Workplace wellbeing

December 17, 2019
Business

Workplace wellbeing encapsulates the working life of employees within a business and looks to understand their overall wellbeing and satisfaction. It takes into consideration many aspects of office life and evaluates whether there is an opportunity to adapt processes, company structure or ethos to improve the wellbeing of employees. A happy workforce is paramount for business success; unhappy employees can lead to lower retention rates, less productivity and ultimately, it poses a risk to your company.

There are many things a business can do to achieve positive workplace wellbeing through a range of activities, strategies or company-wide changes that aim to improve the working life of employees.

What affects wellbeing at work?

Many internal and external factors determine the wellness of staff, and while employers may not have control over aspects in the personal life of an employee, there are focus areas that can be targeted to help alleviate some of the stressors they’re experiencing. Here are some of the primary focus areas that a business should consider if they’re assessing employee wellness:

Leadership and management

The style of leadership and management plays a vital role in the wellbeing of employees across the company. If a leadership style is having a negative impact on staff, it can lead to high employee turnover and job dissatisfaction for those being led. If your employees do not agree with their leader, or their leader has a negative impact as opposed to a positive one, it can lead to fallouts and disarray amongst employees.

Communication

If an organisation isn’t communicating effectively across all departments and levels, it can lead to a disjointed operation and results in a lack of team cohesiveness. Positive communication can help to boost morale, efficiencies and help team members to feel like they’re involved with what the company is achieving. Touching on the leadership styles above, a poor leader will not communicate effectively, which can further fuel a negative relation between employees and management.

Health and fitness

The benefits of exercise translate into higher employee performance and wellbeing. Someone who is regularly active will benefit from increased bodily functions, more energy and improved productivity. However, it can be difficult for employees to afford regular access to fitness clubs, or find the time to visit them alongside their working hours.

For this very reason, many companies are looking towards in-house fitness solutions to improve the wellbeing of their employees. It’s easy for them to access alongside their regular job, it can be offered as an employee benefit and, by offering health and fitness facilities, you can help to improve and support the mental health of your employees.


Employees-Planning-Strategies-Workplace-Wellbeing

The working environment

The working environment, which is everything from lighting to furnishings around the office, have an impact on your employees. The layout of an office will affect how your employees work, and ultimately their satisfaction during office hours. If you’re trying to create an environment where communication and productivity can thrive, an open office plan that encourages employee interaction would be beneficial. However, if an employee has a job that demands high-concentration, this style wouldn’t necessarily work for them.

Work/life balance

Although employers cannot have a direct impact on the personal life of the workforce, the two are closely interlinked. If an employee has a poor balance, then their personal life can suffer, which then harms their performance. There are many HR trends and initiatives that are being widely implemented to combat this, and the results are often increased productivity, happier employees and increased retention. As an example, the following changes can be introduced to accommodate an employees work/life balance


  1. Working from home - if your employees are able to complete their work outside of the office, offering them the chance to work from home means less time for them spent commuting, money spent on travelling, time away from home and it can give them a break from the office environment.
  2. Flexible working hours - does an employee's work need to be completed within set hours? If not, offering the chance to work flexibly gives them more control over where they spend their time. As an example, an employee with children may wish to start earlier and finish earlier to accommodate the school run. This alleviates some of the stressors of their lives, and it can be seen as an employee benefit, helping to build a positive relationship between them and the company.
  3. Leniency over appointments - as an employer, how strict are you on employees when they take appointments such as dental, doctors or others? Allowing them the freedom to take personal appointments around their working hours is another way to balance their personal and working life. This can be extremely effective when paired with flexible working hours, as if an employee does take time away from work, they can make it up on another day that suits them.
  4. Holiday allowance - as much as everyone would like more holiday, it can become costly to a business. Ultimately, how much holiday allowance your employees has depends on the profitability of the company, but have you considered giving employees the option to purchase extra holiday? Again, it gives them the flexibility to accommodate their personal life around their working life if needed, and it means the business won't suffer from the improved offering.
  5. Staff benefits - staff benefits are great for attracting employees, keeping them happy while they’re employed and having a competitive advantage over other companies who may be after your talent. Initiatives such as allocating employees a car allowance to offset some of the personal cost, offering on-site gym facilities to encourage physical activity at a reduced/zero cost, and even ideas such as offering free fruit or meals can all have a positive impact on an employees wellbeing.

Support services

An employee who feels unsupported will likely experience negative wellbeing at work, especially if they’re the type of person who needs support to perform well. Every employee is different, so you should cater to each individual in the way that best supports them. If you’re not sure, have a conversation to understand what actions can be taken.

Examples of support can be counselling services that are offered to employees who are experiencing something negative in their life (remember, work-life balance is crucial to facilitate employee wellbeing at work). Mentoring is also another form of support, and it focuses on having another employee guide them through their job, allowing the opportunity to discuss their role with someone outside of their department.

Employees-Working-Flexibily

Role satisfaction

If an employee isn't satisfied with their role, meaning the tasks and their place within the company isn't leaving them with a positive feeling, they'll likely have a negative experience at work. There are a few indicators as to why someone may not be satisfied, and one of the most effective ways to understand this is to ask employees questions regarding their role, such as the following:


  1. Do they feel overqualified for their job?
  2. Is the work they do monotonous and boring?
  3. Is the work too difficult for them; it is causing stress or leading to negative results?
  4. Are they engaging within their time during the work?
  5. Are there sufficient opportunities for growth or training?
  6. Are they passionate, or does everything seem like a chore?
  7. Do they consider the work they're doing as one of their strength areas, or do they have skills in other areas they think are being wasted? What opportunities would they like?

If they're not satisfied, being flexible within a company to move them to another department or change what they're involved in can have positive results, and it shows you care and are willing to listen to your employees' problems.

Understanding your workplace wellbeing

Now that we've discussed some of the factors that come into play when talking about workplace wellbeing, how can you, as an employer, understand the current happiness or employees? 


  1. Do you have a high staff turnover?
  2. What is the general mood of the team/workplace
  3. Has something negatively just happened that can affect wellness? I.e. did someone not achieve something, and it's changed their confidence and the team around them?
  4. Has employee performance fallen?
  5. Do you have a high absence rate?

Why not try an anonymous feedback form to give your team an opportunity to explain the situation from their own mouth? Although you can get a general feel for workplace wellbeing, such an activity can help you to understand the root causes, for you to then take action.

Reinvent Lifestyle 

Our mission is to make it easy for companies to introduce health and wellness programmes into their organisation and benefit from happier employees and an improved level of workplace wellbeing. We offer services in gym design and installation, as well as aftercare services such as virtual training solutions or sourcing professional fitness staff. On-site fitness facilities can be a fantastic employee benefit to offer, and it's an effective way to improve your workplace wellbeing.

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