How does your workplace encourage employee well-being?
Employee well-being covers the overall mental, physical, emotional, and financial health of employees. It involves many factors — some related to work and others that are personal. Every organization has an interest in investing in employee well-being. Top Workplaces leaders understand well-being initiatives support a people-centric culture.
Employee well-being includes several dimensions of wellness, such as:
- Social wellness
- Physical wellness
- Financial wellness
- Emotional wellness
- Environmental wellness
Take time to understand how each type of wellness could impact your workforce.
Social wellness: Employees with high levels of social well-being feel more connected and engaged with their work. This ties directly to confidence, connection, energy, interpersonal communication, and motivation. Encouraging interdepartmental social events and flexible time off help boost employees’ well-being. The new world of remote and hybrid work makes it especially important to check in with employees about their social wellness. Companies and employees are still learning how to socialize remotely, so be sure to communicate transparently about how things are going.
Physical wellness: Employees’ physical health and well-being influence performance and productivity. When employees are healthy and feel great, they are more likely to perform their best work. Physical wellness also can reduce sick days. Well-being initiatives include: Comprehensive health insurance, classes that encourage activity, gym memberships, nutrition education, and physical therapy services.
Financial wellness: People function at their best when they can meet their financial obligations while feeling secure about their financial future. A sound structure of competitive pay and benefits goes a long way to delivering that. Other examples of financial wellness include educating about sound financial decisions, budgeting and limiting spending within one’s means, preparing for unexpected financial emergencies, and planning for future expenses and necessities. Financial security helps employees feel happier, healthier, and more secure. Employers can help employees achieve financial wellness by offering financial planning courses, webinars, and employees assistance programs.
Emotional wellness: Think of emotional wellness as an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of feelings and the ability to manage change. Emotional wellness impacts many areas of a person’s life, including relationships, work, and school. When employees suffer, it impacts their productivity and their health. It can cause hypertension, weakened immunity, and poor concentration. Employers can help employees improve their emotional wellness by encouraging mindfulness and being present, building relationships and connecting with others, managing and reducing stress levels, and encouraging better work-life balance and personal time off
Environmental wellness: Environmental wellness refers to a person’s sense of safety, comfort, and connection with their surroundings. This includes interactions with others and with their workplace culture. Top Workplaces identify potential issues related to environmental wellness, find opportunities to listen to employees and act on their feedback. Creating a healthy, supportive environment with open communication encourages employee well-being, boosting work efficiency and performance.
At workplaces where resources are stretched thin and employees have big workloads, a focus on employee well-being is more important than ever. Employee well-being has a direct impact on productivity and performance. It’s also an effective way to prevent employee burnout, which is one of the primary reasons why employees leave and seek work elsewhere.
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.