Having a healthy and happy workforce is vital for business success. In this article, we explore the importance of employee wellness and how it can improve morale and productivity in the workplace.
What is the Link Between Employee Wellness and Productivity?
Your company might, on the face of it, have all of the ingredients necessary for success. Perhaps you have recruited the most promising candidates, trained them thoroughly in industry-relevant skills and thrown in an appealing benefits package, too. Still, could you be missing one vital ingredient?
That ingredient could be employee wellness; if your workers aren't both physically and mentally fit, you can't expect them to realise their full productive potential. Here are several good reasons why.
Physical health means cognitive health, too
According to research posted in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and relayed by Business Matters, physical health strongly affects cognitive health, too. Therefore, the occasional run or swim outside of work can pay dividends for an employee later returning to work.
A study published by The Lancet in 2012 even revealed that a sedentary lifestyle is more lethal and costly than smoking. Thankfully, exercising for just one hour daily can prevent these effects.
Well employees take fewer sick days
It's a simple equation: the fewer days your staff take off work, the more time they can spend working and so contributing to your company's growth. Unfortunately, though, employees who neglect their physical health leave themselves vulnerable to taking more sick days.
One Transport for London study mentioned by Personnel Today reveals that, compared to workers of normal weight, obese staff take more sick days annually on average. That tally of sick days rises to six for those employees who are severely obese.
Wellness programmes give employees reasons to stay
You probably don't have the budget to spend on an onsite gym or swimming pool at your workplace - but, fortunately, there are other, comparatively inexpensive means of encouraging worker wellness anyway. Many of those are packaged into what is known as an employee wellness programme.
The employee wellbeing solutions from LifeWorks, for example, can proactively support all of your staff rather than trust them to do the legwork of investigating the wellness resources available.
Smoking negatively impacts productivity
Though, as already acknowledged, a lack of physical exercise can take a greater toll on health than smoking, this isn't to say that smoking should simply be left off the hook. Indeed, judging from one survey of 25,000 health workers, smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to take time off work.
Leaving a habit like smoking unchecked can be particularly dubious in the healthcare field, where professionals such as nurses could inadvertently hamper patients' health.
Employee wellness schemes bode well for your firm's reputation
An employee wellness scheme generously supplied with advice, resources and solutions can have positive repercussions for your firm which you might not have previously accounted.
Did you know that, according to one statistic shared in a Forbes article, 89% of workers at businesses supporting wellbeing initiatives are likelier to recommend that other people work at the company?
Fostering your company's reputation as a great place to work, with wellness benefits included, could naturally give you the edge when you are competing with rival firms to attract the most talented workers.
How to Boost Employee Wellness to Improve Morale in the Workplace
As we have covered above, employee wellness is a crucial factor in driving business success, as it directly impacts employee morale and productivity. A healthy and happy workforce leads to lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and reduced turnover rates. Therefore, managers and business owners should prioritise employee wellness to create an engaging and fulfilling workplace culture.
Below, we outline several strategies and tips for promoting employee wellness and increasing morale at work.
Prioritise employee wellness
To improve employee morale, it's essential to focus on their wellness. Encouraging healthy habits and offering resources and support can improve employee wellness, including:
- Promoting regular exercise, such as offering discounted gym memberships or organising exercise classes.
- Encouraging healthy eating, such as offering healthy snacks in the workplace or organising a healthy eating challenge.
- Offering mental health support, such as an employee assistance programme or access to counselling services.
- Creating a healthy work environment, such as ergonomic workstations or reducing workplace stressors.
Invest in professional growth and development
Providing opportunities for professional growth and development is an excellent way to keep employees engaged and satisfied with their jobs. It also leads to improved job performance and loyalty from the workforce. Some strategies to invest in employee development include:
- Offering training with focus on learner engagement and development programs tailored to employees' goals and aspirations, including workshops, conferences, online courses or mentorship programs.
- Providing growth opportunities through job rotations, special projects, or promotions.
- Encouraging learning and sharing such as through knowledge-sharing sessions or creating a knowledge-sharing platform.
Show appreciation and gratitude
Feeling valued and appreciated is a fundamental human need. Therefore, managers and business owners should show appreciation and gratitude to boost employee morale and retention. Here are some strategies for doing so:
- Providing regular feedback to employees regarding their performance.
- Expressing appreciation for employees' contributions through verbal or written thanks and small tokens of appreciation.
- Celebrating milestones, such as work anniversaries or the completion of significant projects.
Encourage work-life balance
Maintaining a work-life balance is essential to employee wellness, but it can be challenging in a fast-paced workplace environment. Managers and business owners can support employees by:
- Introducing flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible hours.
- Promoting breaks and downtime to prevent burnout and improve overall well-being.
- Providing wellness resources, such as an employee assistance programme, wellness initiatives, or fitness centres.
Foster a sense of community
Establishing a sense of community among employees creates a positive workplace culture and improves employee engagement. Here are some strategies for encouraging a sense of connection:
- Organising team-building activities, such as company picnics or volunteering events.
- Enhancing social interactions through company-sponsored happy hours or social clubs.
- Creating an inclusive culture that celebrates diversity and values different backgrounds and perspectives.
Incorporate fun in the workplace
Fostering joy and relaxation in the workplace is crucial for maintaining employee morale and motivation. Some ways to add fun opportunities include:
- Planning social events, such as holiday parties or game nights.
- Celebrating special occasions, such as birthdays or work anniversaries.
- Integrating play into the workplace, such as offering games or puzzles in common areas.
Improving employee wellness requires consistent effort and investment. By prioritising employee wellness and creating a positive work environment, businesses can foster employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, ultimately positioning themselves for long-term success.
Prioritise employee wellness by:
- promoting healthy habits,
- investing in professional growth,
- showing appreciation,
- encouraging work-life balance,
- fostering community,
- and adding fun opportunities.
This can all help to create a positive work environment, leading to higher engagement, satisfaction, and retention rates.
More great work-life balance blog posts:
- Tips to relieve the stress of balancing children + work life
- How to survive the half term when you work from home
- Managing life as a full time working parent
More healthy living blog posts:
- 5 tips to stay healthy if you work from home
- Your inspirational guide to being healthy
- How to fit exercise into a busy schedule and maximise your workout
- How CBD can beat work related stresses
- The dangers of added sugar and its health consequences