According to a CIPD 2020 survey report on Health and Wellbeing at Work, there has been a 37% increase in stress-related absence at work since last year (absenteeism), and 89% of employees said that they have worked while feeling unwell (presenteeism). A recent Gallup report showed that 76% of employees experienced symptoms of job burnout. These were the reasons: poor management, unmanageable workload, and unfair treatment at work. Sadly, the stats don’t stop here. A McKinsey source states that workplace stress costs employers in the US nearly $200 billion every year in healthcare expenses. How can you put a stop to all this? Answer: Get a well-planned workplace wellness policy in place – one that ensures workers are safe, healthy, satisfied, and engaged at work.
And workplace wellness relates to all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how workers feel about their work, their working environment, work culture, and the nature of work itself.
Today, workplace wellness, simply put – your workers’ well-being is a key factor in determining your organization’s long-term effectiveness. In addition, many studies show a direct link between productivity levels and the overall health and well-being of your workforce.
In other words, securing employee wellbeing can translate to:
- More productivity
- Higher employee morale
- Better talent
- Increased employee retention rate and most importantly – motivated employees who can help achieve your business goals and scale business
More recently, companies across, are investing in global health promotion policies – that cover not only drug and alcohol abuse, but also a whole range of lifestyle issues including smoking, diet, exercise, and mental well-being.
What should you consider in your workplace wellness policy?
Employee wellbeing is about optimizing the overall health of your employees. It is not only about physical wellbeing, but other components of wellbeing that cannot be ignored when talking about workplace wellness and employee well-being.
Therefore, a good workplace wellness policy will take into account all 4 dimensions of an employee’s life:
- Physical well-being
- Social well-being
- Emotional well-being
- Financial well-being
So when developing a health and work behavior plan – that is, your workplace wellness policy, it’s important you cover all these 4 dimensions.
Many worksites have smoke-free, pre-employment and incident-based drug testing, sick leave, personal leave, disability, safety, return to work, health care benefits, and vacation policies designed to influence work behavior practices.
In addition, flexible working arrangements such as flextime and telecommuting have been shown to improve employee health status indicators such as blood pressure, fatigue, sleep quality, and mental health.
The only mantra that there is while developing a first-class workplace wellness policy is to ‘trust your employees’. When you care for your employees, they will care for your organization’s growth. It is as simple as that.
Developing a health and work behavior plan
Frankly speaking, all organizations have some type of health and work behavior issue that can be improved with the right type of planning, implementation, and maintenance.
So before you start crafting a high-performing health and work behavior plan for your organization, take ample time to correctly diagnose your organization’s most pressing health and work behavior challenges. You can do this only by studying your employees and getting to know them well.
Here’s a suggestion – you can create a health and behavior team that can help you with whatever you need to develop this workplace wellness policy.
Recognize and acknowledge good work and work effort
One of the most desired and easiest ways to execute wellbeing initiatives is simply to recognize employees for their effort and achievements. In other words, create a positive emotional environment that supports wellbeing.
A recent survey shows that 70% of employees say recognition makes them feel emotionally connected to peers while another 70% say recognition makes them happier at home.
Bottom line: Inculcate a recognition-rich culture and make this the core of your organizations’ functioning. And see what positive changes it can bring to both your organization and your employees.
Care for your people
The best form of care is listening to your employees with an open heart. By actively listening to what they have to say – you are building a bridge of trust between your employees and your organization.
As we mentioned in the beginning, workplace wellness isn’t just about physical health. It’s about one’s overall quality of life.
Moreover, our lives are more than just work. Yes, work is important. But there are so many other things outside of work that give our lives meaning and purpose. Like spending time with family, developing new hobbies, learning a new skill, and so much more! And more often, work-related obligations get in the way – stopping your employees from doing things they love and care about the most. As a result, their well-being takes a back seat.
Don’t let this happen to your employees. Because when their well-being suffers, organizational performance and productivity will drop too.
Did you know?
According to research, only 8% of employees believe work-life balance is less important than compensation. Besides, with remote work gaining popularity – it’s one of the easiest and most desired employee well-being benefits your company could offer.
One way to care for your employees is to create opportunities to improve their work-life balance. And one way to do that is to offer flexible work hours/remote work options to those who really need it.
Allowing for flexible working hours empowers employees to alter their work habits to fit their family needs. And gives them the fuel to keep working on the projects that give their lives additional meaning and a purpose. More importantly, it sends them a message that your organization trusts them. And this results in a healthy work-life balance that benefits your employees and your organization.
Workplace wellness and wellbeing can either make or break a company. Developing a solid workplace wellness policy will not only transform your employees’ lives for the best. But also reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs – while creating a healthy and positive organizational culture.
What are you waiting for? Get started with building your workplace wellness policy if your organization doesn’t have one yet!