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Employee Wellness, How To Keep Your People Healthy And Happy 😁


Employee Management

Employee Wellness, How To Keep Your People Healthy And Happy 😁

Employee wellness is based on the perspective that healthy employees have a positive impact, i.e., happy employees end up as engaged and productive employees, which is suitable for any business.

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Employee Wellness, How To Keep Your People Healthy And Happy 😁

In recent years, employers globally have been paying much attention to wellness initiatives in the workplace. Similarly, workers now expect their employers to view them as individual human beings who ought to be supported at a personal level. Some employers have even made workplace wellness programs part of their employee management strategy.

A 2021 study by MetLife identified the top three factors that will affect the workplace in the future. According to the survey, employee well-being had the most significant impact (74%), ability to work remotely was the second factor (71%), and employee mental health, burnout, and stress (70%) were third. Explore employee wellness benefits and how employers can promote them in the workplace. 

What is Employee Wellness?

Employee wellness relates to employees' overall physical and mental fitness in the workplace. It focuses on helping employees improve their health, mental well-being, quality of life, and performance. 

Employee wellness is based on the perspective that healthy employees have a positive impact, i.e., happy employees end up as engaged and productive employees, which is suitable for any business.  

What are the Advantages of Employee Wellness in the Workplace? 

There are many benefits/advantages of employee wellness to both employers and employees in the workplace, as outlined below: 

1. Encourages employee engagement 

Establishing a wellness culture or wellness incentive in the workplace is one step to building an engaged workforce. Wellness activities such as weight loss challenges, health seminars, and walking meetings, among other programs, allow employees to connect with co-workers and their managers. As a result, there are strong relationships among employees and those in managerial positions. Also, it makes employees easily interact and help each other. 

2. Enhances employee morale 

Besides increasing employee engagement, wellness programs in a company make employees feel appreciated and valued. Consequently, it boosts employees’ morale and enthusiasm at work. 

3. Increases productivity 

Workplace wellness activities increase employees’ energy levels, morale, concentration, and motivation. As a result, employees tend to be more productive in the workplace. 

4. Reduced absenteeism

Employees who engage in wellness activities improve their health and reduce stress. As a result, they’re not likely to be absent from work since they feel valued, energetic, and motivated. It translates to reduced absenteeism in the workplace. 

5. Attracts and retains the best talents 

In today’s employment landscape, potential employees are interested in a reasonable salary and how the workplace will impact their mental and physical health. Often, new talents are attracted to employers with a culture of employee wellness. 

Additionally, wellness programs in the workplace are vital in cultivating employee loyalty and retention. 

6. Reduce overall company’s healthcare cost 

Wellness programs such as exercise, gym memberships, on-site clinics, and wellness screening help employees adopt healthy behaviours and improve their health. Therefore, employees lower health risks associated with unhealthy habits and avoid health complications likely to lead to chronic diseases. Consequently, a company can significantly reduce healthcare expenses, including insurance premiums. 

How/What Ways can Employers Promote Wellness in the Workplaces? 

1. Promote mental health awareness 

Mental health is one of the critical aspects of employees’ well-being. Therefore, supporting and promoting mental health practices and programs is a meaningful way to promote wellness in the workplace. 

Consequently, employees with excellent mental health are productive, less stressed, engaged, and motivated in the workplace. 

Among crucial aspects of mental health employers shouldn’t ignore are work-life balance, conflict resolution, and how to deal with workplace stress. Incorporating professional counselling sessions in the workplace wellness program would significantly impact. 

2. Include impactful mentoring activities in your wellness program 

Mentoring employees in the workplace is a way of supporting them in handling various aspects of their life. Employers should invest in meaningful and effective mentoring programs to help their employees improve their well-being, work, and personal lives. 

For instance, an employer may facilitate training on the importance of work-life balance, a healthy diet, etc. 

Effective mentoring also makes employees feel valued, thus enhancing their relationship with their employer. Notably, a report by Deloitte showed that a coaching culture correlates with employee engagement at the workplace, which boosts business performance and retention. 

3. Embrace recognition as part of your company culture 

Employee recognition is an important aspect when building a company's wellness culture. When employers recognize employees for their contributions or achievements, it makes employees feel appreciated. 

As a result, employees feel connected to their peers and the company. It also motivates them to do better and boosts employees’ self-esteem in their workplace. 

4. Provide employees with healthy snacks 

As an employer, it’s good to “walk the talk.” If you advocate and encourage employees to eat healthy foods, you should also provide them with healthy snacks for breakfast (if you provide food in the workplace). Have a discussion with employees to choose ideal healthy food options for themselves. 

Healthy snacks may include fresh fruits, nuts, protein smoothies, and vegan diets (for any vegan employees). Generally, consider foods that are low in fats and added sugar and high in fibre and water. 

5. Encourage employees to practice meditation and mindfulness 

Meditation is an excellent way for employees to unwind from workplace pressure, improve mood and help them stay calm and relaxed. Employers may encourage employees to meditate during breaks for a few minutes. 

Mindfulness is another great way for employees to reduce stress and enhance employee well-being. More importantly, it helps them focus on immediate tasks, overcome depression and remain thoughtful throughout the day. 

6. Offer paid fitness membership to employees

The physical fitness of employees is equally important as their mental well-being. Therefore, employers may support employees through incentives such as paid memberships for gym or yoga. Alternatively, employers may consider owning an on-site fitness facility for their employees. 

It’s important to realize that physical wellness plays a significant role in employees' productivity. 

7. Evaluate and improve office ergonomic 

Another great way of promoting employee wellness is by improving office ergonomics. Employees spend significant time performing their duties or assigned tasks in their respective offices. Therefore, employers need to evaluate the environment of their office. 

In return, they may opt to optimize the design of their offices and furniture to enhance ease of use, safety, and comfort. It may also entail installing better lighting, colours, accessories, and other workspace elements that enhance employees’ comfort in the workplace. More importantly, employers should make offices more accessible and inclusive for all employees.

8. Adopt healthy policies 

Last, employers should adopt policies that support employee wellness. Such policies should allow employees to proactively and independently meet their individual wellness needs. Some of the policies to include may entail: 

  • Remote work policies that allow employees to remotely a day or two in a week or month. 
  • Flexible and reasonable work hours align with employees' health needs, personal needs, work style, etc. 
  • Well-defined leave policies 
  • Effective safety policies 

What is the Difference between Wellness and Fitness? 

Often people consider wellness and fitness as one or to be interrelated words. However, there is a significant difference between the two. Wellness covers the overall well-being or health of human beings in a broader perspective, i.e., mental, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional health. On the other hand, fitness focuses on physical health and the ability to complete physical tasks or lack of physical ailment. 

Workpay Africa

Workpay is a HR and Payroll software company that offers time & attendance, payroll, human resource, leave, expenses and remote teams solutions to businesses across Africa.

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