts and gift cards to health food stores or order corporate snack boxes instead of the standard fast food or chain restaurants to encourage people to eat healthier.
It goes without saying that if employees don’t have much time to go out of the office for lunch, it’s easy for them to fall into the trap of eating fast food. Encourage staff to choose a dish that is both healthy and heavy in protein, such as a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich.
You can also encourage staff to bring their lunches to work to avoid the temptation of ordering takeout. Providing salads, high protein foods such as chicken, fruit, grilled meals and low-fat snacks are great alternatives to fattier, fried foods and convenience meals.
Encourage employees to bring their own nutritious lunch to work, and you’ll reap a variety of benefits. Employees save money and time while simultaneously improving their health by consuming nutritious meals.
Retain Appropriate Staffing Levels
According to research, excessive job expectations — such as working long hours or being under pressure to perform extremely hard or very quickly — can significantly negatively impact an employee’s health and well-being. In reality, multiple studies have discovered that excessive demands combined with poor control result in increased health risks, such as greater rates of depression symptoms, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, among other things.
Employers pay a high price when fatigued or ill employees burn out, are absent, or quit their jobs. Increasing the number of employees to spread out the demands may appear to be a costly endeavour, but it is not. One possible answer is to change staffing in a targeted manner; for example, one study found that when doctors were given a medical scribe trained to take over some of their charting chores, their efficiency and job satisfaction increased.
Encourage Time Off
Employees can’t give their all constantly without becoming fatigued and feeling emotional and physical pain as a result. By allowing your team members to unwind during the day, you allow them to heal, regain their focus, and return to work with even greater passion. While at work, employees can take a quick power nap, participate in a fitness class, eat a healthy snack, or catch up with their coworkers.
Downtime is beneficial to employee well-being, but it is also essential to the organisation’s overall functioning. According to a study conducted by the McKinsey Company, organisations with linked employees experience a 20-25 per cent increase in production.
What does this tell us about ourselves? Work to the bone is unproductive, so it is better to make leisure and relaxation a part of its overall philosophy and culture.
When it comes to supporting your employee’s wellbeing, you need to look at the bigger picture and improve your working environment to support their growth and give them the tools they need to stay healthy to allow them to perform to their potential.