Supporting employees through employee well-being programs is a proven way of helping them achieve a good work-life balance and improving their productivity. Not long ago, well-being focused more on the physical health of the employees. Nowadays, things have changed. Employers are also focusing on other aspects such as mental and financial health due to the great impact they have on employees' productivity.
Many employees face stress, either related to their jobs or other personal issues. Statistics show that 57% of people working in the U.S and Canada reported feeling stressed daily. This stress impacts employees negatively and may make them miss work or report to work but be less productive.
As an employer or recruiting manager, it's crucial to develop well-being strategies to help your employees deal with the challenges they face and avoid some of them. Read on to learn what employee well-being is and how to use it to support your employees.
What is employee well-being?
Employee well-being refers to the activities aimed at improving the employees' physical, mental, emotional, and financial health.
There are so many factors that influence employee well-being. These include their working hours, salaries and wages, and relationships with other employees. Employers look into these factors and see what they can do to improve the general well-being of the employees.
Employee well being can be categorized into:
Physical well-being involves taking care of the physical health of the employees by coming up with measures for preventing health conditions and getting proper treatment when unwell. Most employers tend to focus more on the physical well-being of employees by paying for their gym subscriptions and health insurance.
Mental well-being encompasses avoiding stress, burnout, and other issues related to mental health. Focusing on the mental well-being of the employees should never be assumed since mental health issues significantly affect the performance and productivity of an employee.
Financial well-being is often neglected, unfortunately. As an employer, you need to also focus on it by ensuring that your employees get enough finances to meet their needs and have a sense of financial security.
Benefits of focusing on employees' health
Employees play a very crucial role in any organization. For that reason, it is essential to focus on their health since a sick employee can never be productive. They may fail to report to work or come and work but be less productive. As an employer, you should feel obligated to focus on the employees' health not only for their advantage but yours too. Below are some of the benefits of focusing on employees' health.
1. Decreased presenteeism and absenteeism
Presenteeism refers to when an employee goes to work either when sick or excessively exhausted, which greatly lowers their productivity. On the other hand, absenteeism is the situation where an employee doesn't go to work since they are sick or have other things to attend to.
Sickness is one of the leading causes of presenteeism and absenteeism. As an employer, when you focus on the health of your employees, you eliminate these two phenomena, increasing productivity in the workplace.
2. Lowered health costs
Focusing on the employees' health can significantly lower health costs. When you promote a culture where employees can prevent health conditions, they will get sick or injured less often, lowering the cost of health expenses. Also, helping employees get prompt treatment when ill prevents worsening of their health conditions. Worsened conditions are hard to treat and often require expensive treatment.
3. Increased employee productivity
Healthy employees are productive. They don't miss work due to illness. They also have more energy which motivates them to work harder and meet deadlines.
4. Increased employee morale
Employees feel appreciated when their employer shows concern. By focusing on their health, you show them that you care, making them feel valued and appreciated. That increases their morale, making them more productive in the workplace.
5. Increased loyalty and retention
Employees who feel valued and appreciated are highly likely to stay in a company longer. By taking care of the health needs of employees, you will be able to decrease employee turnover caused by dissatisfaction at the workplace.
6. Attracting top talent
Nowadays, employees are not just looking at the salary an employer is offering, but other things too, including wellness programs. Most of them get attracted to companies that provide well-being programs for their employees, including focusing on their health needs. Adopting these programs can help you acquire top talent that will be of great value to your company.
What aspects are negatively impacting employees' well-being?
Toxic workplace culture
If the workplace culture is toxic, employees will get stressed, and their well-being will be impacted negatively. As an employer, it's your duty to ensure that your workplace culture is not toxic. Provide a conducive environment for the employees, and you will also benefit from that.
Employees need to feel that their efforts are recognized. When they get poor incentives, they will feel demoralized and may not be able to fully cater to their needs, which may increase stress and promote lowered productivity.
Conflicts in balancing work and other commitments
An employee may find it challenging to balance work and other commitments. They might feel like work takes much of their time, leaving them little or no time to attend to other obligations. This can bring them stress, affecting their well-being negatively.
Long working hours
A Statista research shows that a large workload contributes significantly to employees' stress. When an employee works for long hours, their productivity is greatly affected. They get fatigued and don't have time to take breaks and rejuvenate, which is not good for their well-being.
Not having the right tools
If the employees don't have the right tools to do their work, their productivity drops significantly since they may be forced to work harder to achieve goals. They may also get frustrated, which may have a negative impact on their mental health.
Economic insecurity is another aspect that negatively affects the well-being of employees. For example, an employee may live with the fear that they might be laid off, especially when a company is not doing very well.
How can employers support employee well-being?
Communicate with your employees
Communicating with the employees can go a long way in supporting their well-being. Although it might be hard for employees to talk about personal issues that press them, you can develop some skillsets to personally connect with them.
Adopt open communication and encourage them to communicate with the management. The employees will have an easy time talking about their issues and asking for help.
Additionally, you can involve the employees when coming up with well-being programs by asking for their opinions. They understand the issues that affect them much better than you do and can be greatly resourceful.
Encourage your employees to have a good work-life balance
Some employees may have a hard time balancing work and personal life. Others may focus too much on work and forget that they have a life outside work. As an employer, you can help them achieve a perfect work-life balance. To achieve this, think of something like allowing them to work remotely from time to time, encouraging them to participate in employee wellbeing activities and offering paid leave.
Promote mental health awareness
The probability of having some employees suffering from some mental health challenges is very high, given that mental health issues are on the rise. And most of the time, some employees don't even recognize when they have issues, while others may hesitate to look for help due to the social taboo associated with these issues. These employees suffer in silence, which affects their health and productivity.
To curb the problem, offer mental health programs for your employees. Don't just focus on their physical health, as many employers do.
Create a financial wellness program
Financial stress is directly linked to mental health and employee productivity. Businesses cannot afford to ignore their employees' financial well-being, as doing so can be devastating. Many companies are adopting a pro-active approach by implementing employee financial wellness programs.
Create a mentoring program
Creating a mentoring program is another effective way of supporting employee well-being. Mentoring programs improve employees' satisfaction, promoting their well-being. With these programs, employees can benefit from emotional support during the critical points of their careers.
Promoting employees' well-being should be one of your priorities as an employer. It is beneficial not only to the employees but also to your organization. And remember to not just focus on their physical well-being but also their mental and financial health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is employee well-being important?
A: Employee well-being is important since it leads to more productivity in the workplace, improved morale, better talent, and improved retention, among other benefits.
Q: How can I measure employee well-being?
A: To measure employee well-being, you can conduct a well-being survey and ask questions such as the hours an employee has worked and how they rate their mental well-being and job satisfaction.
Gauging employee engagement is another way of measuring well-being, where you can consider things like their quality of work and their career goals.
Measuring retention is also helpful in measuring employees' well-being as they go hand in hand. In most cases, if the retention rate is high, there is a high probability that your organization is doing good in terms of employees' well-being.
Q: How can employee well-being be improved?
A: You can improve employees' well-being by creating a mentoring program, promoting mental health awareness, opening the lines of communication, and encouraging the employees to have a good balance between work and their personal life.