3 Strategies to promote wellness in the workplace
By: Mady Peterson
Knowing how to promote employee well-being in the workplace and engage employees in well-being is a challenge many companies face. Workplace well-being is a topic we’ve always been passionate about.
Why? When employees feel they have higher well-being, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work and feel supported by their organization. In fact, according to our survey with Quantum Workplace, those who feel they have higher well-being are also more loyal to their teams and less likely to leave.
We’ve seen this in other research, too. Eastern Kentucky University found that 73% of workers experience psychological symptoms of stress, and 77% experience physical symptoms. And employees aren’t taking this lightly.
Organizations that aren’t investing in workforce well-being or promoting wellness in the workplace will suffer. Of 26,000 workers surveyed, 60% of U.S. workers said they would prefer to choose a new career altogether. Lower productivity and increased turnover are two very real side effects of a stressful workplace — which ultimately leads to burnout.
What is employee well-being?
At its core, well-being is feeling good and living with purpose. This goes beyond physical well-being to include all the complexities we experience as human beings both inside and outside the office — it’s about whole-person well-being.
Research has found that there’s a deep connection between employee well-being and organizational results such as employee turnover, employee performance, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. And in a world where organizations are fighting to keep their top talent, now is the time to focus on how to promote wellness in the workplace and invest in employee well-being strategies.
Strategies to promote wellness in the workplace
Inspiring employees to participate in wellness initiatives isn’t a hopeless cause. There are many strategies to promote wellness in the workplace. You can overcome barriers in a few simple ways:
- Recognize the right people for the right behavior with the right rewards. Ask your employees what motivates them — relevant incentives change from person to person. This could range from well-being hours and time off to well-being stipends and more.
- Make it a priority. Employees need to know that employee well-being is important. This means leadership needs to step up their game. Leaders should create an environment that truly supports employee wellness initiatives. They also need to model behavior and set aside time for employee well-being activities like walking meetings, stress relief breaks and lunch-and-learn events. 59% of employees we surveyed said leadership involvement was one of the most effective factors for a successful workplace well-being program.
- Track goals. Progress is motivating. Encourage employees to set and track their goals. And be sure to support them along the way with social activity to build community and keep everyone accountable.
- Bring it all together. Wellness initiatives shouldn’t be a separate program — they should integrate with other HR programs and initiatives. 53% of companies we surveyed don’t use their wellness programs to boost participation in other initiatives, and they’re missing a huge opportunity.
Learn how a unified employee experience platform demonstrates the importance of well-being at work.
How to promote wellness in the workplace
1. Spread the love
SHRM found that workforce managers believe employee recognition helps to create a positive workforce culture and employee experience — with half of them saying that their recognition programs positively affect retention by 68%.
Celebrating your employees is a great way to show you care. Employees who feel supported by their employer are 17% more likely to still be there in a year, so it goes without saying that employee recognition helps your people feel like their work is appreciated and it’s critical to the success of your company.
Make it happen:
- Lead by example and give kudos to people on your team for a job well done.
- Consider annual awards for employees who have gone the extra mile.
- Celebrate your employees not only on Employee Appreciation Day, but every day. A small message of encouragement or high five can go a long way.
2. Come together
Relationships at work — with managers, executives, leaders and more — play a huge role in improving employee well-being, engagement and the overall employee experience. In fact, according to the Limeade Institute, 70% of employees find organizational support in their teams and peers.
We all know that people can make or break a company culture. Encourage employees to build professional relationships with their coworkers, so they feel excited to not only do the work they love, but with a team they love as well.
Learn how one Governor demonstrates and reinforces the importance of prioritizing well-being for employees.
Make it happen:
- Plan a company picnic, team lunch or celebration after completing a major project.
- Announce employee birthdays and put a volunteer on each team to lead in party planning so coworkers can celebrate together.
- Encourage employees to catch up or have coffee with remote employees virtually.
3. Mindfulness matters
Taking time to mentally decompress can have a huge impact on employee performance. The importance of this is increasing, so much so that the National Business Group on Health found that 87% of employers offer emotional or mental well-being programs.
Bottom line: it’s important to encourage your employees to take moments for themselves. Encouraging employees to practice mindfulness can have a positive impact not just on their well-being, but on your organization’s overall success as well.
Make it happen:
- Schedule time after large presentations or meetings to “cool down.”
- Encourage employees to take 10-minute mindfulness breaks throughout the day.
- Take a mindful moment before meetings for everyone to mentally prepare and collect themselves.
Well-being at work is essential to retain employees and enable them to be their best selves — and it’s important to stay on top of how to promote employee well-being in the workplace so you can continue to improve well-being at work.
Want to take it a step further? Check out our Busting Well-being Myths in the Workplace resource.
Learn more about how Limeade Well-Being is a refreshing way to infuse well-being into work or get in touch with us today.