Companies with a strong culture of wellbeing know that it’s about more than offering fruit in the breakroom, an onsite fitness center or a telehealth app. An authentic culture of wellbeing integrates support for multiple aspects of employees’ lives—mental health, financial wellness, social connections and chronic health conditions are just a few examples.
There are significant benefits for organizations that prioritize employee wellbeing. Research shows a strong positive correlation between wellbeing, productivity and overall organizational performance. And Gallup recently found that teams who feel their organization cares about their wellbeing achieve higher customer engagement, profitability and productivity, lower turnover and fewer safety incidents.
As we recognize National Wellness Month this August, consider these five tips your organization can implement to cultivate a culture of wellbeing in the workplace:
1. ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DURING THE WORKDAY
Traditionally, exercise has been something employers expected workers to do on their own time. Now, many organizations have realized the importance of incorporating bursts of movement throughout the workday.
Get creative and offer ways for employees to move more at work. Some ideas include walking meetings, lunchtime strolls, steps challenges or rewards for not using the elevator. Remote workers should also be encouraged to take a break during the day for at least a 20-minute walk to refresh before jumping back into productivity mode.
2. PROVIDE FINANCIAL WELLNESS RESOURCES
Finances are also a significant source of stress. Nearly half of American full-time workers worry about their personal finances while at work. Consider ways to alleviate some of it by implementing programs that help with student loan debt repayment, monthly budgeting, tax education or saving for retirement. Offering complimentary consultations with an accredited financial advisor can also be a helpful resource for your employees.
Evaluate your benefit plans and make sure they measure up. Retirement plans, HSAs and health plans are necessary to review to ensure your organization is doing everything possible to place your employees in a healthy financial position.
3. OFFER MORE SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS
Employees increasingly cite family and caregiving responsibilities as a significant contributor to stress in their lives. Evaluate your caregiving policies and your EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and determine whether you can provide additional support through onsite childcare, stipends or some form of leave to employees in need. Ensure your EAP includes resources such as personal and family counseling, and make sure the information is easily accessible.
4. GIVE PERMISSION TO DISCONNECT AND SET BOUNDARIES
Technology makes it possible to work anywhere at any time, but the downside is that many employees don’t take the time to unplug. Organizations should encourage employees to set times when they shut down for the day and establish hours when they do not respond to emails. Customizing what days and times you receive email notifications is one easy way to accomplish this so employees can truly disconnect from work.
Similarly, make sure your employees know it’s important and ok to use their paid time off. Even if they don’t have a vacation planned, time spent away from work is refreshing and should be encouraged. This also improves morale across the organization and can help prevent burnout.
5. EMBRACE A SELF-CARE MINDSET
There are many definitions floating around for the term, “self-care.” For clarity’s sake, we will define it as a practice of getting adequate sleep, proper nutrition and exercise while incorporating mental and emotional wellbeing habits like actively managing stress, practicing self-compassion and engaging in mindfulness or meditation. There is now widespread acceptance that practicing self-care is no longer a selfish indulgence, but absolutely critical to our overall wellbeing.
Ensure employees know that spending time focusing on their holistic wellbeing is something your organization supports. It’s also critical for managers and leaders to visibly and openly practice self-care themselves. This validates that the organization genuinely cares about wellbeing and empowers employees to invest in their self-care, too.
We hope these tips are helpful as you work to cultivate a culture of holistic wellbeing at your organization. To learn more about how to develop a holistic wellbeing strategy that impacts your people and your business, contact MJ today.CONTACT MJ