As an employer, it’s important that you focus on the health and happiness of your employees. While you may be putting in efforts to enhance employee wellness (or physical health), don’t forget that employees’ well-being — their overall physical, emotional and personal health and happiness — is just as important. It’s imperative to understand how you can incorporate initiatives that promote overall health on a variety of levels, which serve to improve or maximize:
- Employee attraction and retention.
- Personal and professional productivity.
- Individual and overall company performance.
Going Beyond Wellness
Improving employee wellness helps your workforce perform to the best of their ability. When you focus only on wellness, though, efforts may be too largely centered on physical health, which is just one aspect of overall well-being. You also want to do your best to promote mental health, financial health and an overall sense of happiness in and out of the workplace. You can accomplish this by educating employees on a variety of life factors.
In order for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you should encourage well-being in the workplace, which will cause a trickle-down effect that carries to the home and family. Here are some ways to encourage well-being:
- Stress management.
- Flexible work schedule and telecommuting.
- Marital/family counseling services.
- Team-building exercises during the workday.
- Holistic activities (yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc.).
- Family-focused workplace policies and practices.
Many businesses are looking to the successful and cutting-edge programs being implemented by startup companies, which use imagination, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Some of the more interesting ideas include:
- Entertainment-related group activities (e.g,. bowling, karaoke, dinner cruises, cooking lessons).
- Paid sabbaticals.
- Paid time to volunteer.
- A “toy and game” room with a variety of childhood favorites.
- White-board walls where employees can get creative.
Talk with your employees to discover which activities or services interest them. Many employers find that asking for employees’ input helps them feel involved in the initiative from the very beginning, leading to greater success. However, workplace programs must receive support and participation from everyone, including management. Roll out a program that will benefit your entire organization, and you’ll enjoy a healthier and happier workforce.
Allison Hutton is an experienced writer, editor, communications professional, researcher and social media consultant. During her more than 15 years of communications and writing experience, Allison has worked with a variety of clients, from small-business owners to Fortune 500 companies. She has an M.S. in entertainment business, a B.A. in communication and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and four children.