Why implementing a wellbeing strategy is so important?
A tired, overworked employee burdened with an excess of responsibilities and unfavourable atmosphere in the company can hardly reach peak productivity or work satisfaction but are, instead, at risk of burning out. To prevent this from happening, implementing a wellbeing strategy in the workspace is worth considering as it aims to improve physical, mental, creative, and overall welfare.
What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing is a broad term encompassing all elements which contribute to comfort, health, and life satisfaction. It is difficult to precisely outline the term as it is not a permanent state – because of human needs that are ever-changing and dependent on particular life stages. There are, however, several factors that play a key role in the pursuit of the dynamic concept of contentment:
- physical health and vitality,
- mental health, awareness of one’s feelings and the ability to deal with stress,
- intellectual acuity (willingness to learn and experience new things),
- career development and professional fulfilment,
- good interpersonal relationships and social life,
- financial stability,
- living environment.
The above values are highly personal – one person’s ideal life circumstance can be daunting and undesirable to another. This is why wellbeing is an intimate experience involving the feeling of being at the right life stage (internal aspect) and favourable external conditions which allow for comfortable and safe day to day life.
How beneficial is the implementation of wellbeing strategies in a company?
It is evident that a person who is happy with their career and life situation makes for a more effective employee. Taking care of a worker’s wellbeing does not only show the ‘human face’ of the employer, it is also a profitable strategy with a plethora of benefits.
Introducing a wellbeing program largely contributes to reducing employee absences caused by poor health. It is worth noting that a holistic approach to this issue brings the most favorable outcomes. For example, an employee who is overloaded with stress for an extended period of time can suffer physical consequences (and vice versa). Thus, both of these factors should be considered in designing a company’s wellbeing strategy.
Workers who have access to wellbeing resources are more productive and engaged which results in less employee turnover, instrumental in building a strong team and achieving better results. Furthermore, job satisfaction, the feeling of being appreciated, as well as mental and physical comfort minimize the risk of professional burnout.
A company offering wellbeing programs is also in a stronger position in the labor market. Safe working conditions, benefits corresponding with the workers’ needs, and an atmosphere conducive to personal growth draw qualified employees in. This translates into bolstering the company’s status in a given field.
How to implement and improve company’s wellbeing policies?
Before designing a wellbeing strategy, it is useful to work out and outline the current company culture as this will help highlight areas that need improvement. Here are some questions to consider:
- Is the workload for specific employees appropriate for their work hours (do the employees have to regularly stay after hours to complete their daily tasks)?
- Do employees perform the tasks that factor in their predispositions and talents?
- Does the current work organization allow for maintaining a work-life balance?
- Does the compensation of employees provide them with a feeling of financial security and stability?
- Is internal communication adequately effective?
- Does the company offer additional medical care and access to prophylactic checkups?
- Can employees access training programs to raise their qualifications and facilitate career and personal development?
- Does the company do anything to promote a healthy lifestyle (exercise, healthy diet)?
- Does the team get along well? How often do conflicts arise and how are they dealt with?
While thinking of initiatives furthering the workers’ welfare and increase their engagement and productivity, it is important to remember that wellbeing is a very personal concept. It may be tricky to come up with a program to perfectly address everyone’s needs. A company can, however, offer solutions that promote wellbeing regardless of individual requirements: ergonomic workspaces with adjustable desks, flexible work hours, access to adequate medical care, sports initiatives, or team-building sessions. And that’s the way we care about wellbeing at Oakywood: by providing additional health insurance, weekly online coffee meetings (we work remotely), team-building trips, and #edufriday – an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Conducting a company-wide survey where employees can express their needs and rate the existing wellbeing practices can also be a good idea. This will allow to tailor the corporate wellness program reflecting the workers’ requirements and desirable outcomes.