For any company, its workforce is the largest and most important business asset, and the focus on their wellbeing should be a key priority for any employer. Employee wellbeing results in multitude of benefits for the organization – improved productivity, better team engagement and cohesiveness. The impact of this initiative is being felt and acknowledged by many organizations, as they realize the importance of employee well-being, and are investing in various workplace wellness initiatives and policies that encourage employee well- being.
In fact, according to a study by SHRM, 53% of the surveyed organizations want to create a culture that promotes health and wellness and around 60% of organizations are already offering wellness programs for their employees. According to another workplace wellness 2017 survey report from International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) on wellness programs offered by employers, 67% of surveyed employers reported increased employee satisfaction, 66% of employers noticed an increase in the productivity levels, 63% of surveyed companies found an increase in financial sustainability and growth and close to 50% reported decrease in absenteeism.
Here are 5 ideas to help you bring out change to employee wellbeing measures at work:
Offer Fitness Programs
Staying healthy should be a key prerogative for employees, as it helps them to perform their office duties effectively, and it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the company is providing adequate facilities to keep their employees fit by providing for some physical activities at the workplace. Offering facilities such as guided yoga or zumba classes, sit-stand desks or having a full-scale on-site fitness centers can help in raising the level of physical fitness of the employees and hence the overall productivity. In fact, the number of employees with standing desks has grown from 13% in 2013 to 44% in 2017, which is a good sign.
Encourage Flexible Employment
With work playing a significant role in today’s time, finding a perfect balance between work and life is a constant challenge. According to a recent study, more than 60% of full-time workers across the globe feel that their jobs are taking a toll on their personal lives. Encouraging a flexible employment option helps employees to achieve a better work-life balance, leading to a more positive outlook, energy and enthusiasm for achieving their goals and also provide a mental and emotional break from a long commute and being in the office. 81% of employees surveyed in the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey reported that flexible work arrangements results in higher productivity. Also, as per 2017 World Happiness Report, a healthy work-life balance is one of the strongest predictors of happiness.
Access To Healthy Food
Given the hectic schedule in office, employees generally tend to either skip their meals or end up snacking on unhealthy food and caffeine to get through the day. Offering healthy, nutritious and processed-free foods at a moderate cost at office cafeteria is a great way to improve well-being at the workplace. Junk food such as pizza and chips can be replaced with healthy salad, soups and fresh juice. In fact, easy access to fruits and putting up a healthy vending machines makes it easier for employees to snack healthily and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For example, Google has even labelled the ingredients by their nutritional value at their salad bar in their cafeteria. Helping employees to make healthier decisions results in reduced absenteeism and more productive energy.
Set up a Sports Team
Setting up various sports team such as football, cricket, badminton etc. at workplace is a great way to help employees loosen up and relieve stress by doing something physically productive and at the same time help in building relationship between co –workers. Events such as regular matches, weekend practise sessions and tournaments help in keeping the employees engaged and indulged in physical activity and help them stay fit. For example, Deloitte has various sports and activity clubs such as running club, football club, photography club to name a few, where employees join the club of their particular interest and meet on a regular basis to share best practices or even have a tournament or match.
Allowing Pets at Work (PAW) Scheme
According to recent studies, pet friendly companies tend to be the company of choice for employees, helping them to attract, engage and retain employees. Also, 80% of employees in such workplaces have mentioned that having a pet in the nearby vicinity or near their work stations, makes them feel ‘happy, relaxed and sociable’.
While there are numerous options that can be implemented to encourage employee’s well- being, it is important to get feedback from the employees to see if the initiatives are working or not. Through measures like surveys, employee feedback can be gathered, if the well-being initiatives are effective or not, and if any realignment is needed.